Barrett Hawks, Esq. is a nationally recognized expert in the resolution of complex commercial and energy matters, with substantial experience in helping to resolve multi-party conflicts. Following a 44-year career first as a litigator and then as a transactional attorney, Mr. Hawks has provided mediation, arbitration and neutral analysis services since 2009. He has helped resolve numerous energy matters, both as an attorney and as head of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP’s Energy and Environmental Practice Group, and as an ADR specialist. He also has broad experience in resolving business/commercial conflicts.
Mr. Hawks’ experience includes service on corporate and non-profit boards, and thus he is keenly aware of the profoundly negative effect on business progress and profitability that legal disputes can have. He has worked closely with CEOs, inside counsel, and boards of directors to design business-based solutions to help energy companies avoid or mitigate conflicts.
Notably, Mr. Hawks established a national group of lawyers to represent the interests of large power suppliers to electric cooperatives located throughout the United States. His success in achieving consensus among multiple stakeholders in this industry established his reputation as a pre-eminent legal resource. This invaluable experience informs his approach to mediation and arbitration of energy disputes.
Mr. Hawks has also helped resolve a wide variety of other business and commercial conflicts, serving as a mediator, arbitrator, neutral analysis consultant, and advocate. His approach is practical, but also creative and persistent when required. His work also extends to numerous other organizations, including local governments, community and religious groups, and law firms.
- Mediated under the CPR Rules claims of approximately $10 million challenging how the costs of capital improvements to a generating project, owned by a midwest utility, had been passed through to a long-term power purchaser
- Mediated under the CPR Rules claims for unpaid fees of an outsourcing provider under a contract with a New York-based business, as well as counter claims for mismanagement and fraud in excess of $20 million
- Designed an ADR process and recommended an arbitrator to settle claims of over-charges of several million dollars under a long-term power purchase agreement
- Served as chair of a party-appointed arbitration panel governed by JAMS Rules to arbitrate a claim by an investor in a closely held manufacturing business, located in the Southeast, in which the investor alleged that the financial statements did not conform to GAAP as warranted
- Mediated claims of fraud and piercing the corporate veil, under the CPR Rules, brought by multiple parties against the sole shareholder/CEO of an Atlanta-based construction company after the company defaulted on construction contracts
- Mediated under JAMS rules, a split up of an Intellectual Property Business, located in the Southeast in which the owners had lost trust and confidence in one another
- Mediated the terms of a development agreement among four utilities to govern their plan to construct, own, and manage a multi-million dollar power plant
- Served successfully as settlement counsel in a matter involving the allocation of costs between two power plant owners located in the Southeast
- Successfully negotiated many disputes and conflicts between joint owners of power plants involving cost allocations, scheduling, maintenance, and construction of improvements to jointly-owned power plants
- Provided neutral analysis services to inside counsel on dispute resolution strategies, such as stepped negotiations, early case evaluation, use of settlement counsel, and dispute resolution boards in a great variety of matters
- Served as a standing neutral to the owner of a large, family-owned business with a national footprint to assist in evaluating business strategy, and conflicts over stock ownership and family trusts
- Served as a neutral to a family in which certain members were threatening to contest a will