Michael Driver has been with Patton Boggs for over 20 years. During that time, he has served as counsel to sovereign governments and private companies on a variety of energy-related, government procurements and contract matters and has provided public policy and strategic counsel to his clients; he also served on the firm’s Executive committee for five years. Prior to joining Patton Boggs, Mr. Driver was in private practice and also served as general counsel and an officer of two independent energy companies based in Colorado and Los Angeles. His many years of experience in government contracting have afforded a deep understanding of how governments work and enable Mr. Driver to advise both governments and private companies on issues related to the intersection between government and business.
Mr. Driver recognizes that having a deep understanding of his clients’ businesses and objectives is critical to solving their problems. He knows well the importance of listening to understand every aspect of a client’s problem to ensure the most effective resolution. He then puts together a team, tailored to the client’s specific needs, which then attack the matter with the combined resources and expertise of the entire firm.
He has also had considerable success helping clients who encounter problems while dealing with government entities as well as problems encountered by sovereigns in dealing with private entities. Mr. Driver is often called upon to set up a mediated process that can considerably expedite projects that span numerous jurisdictions—such as the permitting of a pipeline, the siting of a large energy facility, the placement of a transmission line, or the acquisition of land for a large highway or energy project. He attributes his success in this area to his ability to listen to the concerns of all parties and to get everyone focused on the process and agreed-upon milestones and timetables.
Energy and Natural Resources
Mr. Driver has spent a considerable part of his career in the energy, natural resources, and environmental arenas. He has experience assisting clients in all aspects of work with the U.S. Department of Energy, from synthetic fuels, cleaning up nuclear sites, to siting transmission lines and other energy facilities on public lands. A large part of the value he provides to clients in the energy area is to spot any political sensitivities and to help the disparate parties communicate with each other, and negotiate difficult agreements between his clients and adverse parties. He also has a solid understanding of the grants and loan guarantee process within DOE, and can help companies navigate the funding process and has represented clients at a number of nuclear sites, including Rocky Flats, the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, the DOE Oak Ridge facility, and the Savannah River Project.
Mr. Driver has represented large engineering firms and consulting firms in their contractual relationships with governments and large nuclear utilities.
- Advised Sovereign and their energy companies concerning their relations with the White House, U.S. Administrative Agencies, the U.S. Congress and NGO’s.
- Advised Nuclear Company owned by Foreign Sovereign on U.S. Department of Energy procurements and regulations.
- Advised utilities and multinational EPC contractors on storage, transportation, risk management and cleanup of nuclear waste.
- Currently representing wind, solar, renewable and nuclear energy companies on government programs to finance the construction of clean energy production facilities.
- Advised sovereign exporters as well as U.S. energy companies on issues related to the permits and approvals for North American LNG facilities.
- Advised U.S. and multinational energy companies on land issues (Department of Interior and U.S. Forest Service) related to obtaining expedited permits and approvals necessary to commence timely North American mining operations and site oil & gas pipelines and drilling operations on public lands.
- Negotiated Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAS) with the Department of Energy on behalf of clients.
- Advised multinational energy companies regarding oil & gas concessions and production sharing agreements in various international jurisdictions.
- Represented multinational energy company in negotiations with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
- Advised Sovereigns on structure, compliance and implementation of Offset Programs designed to stimulate, diversify and develop local in-country economies.
- Worked with Los Alamos, Sandia and Oak Ridge National Labs on various nuclear technology initiatives.
- Initiated and worked with the White House, the President’s Cabinet, and industry on the Technology for a Sustainable Future Initiative.