Introduction and Summary
I have 38 years of legal experience as an attorney specializing in corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, public offerings of securities, including 19 years at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, where I was a Partner for 12 years, including serving as Managing Partner of the Orange County Office from 1996 to 1999, the highest growth period in that office’s history to date. I was ranked first in my class in compensation and shares in each of my 19 years at Gibson Dunn and was the last Partner to be elected after only 7 years as an Associate.
Then, after making venture capital investments as the founder of an investment firm, I returned to full time legal practice focusing on energy clients that span the entire spectrum of energy from solar to waste to oil & gas to LNG. From the beginning of my legal career, after graduating with honors from Harvard Law School in 1980, I have always been known as a successful deal closer, a creative problem solver, a gifted strategist, and a great business lawyer, and my advice has been sought regularly in the Board rooms of major companies.
In my Managing Partner role I developed and executed a strategic plan to increase the size the Orange County office from 60 to 95 lawyers in only three years, at which point it became dominant law office in its market. I also interfaced with many of the international offices and helped them grow. I left Gibson Dunn in 1999 solely for family and personal reasons relating to my younger brother’s illness and death.
Current Clients and Projects
I am currently advising clients with US and global projects in energy, power, water and infrastructure as well as large investors where the cumulative total pipeline of projects is about $18 Billion over the next 3 years. I am in the process of forming a joint venture in Southeast Asia to be led by Bechtel Corporation and Bechtel Oil & Gas.
In this role, I am one of the lead legal advisors for strategy, counseling, contract negotiation and drafting, and business planning.
Although I am best known as an early pioneer in sustainable investment, my expertise today spans the entire spectrum of energy and power from oil and gas to solar and wind.
I am the primary legal advisor to Forstmann & Co., a global investment bank founded by J. Anthony Forstmann, a co-founder of Forstmann Little & Co and Forstmann Leff & Co, two of the most successful hedge funds in US history.
I am the only American member of the Advisory Council of Awad Capital Ltd., a global investment bank based on Dubai, and the only US member of the Advisory Board of Europe-based Climate Blockchain Corporation, the inventor of Climatecoin.
I am the only American honored by the British Royal Family at a private reception and dinner at St. James Palace for my work in bringing safe drinking water systems to Africa free of pathogens and parasites and for my leadership in sustainable innovation in the US. I have assisted in the US expansion of two of their favorite charities.
Education and Personal History
I attended Yale University from 1969 to 1973 on a full academic scholarship and earned my B.A. magna cum laude in 1973, then returned to Yale in 1975 to earn my M.A. in 1976 and Ph.D. in 1977, all with honors. I then attended Harvard Law School on an academic scholarship and earned my J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1980, where my advisor was Archibald Cox.
In 1972 Yale University selected me to be a Bates Traveling Fellow in residence at Clare College, Cambridge University, during 1972 and in 1974-75 I studied as a Fulbright Scholar in Italy at the University of Florence and translated Italian poetry into English.
At Yale Graduate School I was awarded the Mary Cady Tew Prize in 1975 (then awarded by Faculty to the best first-year graduate student in all departments of the humanities and social sciences).
I am the only person in the history of Yale to earn a PhD in only two years from start to finish. Yale granted the first PhD in the United States in 1869.
I am the author of a book of original poetry (The Napoleon House; published by Archon Books in 1991) and a book on the life and poetry of John Milton (Voice and Crisis: Invocation in Milton’s Poetry; published by Archon Books in 1990).
I am a native of New Orleans and an Eagle Scout, and during my high school years at Jesuit high School (1965-69) was the Southern Regional Champion in Debate, as well in the Regional Champion in Original Oratory, Extemporaneous Speaking and Dramatic Interpretation. I was also the Louisiana State Champion in Debate
Venture Capital History
In September 1999 I founded SAIL Capital Partners LLC as an early pioneer and thought leader in sustainable investment in the United States. I have been honored in Europe many times for my pioneering role in sustainable investment in the US.
Under my leadership SAIL Capital Partners LLC was selected by the World Economic Forum as a member of its Community of Global Growth Companies and SAIL was nominated for Private Equity Manager of the Year by Foundation & Endowment Money Management. In addition, SAIL Capital was chosen by the U.S. Department of Commerce to co-lead with Deutsche Bank the first U.S. Trade Mission on Clean Energy to Germany in Munich in 2012 and to participate in the first Impact & Sustainable Investment Trade Missions to Europe, meeting with investors in Zurich, Amsterdam, and London in 2013-2014. I have also attended, as an invited guest, meetings of the Australian American Leadership Dialogue.
In 2014 I was elected to the Board of Directors of Fulbright Canada, the Foundation for Educational Exchange between Canada and the United States ( ). In addition, in 2016-2018, I have received over 10 international awards, including Game Changer of the Year, Most Innovative Venture Capitalist, and Best Sustainable Investment Firm CEO.
Focus of Legal Career
My legal career at Gibson Dunn from 1980 until 1999 was focused on mergers and acquisitions and IPO’s as well as board governance and included advising clients on some of the most successful transactions in the US during that time, including Allergan, Callaway Golf, Fluor, Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Company (regarding the spinoff of PIMCO), PacifiCare (regarding its merger with FHP), SafeGuard Health, and Ultrasystems Inc., the US pioneer of renewable power. I was the lead strategic advisor in over 60 successful mergers, acquisitions, and IPO’s as well as over 25 renewable power projects. I was also one of the Partners active in the firm’s global expansion into Europe, the Middle East and Asia.