Cozen O’Connor hires 2 energy lawyers from Windels Marx; continues U.S. expansion with Newark office

Cozen O’Connor announced Monday it has hired two Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf energy and utility attorneys to join its Utility, Environment & Energy group.

Gregory Eisenstark and Michael J. Connolly have joined the firm as member and of counsel, respectively. They are also charged with leading the firm’s newest office in Newark.

Prior to Cozen O’Connor, the pair were part of the Energy and Utilities practice at Windels Marx. They will bring with them Jersey Central Power & Light and New Jersey Resources, among other clients.

The firm’s existing New Jersey-based utility clients include New Jersey-American Water, South Jersey Gas, Elizabethtown Gas, Atlantic City Sewerage Company, Talen Energy, and Orsted.

“I have known Greg and Mike for many years, in their various capacities. They are considered by the public utility and energy community to be great lawyers of true integrity. I am thrilled that they are joining Cozen O’Connor,” Ira Megdal, head of Cozen O’Connor’s New Jersey public utility and energy practice, said.

Eisenstark previously served as associate general regulatory counsel for New Jersey’s Public Service Enterprise Group as well as managing attorney, electric, for New Jersey Division of Ratepayer Advocate, and deputy attorney general for New Jersey.

Connolly previously served as vice president for law at GPU Service Inc. and its affiliates, which include Jersey Central Power & Light, Metropolitan Edison Co. and Pennsylvania Electric Co. (before GPU merged with FirstEnergy Corp.).

“In a regulated field as complex as the utility industry, experience is the difference between success and failure,” Michael Heller, executive chairman and CEO, Cozen O’Connor, said. “Greg and Mike bring executive-level experience to clients on rate making, acquisition approvals, and rulemakings and are ideally suited to spearhead our Newark office. Our full-service capabilities, geographic footprint, rates, and collegial culture provide an ideal platform for utility practitioners such as Greg and Mike. Moreover, our growth strategy aligns nicely with the growth strategies of our utility clients; we share common goals.”

“With issues ranging from electric restructuring to offshore wind projects, the power industry continues to undergo major, fundamental changes,” Jeffrey A. Leonard, chair of the firm’s Business Law department, said. “Greg and Mike have played leading roles in guiding New Jersey electric utilities through those changes, including the rapid growth of the state’s renewable energy market. Now they’ve taken the lead on what is a very important strategic step for Cozen O’Connor, and I’m thrilled to welcome them to the firm.”