Public Utilities Law

Public Utilities Law

Utilities routinely call on our lawyers to help obtain the certificates, permits, or other approvals needed to provide critical services to the public.

In an era marked by technological advancements, environmental concerns, and evolving regulatory landscapes, public utilities are increasingly in need of legal help. Willoughby Humphrey & D’Antoni stands at the forefront of this dynamic field, committed to navigating the complex intersection of legal, regulatory, and industry challenges within the realm of public utilities.

Utilities are heavily regulated and are subject to a wide array of federal, state, and local laws and rules. Whether our clients operate traditional utilities like electric, water and wastewater, natural gas, telecommunications, and transportation, or emerging sectors such as renewable energy and smart infrastructure, or are third parties working with utilities, our attorneys possess the knowledge and skills necessary to address their unique legal needs.

Rate Setting

Balancing the need for fair and reasonable rates with the financial viability of utility projects requires a nuanced approach. Our attorneys have extensive experience in rate setting matters, helping clients establish rates that reflect the true cost of service while meeting regulatory requirements. We also work collaboratively with our clients and financial experts to develop sound financial strategies that promote sustainability and resilience.

Permitting and Licensing

Obtaining the necessary permits and licenses is a critical aspect of any public utility project. We streamline this process for our clients, leveraging our experience and relationships to facilitate efficient approvals. We are adept at addressing the nuanced requirements of different sectors, ensuring that projects progress smoothly from conception to completion.

Sale and Transfer of Systems

Thorough due diligence is a cornerstone of successful utility sale or transfer. We conduct exhaustive reviews of regulatory compliance, contractual obligations, environmental liabilities, and financial health of both the acquiring and divesting utilities. Identifying potential challenges early in the process empowers our clients to make informed decisions and implement effective risk mitigation strategies. And through skilled negotiation and drafting, we work to secure favorable terms for our clients, protecting their interests and ensuring a fair and equitable exchange of assets. We then assist clients in developing comprehensive transition plans. Our goal is to facilitate a smooth integration process that minimizes disruptions and maximizes the value of the transaction.


Disputes in the public utility sector are inevitable. When litigation becomes necessary, our public utilities law attorneys is prepared to vigorously advocate for our clients’ interests. Our experienced litigators have a proven track record in handling complex disputes, including those related to contract breaches, regulatory challenges, environmental issues, property damage, and personal injury, all the way from trial through appeal.

Assessing Industry Trends

Staying ahead in the public utility sector requires a commitment to innovation and a deep understanding of industry trends. Our firm actively monitors developments in energy policy, technology, and environmental regulations to provide clients with proactive legal advice. We pride ourselves on being thought leaders, contributing to industry discourse and shaping legal strategies that align with future challenges and opportunities.

General Matters

We have worked with public utilities in self-audits that help them hold themselves accountable in a proactive manner. We have also represented utility clients in various land use issues associated with the provision of utility service, including condemnation and right-of-way encroachment matters. And we provide general corporate and business advice to utilities regarding their day-to-day operations.

See How We Can Help You

Use the form below to contact Willoughby Humphrey & D’Antoni to see how our experience and expertise can help in matters involving public utility laws. Our public utilities law attorneys are based in Columbia, SC and Charleston, SC.