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Virginia’s Go To Lawyers – Business Law: Joanne Katsantonis

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//December 29, 2020

Virginia’s Go To Lawyers – Business Law: Joanne Katsantonis

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//December 29, 2020

2018 McGuireWoodsJoanne Katsantonis
Deputy Managing Partner for Development

Education / Certifications:

BS, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
JD, University of Richmond School of Law

What is the field or practice area for which you are best known?

Mergers and acquisitions.

Please describe a signature case, deal or transaction.

I led the McGuireWoods team representing our longtime client, Dominion Energy, in the sale of substantially all of Dominion’s natural gas transmission and storage business to an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway. This was the largest deal announced this year to buy U.S. energy assets and the biggest acquisition made by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway in more than four years. It was a complex deal that had to be completed quickly, and it all had to come together in the middle of a pandemic.

Please briefly mention up to three additional important cases, deals or transactions.

Led McGuireWoods’ team representing Dominion Energy in its merger with SCANA, one of the largest U.S. energy M&A deals of the past two years. McGuireWoods provided Dominion with a one-of-a-kind suite of transactional, regulatory, litigation, government relations and grassroots advocacy efforts to help secure approval from shareholders, three federal agencies and regulators in three states.

Served as strategic lead on a team advising Columbia Gas of Massachusetts and parent company NiSource in designing and implementing the successful resolution of complex, multimillion-dollar civil litigation after a series of natural gas explosions on Sept. 13, 2018, in Massachusetts.

Was the primary adviser to Dominion Energy in its recapitalization of the company’s Cove Point liquefied natural gas facility by an affiliate of Brookfield Asset Management.

Describe your approach to working with clients.

It’s important to be a great business partner. Knowing the law or looking at a document strictly from the legal point of view is easy and the minimum necessary, but many times does not offer solutions. Knowing what the client is trying to accomplish from a business standpoint and knowing where that line is to get the business deal done is essential.

What is the best career advice you’ve received?

Develop great and meaningful relationships with your peers and clients—even at a young stage—and grow with them. You can also learn a lot that way. And love what you do!

What developments in business law do you expect to see in 2021?

I expect to see more consolidation in the space. New administration may change a lot—and the focus on renewables will continue. Also restructuring will continue to be very busy.

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