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

Matter

Management Audit

Verrill represented Emera in its 2016 distribution rate case before the Maine PUC. The case involved issues relating to significant new capital investments, including Emera's new customer information system and a controversial substation investment...

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 PUC Issues Distributed Solar Procurement Announcement

The Maine PUC, in partnership with its consultant Enel X, has issued a procurement announcement for the first block of distributed generation under Maine’s distributed generation law passed last summer . The procurement is...

Blog

COVID-19 Alert: Massachusetts Closes “Non-essential” Businesses; Utility Services to Continue

The response to COVID-19 by states across the U.S. has continued to evolve rapidly. In Massachusetts, due to growing concerns over the spread of coronavirus, Governor Charlie Baker issued a “ shelter in place&rdquo...

Blog

COVID-19 Alert: State of Maine and City of Portland Issue Orders to Close Non-essential Businesses; Utility Services to Continue

On Tuesday March 24, 2020, both the City of Portland and the State of Maine issued comprehensive new limitations on business establishments in order to further limit the spread of the coronavirus. Both actions...

Matter

Management Inefficiency

Verrill represented Emera in its 2017 distribution rate case before the Maine PUC, which included: defeating Staff's proposed reduction to allowed return on equity for "management inefficiency;" approval of new expenditures, such as an...

Matter

Natural Gas Rate Plan

Verrill represented Summit Natural Gas in securing Maine PUC approval of its alternative rate plan or ARP. The ten-year rate plan provided for annual rate adjustments during the course of the ARP, return-on-equity sharing...

Matter

Rate Design

We represented Emera in a rate design case before the Maine PUC to determine whether local distribution rates should be adjusted to reflect seasonal variations in the cost of providing electric distribution service.

Blog

Maine’s COVID-19 Response Impacts Utility Services and Other Business Activities

Like many states, Maine is quickly imposing a wide range of measures designed to protect the public in response to the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19. Almost daily, Maine Governor Janet Mills and other...

Blog

Recent Maine Legislation Triggers Amendment to PUC Consumer Protection Rules

Last year, the Maine Legislature enacted three bills requiring amendments to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Rules in Ch. 815: Consumer Protection Standards for Electric and Gas Transmission and Distribution (T&D) Utilities . Last...