Emma Hand

Partner, Dentons

Emma Hand is a founding partner and leader of Dentons’ award-winning Energy Practice, and a Past-President of the Energy Bar Association. She plays an essential role on the US federal and state regulatory team, advising public power entities, municipalities, large energy customers and load-serving entities, including signature clients such as the City of New Orleans, CPS Energy in San Antonio, Municipal Electric Utility Association of New York (MEUA), and the Alliance to Save Energy in both regulatory and litigation settings. Emma has extensive experience litigating before administrative agencies and tribunals at the federal and state government levels; representing clients in appeals from agency decisions and rulemakings; and counseling clients on energy efficiency and all sources of electric generation, including renewables and distributed generation.

Highly regarded by her peers, Emma served as President of the Energy Bar Association for 2016-17, and has served on the boards of directors of the Charitable Foundation of the Energy Bar Association and the Foundation of the Energy Law Journal, and on the Energy Law Advisory Board of The George Washington University Law School.

Emma advises a broad array of industry clients on all aspects of state and federal utility regulation and litigation. Emma has extensive experience with energy efficiency, demand-side management programs, and smart cities initiatives. She frequently is called upon to lead broad-based community outreach programs and is a highly skilled negotiator. Some of her specific projects have included advising the New Orleans City Council in all aspects of their role as utility regulator. She works closely with the Council, the regulated utility, and stakeholders on integrated resource planning matters, ratemaking and cost allocation issues, reliability issues, designed and implementation of energy efficiency programs, FERC and state court litigation, environmental issues, and so forth.

She also has experience advising clients on a host of issues related to state and federal regulatory structures, and energy-related incentives that may be available to businesses. She works closely with municipal entities and industrial clients on matters that relate to FERC jurisdiction and the organized power markets. She also closely tracks innovations in the energy sector that may foreshadow regulatory challenges or opportunities for clients.


  • Advises the New Orleans City Council in all aspects of utility regulation, including the design and implementation of retail energy efficiency and conservation programs, and represents the Council before the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
  • Advised a large industrial customer in negotiating unique power arrangements with a utility, drafted the arrangements, gained approval from the state commission and defended the commission’s decision on appeal to the state Supreme Court.
  • Represented several municipal utilities and associations of municipal utilities before the FERC on numerous issues, including regional transmission organization (RTO) and market design, cost allocation and state/federal jurisdiction.
  • Advises clients interested in doing business in the US energy sector regarding the comparative advantages and disadvantages of various state regulatory structures, and the federal and state incentives related to energy that may be available to their businesses.
  • Represented a large industrial electricity customer before the FERC in a multi-region rate case involving transition charges related to the region-wide elimination of through-and-out rates.
  • Appealed a FERC ruling on behalf of load-serving entities regarding a Section 206 complaint to the Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals.


  • Selected as Emerging Leader by the Economic Club of Washington DC
  • Recognized in Best Lawyers in America®️ for Energy Regulatory Law, (2020–present)
  • Listed as a Recognized Lawyer by The Legal 500 in multiple categories including, Energy Renewal/Alternative Power, Energy: Litigation: Conventional Power and Energy: Regulatory: Conventional Power

Honors and Awards

  • Awarded, Energy Bar Association’s inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award (2019)
  • Awarded “Top Innovators 2018” by Public Utilities Fortnightly
  • Named, Best Lawyers in America, Energy Law, since 2020
  • Named, Best Lawyers in America, Energy Regulatory Law, since 2020