Biography

Bill's 30+ year career has been devoted to representing public utilities before state and federal regulatory agencies.

Bill has represented electric, gas, water, and telecommunications companies in more than 50 major cases before the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), including rate cases, prudence investigations, management audits, merger approvals, requests for Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity, and rulemaking proceedings. Bill counsels utilities on proactive strategies to both anticipate regulatory developments and efficiently manage the regulatory process.

Bill has been extensively involved in traditional rate-setting issues including CWIP in rate base, attrition, accounting orders, and cost of capital. Bill has negotiated long-term alternative rate plans that include automatic inflation adjustments, service quality penalties, and recovery of mandated or exogenous costs. He has also negotiated numerous long-term special rate agreements between utilities and specific industrial consumers.

Bill was actively involved in the restructuring of the Maine electric utility industry, including the representation of utilities in the sale of their generating assets, recovery of stranded costs, and providing standard offer (default) service. Bill has represented developers of new transmission lines in securing Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity and wind developers in negotiating Interconnection Agreements and securing adequate transmission capacity for delivery of the output. Bill has served as Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Maine School of Law, teaching utility regulation and administrative law.

Services/Industries

Education

  • Fordham University  (J.D., cum laude)
    • Member, Fordham Law Review (1976-1978)
  • Harvard University  (B.A.)

Public Service

  • Board of Trustees, The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine (2002-2012)
  • Board of Trustees, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (2004-2015), Board Chair (2011-2015)
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Maine School of Law (2000-2001, 2006-2007)
  • Chair, American Bar Association's Special Committee on Gun Violence (2002-2004)
  • President, Maine Citizens Against Handgun Violence (1999-2003)
  • Presentations at more than 25 utility conferences sponsored by NARUC, ABA, NECPUC, MSBA, NAWC, MWUA, and MRWA
  • Board of Trustees, Yarmouth Historical Society (2012-2018)
  • Board of Directors, Maine Justice Foundation (2016-present); President (2019-present)
  • Board of Trustees, Waynflete School (2011-2017)

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • Maine

Memberships

  • Maine State Bar Association: Chair, Administrative Law Section (1990-1994)
  • Fellow, Maine Justice Foundation
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Maine Bar Foundation, Director (1986-1992), President (1991)
  • Elected a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation (1999)

Honors

  • Recipient of 2017 Edmund Muskie Access to Justice Award
  • Recipient of 1999 ABA Pro Bono Publico Award
  • Recipient of 1994 Maine Bar Foundation Dana Award for Outstanding Service in the Advancement of Legal Services for the Indigent
  • AV® rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Recognized in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business under Energy & Natural Resources
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers® as the 2014 Energy Law "Lawyer of the Year" in Portland, Maine
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© for Administrative/Regulatory Law, Energy Law, Energy Regulatory Law in Portland, Maine
  • Selected by peers for inclusion in New England Super Lawyers© under Utilities, Administrative Law, and Energy & Natural Resources

To learn more about third-party ratings and rankings, and the selection processes used for inclusion, click here.

Court and Other Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maine
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

Firm Highlights

Publication/Podcast

7th Annual Maine Natural Gas Conference

On Thursday, October 3, 2019, Verrill and Pierce Atwood hosted our 7th Annual Maine Natural Gas Conference. Verrill attorney William Harwood and Pierce Atwood attorney John Gulliver led the day as our industry professionals...

Blog

Maine Adopts Amended Net Energy Billing Rules, New Commercial NEB Tariff Rate

Recent legislation amending the net energy billing (NEB) rules to include a tariff rate program specifically for commercial customers and directing the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to procure distributed generation, has prompted a...

Blog

First Circuit Acts on Appeal by South Portland Pipeline Company

On January 10, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit acted on the Portland Pipe Line Corporation’s (PPLC) appeal of the district court order upholding a South Portland zoning ordinance that...

Blog

The 7th Annual Maine Natural Gas Conference

Flame Graphic
Blog

Jim Cohen Addresses Maine Chamber Symposium About Risks of Public Power

Matter

Utilities and Arbitration Law: Affirmance of Arbitration Award to Paper Mill regarding Natural Gas Pipeline Capacity

Verrill successfully represented a large paper mill in an arbitration proceeding involving a dispute over the operation of our client’s private natural gas pipeline. Verrill received a favorable decision from the arbitrator, including recovery...

Blog

Beneficial Electrification and Natural Gas Bans in New Buildings, Affordable Sustainability

Electric Cars
Blog

Recent Maine Legislation Bolsters Solar, Distributed Generation

Solar Panels
Blog

Maine Energy Storage Commission Issues Report to Legislature

The Commission to Study the Economic, Environmental and Energy Benefits of Energy Storage to the Maine Electricity Industry has issued its report to the Legislature. The Commission unanimously agreed on the benefits of energy...

News

Emera Maine Deal Offers Possible Rate Relief

Emera Maine, an electric utility, and Enmax are proposing millions in rate relief for its customers, that is if the deal is approved. Lawmakers, on the other hand, are proposing that regulators take time...