Charles Ferguson | Full Resume


Successful, results-oriented commercial and antitrust litigation attorney specializing in representation of companies in regulated industries. Seasoned advisor to senior executives on litigation risks. Sought out by clients in a variety of industries, including energy, insurance, media and transportation to handle complex litigation matters in court and regulatory proceedings at state and federal levels. Counsel for several multinational corporations in litigation matters involving cross-border transactions. Arbitrator and mediator of
complex business disputes with deep expertise in energy matters.


University of California, Boalt Hall, J.D.

Amherst College, B.A., magna cum laude.


Energy Dispute Solutions, LLC
(founder/EVP), 2012 – present.

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP/Manatt Jones Global Strategies, LLC (attorney/consultant), 9/2007 – 9/2012.

Dorsey & Whitney, LLP (counsel) (SF office closed), 4/2004 – 8/2007.

Holland & Knight, LLP (counsel), 4/2003 – 3/2004.

LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, LLP (partner), 01/1994 – 4/2003.

Charles Ferguson & Co., Inc. (sole equity owner of six lawyer firm), 4/1983 – 01/1994.

McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen (now Bingham McCutchen) (associate), 4/1976 – 4/1983.

United States District Court for the Northern District of California, (judicial clerkship), 01/1974 – 3/1976.


American Arbitration Association: Mediation, Negotiation and Dispute Resolution Training, Core Skills and Practices (32 hrs.) (2011)

FINRA: Basic Arbitrator Training (12 hrs.) (2013)

U.S. Dist. Ct., CD Calif.: Mediation Training (7.5 hrs.) (2013)

U.S. Dist. Ct., CD Calif.: ENE Training (6.5 hrs.) (2015)

U.S. Dist. Ct., CD Calif.: Mediation Training (26 hrs.) (2015)


ADR Panels of the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Central and Eastern Districts of California

FINRA Arbitration Panel


Admitted to practice in California and before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Central and Eastern Districts of California.

American Bar Association, Dispute Resolution Section; Public Utility, Communications & Transportation Section

Association for Conflict Resolution (”ACR”).

Energy Bar Association.


“A Mediator’s Reflection on Bock v. Hansen,” ABA Spring 2015 issue of Dispute Resolution Magazine, vol. 21, no. 3 at pp. 34 – 38.



Mediation of a controversial state court action in which plaintiff property owners sued an employee of their property insurer for misstating certain terms in their policy and causing emotional distress to the policyholders by other statements he made to them. See Bock v. Hansen, 225 Cal. App. 4th 215 (2014).

Mediation of an E&O coverage action in federal court involving allegedly defective advice given by an investment advisory firm.

Mediation of a third party claim involving a business defamation action by a software company against one of its competitors.

Mediation of federal declaratory relief action involving Total Pollution Exclusion provision of an insurance policy.

Reported Litigation

Joint Application of SFFP, L.P., CalNev Pipe Line L.L.C., Kinder Morgan, Inc. and Knight Holdco LLC for Review and Approval under Public Utilities Code Section 854 of the Transfer of Control of SFPP, L.P. and CalNev Pipe Line, L.L.C.; Joint Application of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., American International Group, Inc., Carlyle Partners IV, L.P., et al., for Exemption Under Section 852 of the Public Utilities Code for Certain Future Transactions, etc., California Public Utilities Commission Decision No. 07-05-061, 2007 Cal. PUC LEXIS 227 (2007). Successful representation of a pipeline shipper, a major U.S. oil company, before the CPUC to obtain $100 million LBO contract concession favorable to shipper as a precondition to the $23 billion Goldman Sachs buyout of the Kinder Morgan pipeline system; mediation was non- productive.

In re: American Family Publisher’s Business Practices Litigation, MDL No. 1235, 256 B.R. 377; 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17325 (Dist. N.J. 2000). Defended the promoters of the largest and longest-running magazine subscription sweepstakes contests. Achieved successful settlement of the more than 70 simultaneous statewide and nationwide actions claiming fraud in the sales of magazine subscriptions and seeking billions of dollars in restitution. All claimants were channeled into a mandatory “no optout” settlement fund.

San Diego Gas & Electric Company v. Canadian Hunter Marketing, et al., 132 F.3d 1303 (9th Cir. 1997). Successful representation of Canadian natural gas suppliers in cross-border dispute over long-term gas supply contracts to California utility; court-supervised settlement discussions were nonproductive.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. v. Howard P. Foley Co., et al., 1996-1 Trade Cases (CCH) 71,340 (9th Cir. 1996), cert. denied, 1997 U.S. Lexis 80 (1997). Successful representation of nuclear power plant owner against contractors in price-fixing/RICO scheme action; settlements with some contractors through mediation; settlement with primary defendant after hung jury and reversal of trial court’s directed verdict by Ninth Circuit and denial of certiorari by U.S. Supreme Court.

Pacific Gas & Electric Company v. Bear Stearns & Company, 210 Cal. App. 3d 969; 242 Cal. Rptr. 692; 1987 Cal. App. Lexis 2446 (1987), rev’d 50 Cal. 3d 1118; 791 P. 2d 587; 270 Cal. Rptr. 1; 1990 Cal. Lexis 2119 (1990). Successful representation of utility purchaser in dispute over whether a long-term contract for the purchase of hydroelectric power could be terminated by the seller.

Richards v. Nielsen Freight Lines, 602 F. Supp. 1224; 118 L.R.R.M. 2864; 1985-1 Trade Cases (CCH) 66,522; 1985 U.S. Dist. Lexis 22524 (E.D. Calif. 1985). Successfully represented unionized national trucking firm in antitrust action brought by a non-unionized local trucking company alleging conspiracy between the teamsters union and unionized trucking firms.

Anderson v. International Harvester Co., General Motors, et al., 165 Cal. App. 3d 100; 211 Cal. Rptr. 253; 1985 Cal. App. Lexis 1699 (1985). Represented GM on appeal from an adverse jury verdict.

Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Docket Nos. E-7777 and E-7796, 26 F.E.R.C. 63,048; 1984 FERC Lexis 3355 (1984). Successful representation of electric utility in massive regulatory proceeding instituted by the federal government and several municipally-owned electric systems, to change the structure of the electric power industry in California at the time. These dockets also included extensive examination of complaints regarding the development and use by the California investorowned utilities of the extra-high- voltage transmission system known as the Pacific Northwest-Southwest Intertie.

Burlington Northern Railroad Co. v. Superior Court, 137 Cal. App. 3d 942; 187 Cal. Rptr. 376; 1982 Cal. App. Lexis 2187 (1982). Represented General Motors on an appellate issue similar to that in Anderson, supra.

Worth v. Asiatic Transpacific, Inc., et al., 93 Cal. App. 3d 849; 156 Cal. Rptr. 110; 1979 Cal. App. Lexis 1816 (1979). Successfully defended company sued for specific performance of indemnity contract.

City of Santa Clara v. Andrus, 572 F.2d 660 (9th Cir. 1978), aff’ng in part and revs’ing in part 418 F. Supp. 1243; 9 ERC (BNA) 1689; 1976 U.S. Dist. Lexis 13959 (N.D. Cal. 1976). Successful representation of electric utility/wholesale seller of electric power against the purchaser, the City of Santa Clara, CA in dispute over pricing formula in long-term wholesale electricity supply contract

Unreported Cases

Ferradas v. Santa Fe Overseas, Inc., C-76-3641; Dias v. Santa Fe Overseas, Inc., C-76-2643; Hermida v. Santa Fe Overseas, Inc., C-76-2644; and Boubeta v. Santa Fe Overseas, Inc., C-76-2646, U.S. Dist. Ct., N. Dist. Cal., filed 1976. Representation of AIG and its insured, the defendant developer of an oil rig in the North Sea, in six week jury trial involving wrongful death and severe personal injuries suffered by plaintiffs during a particularly severe storm.

Represented an interstate bus transportation company in investigative proceedings instituted by the USDOT, Nevada Trans. Auth. and the California PUC regarding a serious bus crash involving multiple deaths and dozens of injured passengers.

Obtained the lowest settlement achieved to that date by a nationwide insurance company sued by the California Attorney General for alleged violations of the state unfair business practices statutes.

Successfully defended PG&E in prolonged federal antitrust/fraud litigation that was of material scope for SEC reporting purposes.

Represented a research physician/inventor/founder of a publicly traded biotech company in lengthy trade secret theft litigation instituted by the company he founded after he left to start a competing company.

Significant Pre-Litigation Preparation and Negotiations

Prepared detailed analysis for the CEO of a large midwestern municipal power agency of the chance of success in litigation with its primary member-city over the proper wholesale electric rate design, in 2005 — 2006.

Directed an internal investigation of one of former CA Governor Davis’ so-called “dirty dozen” energy companies allegedly responsible for the collapse of the newly deregulated California energy markets, in 2001 — 2003.

Designed a unique strategy, not dependent on use of a §524(g) trust, to limit asbestos liability solely to the assets of a U.S. subsidiary of a European automotive equipment manufacturer, in 2001 – 2002.

Represented PG&E in responding to a massive Civil Investigative Demand from the USDOJ, followed by negotiation with the USDOJ and NRC of the commercial conditions for PG&E’s Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant license to ameliorate alleged anticompetitive market conditions.

Represented a leading trust company in the U.S. managing large energy assets in the renegotiation of a significant, long term geothermal energy lease in the Geysers Area of California.

Regulatory Projects

Prepared a detailed, step-by-step regulatory map for a large, east coast gas utility to obtain the necessary permits for construction of an LNG terminal and associated take-away pipelines..

Developed a business plan and strategy for regulatory approval for a major California electric utility to lease the use of its electric transmission and distribution system to an internet service provider for the transmission of broadband signals to the internet service provider’s residential and business customers.

Consulting Projects

Advised a closely held Silicon Valley PV solar firm on selection of its global strategic partners for distribution of its proprietary, building-integrated, next stage, PV nanotechnology product.

Proposed a marketing strategy for U.S. lithium-ion automotive battery company to gain market share in the Chinese electric vehicle markets.

Developed a marketing strategy and marketing materials for China’s oldest PV solar panel manufacturer to enter the U.S. markets.

Advised a leading US PV solar installer in a dispute with one of its big-box store clients over standard “host” contracts for facilities located in the Hawaiian Islands.

Advised a multi-national, European, concentrated solar power company on structuring its entry into the U.S markets for utility-scale solar energy.


Energy Dispute Solutions, LLC
3398 Washington Street
San Francisco, CA 94118

Main: 415-500-1477

Cell/Direct: 415-516-2803


Charles Ferguson