Companies in the utility sector face a range of market and regulatory environments. The industry remains caught between a pure market-oriented approach and a more planned and structured environment. All markets demand a careful focus by companies on regulatory relations and strategies must take full account of regulatory risk. Privatisations continue to play a key part in the sector, both in developing and mature markets. Regulatory frameworks, however, vary widely and competition authorities are keeping a close eye on sector activity. Companies need to pay close attention to the structure of merger and acquisition deals. In Europe, for example, concerns about market operation have spurred fresh regulatory scrutiny, even putting the prospect of the unbundling of currently integrated entities on the regulatory radar screen. Companies will need to ensure that their ownership structures are sustainable in a changing regulatory context.
Our regulation team has detailed experience in all these areas:
Regulated companies: We advise regulated companies regarding their strategy for regulatory reviews and help them prepare regulatory submission documents. We provide support throughout the regulatory process, including meeting regulators and competition authorities on behalf of the clients we advise. We also assist industry associations in developing a strategic vision of where the energy sector should evolve so that a more proactive approach to regulatory management can occur. Our extensive knowledge of energy and utility sector regulatory systems around the world has meant that we can advise clients on markets to target for mergers and acquisitions and assist in an assessment of the potential regulatory outcome of a transaction
Regulators: we advise regulators on the principles of regulation, how regulation will impact investors in utilities and also on the design and requirements for regulatory offices. We have also assisted regulatory offices undertake reviews of tariffs and quality of service.
Governments: Using our experience of working for both public and private sector clients, we have designed tariff and regulatory regimes on behalf of Governments in Europe and across the world, including regulation structures for greenfield industries and those at an early stage of development.