David M. DeSalle is a Partner in our Washington, DC office.  He serves clients by finding efficient and creative ways to achieve their business goals.  He has more than two decades of practice experience, primarily in the electric, natural gas, telecommunications, alternative energy, transportation, and water industry sectors.  He has successfully conducted administrative adjudications, civil cases and appeals in a variety of venues, has defended clients in governmental audits and investigations and routinely represents clients before state and federal courts and regulatory agencies.  Mr. DeSalle also has experience advocating for client interests before the legislative and executive branches of government at the local, state and federal levels.  Mr. DeSalle advises clients on a variety of transactional and regulatory issues including risk, compliance, privacy and cybersecurity matters, and focuses on the successful implementation of their business strategies.

In the energy sector, Mr. DeSalle’s clients include alternative energy developers and independent power producers, electric utilities, natural gas suppliers, pipelines, shippers, landowners, market participants and end-users, regulatory authorities, and manufacturers subject to energy efficiency standards.   He has extensive experience with regional transmission organizations providing open-access transmission service and operating real-time energy markets.  Mr. DeSalle has experience with transmission planning and generation interconnection issues, especially with regard to the development of renewable energy resources in less robust areas of the electric grid.  This experience includes negotiation and implementation of service agreements and engineering, procurement, and construction contracts.  He also represents a number of business interests in matters involving unconventional shale gas development.

Mr. DeSalle’s energy practice has encompassed nearly all aspects of state and federal regulation and restructuring of the electric utility industry, including: retail unbundling; state renewable energy mandates; open access transmission requirements promulgated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), including planning and cost-allocation requirements; distribution and transmission ratemaking, including rules on incentive rates; market design; market-based rates and codes of conduct; rules prohibiting market manipulation; investigations of alleged market manipulation; approvals of transactions pursuant to Federal Power Act (FPA) Section 203 including mergers and transfers of utility property, and regulation of reliability matters by FERC, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), and Regional Entities pursuant to FPA Section 215.  Mr. DeSalle also has experience with state and federal regulation and restructuring of the natural gas industry and has represented clients on issues arising under state and federal law, including the Natural Gas Act and Natural Gas Policy Act.  He also has represented companies with regard to the manufacture and transportation of liquified natural gas and biogas.  Mr. DeSalle has assisted clients with the National Environmental Policy Act permitting process for infrastructure projects.  Mr. DeSalle has also assisted clients regarding their compliance with the regulatory scheme for protection of critical infrastructure assets and evolving cybersecurity practices in the electric industry and related industries.  His compliance-related practice has also involved counseling clients with respect to the laws and regulations administered by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Mr. DeSalle has also represented clients before the US Department of Energy in a range of activities including liquefied natural gas export authorizations, clean energy technologies, and compliance with energy efficiency standards.

Though his involvement in two regional business networks, Mr. DeSalle also serves local small businesses and provides outside general counsel and advisory services to emerging technology companies in the Washington-DC region.

Prior to entering private practice, Mr. DeSalle was counsel and government affairs coordinator for the Pennsylvania Chemical Industry Council, a statewide manufacturing trade association, where he was involved in the regulatory and legislative proceedings that led to electric and natural gas deregulation and retail competition in the Commonwealth, followed by consolidation among electric utilities and gas utilities.  He also was responsible for advancing members’ environmental compliance with federal and state rules and coordinating interaction with key local, state, and federal agencies and stakeholders.

Mr. DeSalle performs pro bono service as a business advisor and mentor providing executive education and training to inner city small business owners with the goal of promoting economic prosperity in underserved communities.  He also assists several non-profit Catholic educational institutions and other non-profit entities.

Representative Experience

  • Represented utility through divestiture of $1.68 Billion of generation assets including nuclear generating stations and successful merger into leading national utility
  • Advised nation’s largest regional transmission organization through regulatory proceedings transitioning to day-ahead and real time energy and ancillary services markets, regional transmission planning, and generation interconnection queue reform
  • Litigate and settle complaint cases and negotiate generator interconnection agreements, many involving renewable energy projects
  • Draft, negotiate, and interpret commercial agreements
  • Defend clients from public and non-public investigations and enforcement actions
  • Perform legal due diligence on acquisitions and divestitures
  • Manage and supervise legal and non-legal personnel on service teams within clients’ annual legal services budgets (including multi-million dollar alternative fee arrangements)

Publications and Speeches

  • Upcoming: “Will FERC (Finally?) Resolve Electric Transmission ROEs?” Energy Bar Association Annual Meeting 2019 (May 6, 2019)
  • “A Manager’s Really Bad Day: Crisis Scenarios” American Public Power Association Legal & Regulatory Conference (Oct.10, 2017)
  • “Changes to the MISO Interconnection Queue in 2016” Venable Webinar (April 6, 2016)
  • “The Policy and Legal Landscape for the Energy and Utility Industry” Oracle Industry Connect Conference (Mar. 26, 2015)
  • “ISOs and RTOs: What Are Your Risk Management and Credit Protocols?” American Conference lnstitute’s 10th Annual Energy Trading Compliance & Regulatory Enforcement Conference (Nov. 21, 2014)
  • “Drafting, Documenting and Auditing a Risk Policy for Sufficiency and Compliance; Establishing, Fine­Tuning, and Auditing Your Compliance Functions Including Best Practices for Compliance Manuals and Antitrust Policies; and Responding to Calls or Letters from FERC Enforcement or a Market Monitor” American Conference lnstitute’s 10th Annual Energy Trading Compliance & Regulatory Enforcement Conference (Nov. 20, 2014)
  • “ISOs and RTOs: Knowing Your Tariff and ISO/RTO Rules, Clarifying Blurred Jurisdictional Boundaries with Regard to FERC and CFTC, Best Practices on Communicating and Responding to Data Requests from ISO and RTO Market Monitors and More” American Conference lnstitute’s 9th National Forum on Energy Trading Compliance & Regulatory Enforcement (June 5, 2014 replacing speaker Brian Zimmet)
  • “Cybersecurity Regulation” MBA program industry guest lecture, Temple University Fox School of Business (Mar. 31, 2014)
  • “Hydraulic Fracturing: Litigation, Enforcement and Regulatory Developments” Strafford CLE webinar (June 12, 2012)

Civic Involvement

  • Board member and President, Hull Island at Oakland Homeowners Association, Inc. (2023-present)
  • Board member, Maryland Soccer Foundation, Inc. (2021-present)
  • Volunteer advisor, Catholic Business Network of Washington, DC (Inner City Capital Connections; Catholic University of America Busch School of Business) (2017-present)
  • Secretary and Member, St. Raphael Parish Advisory Council (2014-2022)
  • Board member, St. Raphael School Board (2013-2018)
  • Administrative Law Judge Interview panelist, United States Office of Personnel Management (2005-2011)
  • Cub scout leader; Local youth sports volunteer coach (2010-2015)

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Energy Bar Association


University of Pittsburgh, J.D.

University of Notre Dame, B.A.

Previous Experience

  • Venable LLP, Partner
  • Duane Morris LLP, Partner


  • District of Columbia
  • Pennsylvania

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