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Elizabeth Thomas

Fax +1.206.370.6190

Ms. Thomas is a partner in the firm's Seattle office and member of K&L Gates' Energy, Infrastructure and Resources practice.

Ms. Thomas has a national practice, concentrating in a range of matters related to energy and water regulation, transactions and project development. This includes:

  • Regulatory matters in mergers, asset acquisitions and other transactions
  • Licensing, re-licensing, and compliance for hydropower facilities
  • Siting, permitting and development of renewable and traditional energy facilities
  • Conducting litigation involving energy facilities, water rights and rates
  • Advising clients on public policy issues

Professional Background

  • Law Clerk, Hon. A. David Mazzone, United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, 1979-80


  • Best Lawyers’ 2012 Seattle Energy Law Lawyer of the Year.
  • Named a Best Lawyer in America by Best Lawyers, Energy Law, 2009-2018

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Past Member, Legal Foundation of Washington Board of Trustees (appointed by Washington State Supreme Court), 2011-2014; President, 2014 
  • Past member Climate Solutions Board of Directors, 2005-2010
  • Chair, Energy Facility Siting Process Review Committee, 1993-1994

Speaking Engagements

  • “New horizons in corporate energy sourcing: Life—and pain points—on the cutting edge,” presented at Women in Power Conference (May 2017)
  • “New Regional Energy Needs: The Promise of Pumped Hydropower Storage,” presented at Hydropower in the Northwest Conference (October 2014)
  • “The Business of Renewable Energy - Integrating Intermittent Resources,” presented at Washington Future Energy Conference (November 2012)
  • “Looking Past Coal,” presented at Northwest & Intermountain Power Producers Coalition annual conference (September 2012)
  • “News from the Intersection of GMA and Water Rights: Kittitas County v. EWGMHB,” presented at 20th Annual Conference on Growth Management and Land Use (LSI, November 2011) 
  • “Bridging the Gap between Early and Late-Stage Financing,” presented at Midwest Cleantech 2010 Conference, September 14, 2010
  • “Implications of Greenhouse Gas Regulation by EPA, Congress and States for Public Power in the Pacific Northwest,” presented at Washington Society of Municipal and PUD Attorneys, December 2, 2009.

Transactions and Siting

  • Hydro One: proposed $5.3 billion acquisition of investor-owned electric and gas utility, including proceedings to obtain approval from five state commissions
  • Consortium of investors: acquisition of investor-owned electric and gas utility
  • Microsoft: obtain regulatory approval and negotiate related documents to purchase carbon-free power for headquarters from third party supplier
  • TransAlta: Policy, transactional, environmental and regulatory matters relating to the 1,340 MW coal-fired Centralia Generation Facility and various wind and solar projects
  • GDF Suez: EFSEC siting, development and sale of 520 megawatt gas-fired facility
  • Energy Northwest: siting of a proposed 680 megawatt integrated gasification combined cycle generation facility
  • Represented purchaser of privately held company owning all or portions of 13 cogeneration projects located in six states
  • Represented independent power producer in sale to investor-owned utility of nearly one-half interest as tenant in common in 250 MW gas-fired facility


  • Major utility with multiple hydropower projects: FERC relicensing, compliance, strategy, and license transfer
  • City of Seattle: FERC relicensing, license implementation and compliance for the Boundary Project
  • Alcoa Power Generating, Inc.: litigation over ownership of the bed of the Yadkin Project; advice relating to relicensing and 401 water quality certification
  • PPL Montana: litigation over ownership of the beds of the Missouri-Madison and Clark Fork Projects
  • PPL Montana: FERC relicensing for the Mystic hydroelectric project.
  • PPL Corporation: FERC relicensing, license implementation and compliance for the Wallenpaupack hydroelectric project
  • Capital Power: FERC headwater benefits for the Curtis Palmer Project; project acquisition, compliance and disposition
  • Boralex: FERC headwater benefits for South Glens Falls and Hudson Falls projects
  • Private licensees and developers (multiple): due diligence and structuring advice on potential acquisition of existing and proposed projects throughout the U.S.