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Kari L. Vander Stoep

Fax +1.206.370.6349

Kari Vander Stoep is a partner in the Seattle office of K&L Gates, where she is a member of the firm’s litigation and energy practice groups. Kari represents a range of clients in state and federal courts and administrative tribunals, including independent power producers, hydropower owners, utilities, resource industries, manufacturers, transportation and shipping companies, and government agencies.

Kari has significant trial court experience, having conducted complex civil bench trials, felony jury trials, administrative hearings, and a wide variety of motion hearings. Kari’s appellate practice focuses primarily on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, where she served as a law clerk for the Honorable M. Margaret McKeown. Kari also represents clients in the Washington and Montana state appellate courts. Kari regularly utilizes cutting-edge technologies and resources to manage complex discovery for federal and state court proceedings.

Kari’s practice involves litigating and advising clients on Washington state utility laws and regulations, the Federal Power Act, Northwest Power Act, Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Washington State Environmental Policy Act, Clean Water Act, federal and state constitutional law, Native American law, and municipal law, including Washington’s Public Records Act. Kari’s administrative experience includes extensive proceedings at the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, Bonneville Power Administration and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, as well as state regulatory bodies. Her FERC experience includes licensing, re-licensing, and compliance for hydropower facilities.

Professional Background

  • Clerkship, Hon. M. Margaret McKeown, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2004-2005
  • Legislative Assistant, U.S. Senator Slade Gorton, Washington, D.C., 1998-2000 (staffed Senator Gorton’s Energy and Natural Resources, Indian Affairs, and Appropriations committee assignments)
  • Deputy Eastern Washington Director and Staff Assistant, U.S. Senator Slade Gorton, Spokane and Bellevue, Washington, 1995-1997
Publications and Presentations

  • Panel Moderator, “Infrastructure Reforms,” K&L Gates D.C. Women in Power Event, Washington, D.C., November 16, 2017
  • Panel Moderator, “Coal and Oil Transport by Rail,” Law Seminars International’s Buying & Selling Electric Power in the West 20th Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington, January 26, 2015 
  • Presenter, “Recent Developments in Public Records and Public Meetings Cases,” Law Seminars International’s Open Government and Anti-SLAPP Litigation Third Annual Seminar, Seattle, Washington, January 21, 2015 
  • Panel Moderator, “The Politics of Clean Energy,” Northwest Environmental Business Council’s Washington Future Energy Conference, Sea-Tac, Washington, November 5, 2014
  • Panel Moderator, “Pacific Northwest Energy Planning,” Northwest Environmental Business Council’s Washington Future Energy Conference, Sea-Tac, Washington, October 30, 2013
  • Panel Moderator, “Utility and Transco Plans and Transmission Projects,” Infocast’s 5th Annual Transmission Summit West, San Diego, California, Sept. 25, 2013
  • Presenter, “Environmental Redispatch and the Fight for Comparable, Non-discriminatory and Non-preferential BPA Service,” Northwest and Intermountain Power Producers Coalition (NIPPC) Annual Meeting, September 12, 2011
  • Panel Moderator, “Shaping the Courts: Presidential Efforts to Mold the Judiciary,” Western Washington Federal Bar Association CLE, Seattle, Washington, December 10, 2008
  • Co-author and editor of the Indian Law Chapter of the King County Bar Association’s Washington Lawyer Practice Manual (2007 - 2014 editions)


  • King County Prosecutor's Office Trial Fellowship (2008) (completed six jury trials during six-week fellowship)
  • K&L Gates Jim Ellis Award (2006) (for pro bono work on behalf of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law and King County Court Appointed Special Advocates)

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Volunteer, Arthritis Foundation’s Washington Advisory Board (2012 to 2016)
  • Leadership Tomorrow, Class of 2013
  • Board Member, Washington Medical-Legal Partnership for Children (2009 - 2013)
  • Represent proposed purchaser of utility in merger proceedings before several state public utility commissions.
  • Represented Microsoft in negotiations with Puget Sound Energy and in proceedings at Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) to enable self-supply of sustainable power.
  • Represented King County in an Administrative Procedure Act appeal of a WUTC order regarding cost recovery for replacement of a transmission line. 
  • Represented Alcoa Power Generating, Inc. in litigation over ownership of the bed of the Yadkin Project in North Carolina.
  • Represented PPL Montana in Montana district and appellate court litigation over disputed ownership of riverbeds, culminating in U.S. Supreme Court decision in PPL Montana, LLC v. State of Montana, 565 U. S. ____ (2012). 
  • Represented a coalition of independent power producers in challenges to Bonneville Power Administration’s electric transmission rates.
  • Represented City of Seattle during FERC relicensing for the Boundary hydroelectric project.
  • Represented PPL Montana during FERC relicensing for the Mystic hydroelectric project.
  • Represented Klickitat PUD during permitting and development of the proposed JD Pool pumped storage hydroelectric facility.
  • Defended publishing and printing companies in Maine, Washington, D.C., and New York federal and state courts against defamation and invasion of privacy claims.
  • Represented municipal agencies and school districts in Washington Public Records Act disputes.
  • Represented the Association of Village Council Presidents (a consortium of over 50 Alaska Native Villages) in Alaska state court cases to enforce the Indian Child Welfare Act.
  • Represented Sound Transit in inverse condemnation litigation in U.S. District Court (Western District of Washington) and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. 
  • Represented Washington municipalities in lease enforcement and interpretation litigation in Washington federal and state courts.