Hugh E. Hilliard

Senior Counsel

Thank you for your interest. Before you communicate with one of our attorneys, please note: Any comments our attorneys share with you are general information and not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship will exist between you or your business and O’Melveny or any of its attorneys unless conflicts have been cleared, our management has given its approval, and an engagement letter has been signed. Meanwhile, you agree: we have no duty to advise you or provide you with legal assistance; you will not divulge any confidences or send any confidential or sensitive information to our attorneys (we are not in a position to keep it confidential and might be required to convey it to our clients); and, you may not use this contact to attempt to disqualify O’Melveny from representing other clients adverse to you or your business. By clicking "accept" you acknowledge receipt and agree to all of the terms of this paragraph and our Disclaimer.


Hugh Hilliard represents clients on matters related to regulation of energy companies by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and on energy-industry transactions. He advises clients in the electric and natural gas sectors, principally in matters involving companies engaged in generation, sale, purchase, transmission or storage of electric energy, or in transportation, storage or trading of natural gas. He regularly works on wind, solar, and geothermal energy projects, representing passive equity investors, lenders, parties in M&A transactions, developers, and companies that own and operate such projects, as well as on hydroelectric and gas-fired electric generation projects. He also provides advice on matters involving industrial energy consumers, natural gas and oil pipeline companies, oil and natural gas producers, and energy-related regulation by various Federal and state agencies.

Drawing on his prior experience working on energy-related matters with the International Energy Agency, the US Department of Energy, and the US Department of the Interior, as well as his practice of law in the energy sector over the past 20 years, Hugh strives to find practical and efficient ways to resolve issues. He guides his clients through transactions involving power purchases and sales, interconnection and transmission arrangements, and fuel supply and transportation agreements, as well as electric energy and natural gas trading and participation in organized electric markets. In addition to assisting clients in negotiating such arrangements, Hugh helps conduct diligence reviews in connection with investments, divestitures, and acquisitions. Other representative matters include assisting companies in complying with FERC regulations and obtaining necessary authorizations from FERC. He also has experience in defending and resolving FERC enforcement actions.


Corporate & Government Experience

  • Served in various capacities at the US Department of the Interior, principally involving leasing of federal lands and collecting royalties in connection with oil, natural gas, and coal development
  • Worked on matters related to the oil and gas industry for the International Energy Agency and the US Department of Energy


  • French
  • German

Honors & Awards

  • Recommended by The Legal 500 US in the area of Energy: Renewable/Alternative Power (2017, 2019-2020)
  • Recognized by Chambers USA as a Leading Lawyer in Energy: Electricity (2011-2013)


Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia

Court Admissions

  • US Court of Appeals, First Circuit


  • Georgetown University, J.D., 2000: magna cum laude; Order of the Coif
  • Georgetown University, M.S., 1981 
  • Emory University, B.A., 1978

Professional Activities


  • “Public Utility Transaction Authorization and FERC” Corporate Counsel (July 2013)
  • “A Few Thoughts On FERC's Civil Penalty Calculations” Law360 (February 2013)
  • “FERC, May I? When is FERC Authorization Needed for Transfers of Public Utility Assets and Equity Interests in Public Utilities?” Energy Law Journal (April 2013)


  • “Administrative Appeals of Minerals Management Service Orders Involving Royalties on Federal and Indian Lands.” Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (February 1998)


  • Webinar sponsored by Energy Bar Association, Professional Development, Education and Ethics Committee, Federal Power Act Section 203 (November 2013)


  • American Bar Association (2000-2016)
  • Energy Bar Association (2000-present)
  • Represents financial institutions in connection with investments in large wind-powered and solar energy projects throughout the United States. Clients have included Berkshire Hathaway Energy, BNY Mellon, Citicorp, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, MetLife, Morgan Stanley, and Union Bank/MUFG.
  • Represents energy project developers, sponsors, and owners, and provides assistance in obtaining regulatory authorizations, complying with regulations, participating in utility procurement processes, and arranging for interconnection to the electric grid and for sales and transmission of electric energy and related products. Clients have included  Building Energy, Bloom Energy, Coso Geothermal Power Holdings, D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments, Entegra, Hecate Energy, and OCI Solar.
  • Represents developers and investors in wind-powered, solar energy and other electric generating projects located throughout the United States, including providing advice on power purchase (or energy hedge) agreements, electric interconnection and transmission issues, and energy regulatory matters.
  • Represented Coso Geothermal Power Holdings, LLC and Middle River Power in the early-stage development and sale of a 60 MW battery storage project under construction in California.
  • Represented equity investors and sponsors of renewable energy projects in obtaining a declaratory order from FERC holding that certain investments do not require FERC approval under the Federal Power Act.