Les is senior seasoned business executive and an attorney with substantial emergency, resiliency, LEED, development, environmental, business and managerial experience. He is also the president and general counsel of E Cubed Optimizers, an environmental and business consulting firm he founded Previously he was the Partner-Chairman of the Pacific Rim Environmental and Energy practice of Norton Rose Fulbright (formerly Fulbright and Jaworski) headquartered in its Los Angeles office and an environmental and energy Shareholder in Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck in its San Diego and Los Angeles offices. In addition, as discussed below, he has served as general counsel and senior officer in Fortune 500 companies, including serving as general counsel of Southern California Gas & Pacific Enterprises where he negotiated and oversaw the merger that created Sempra Energy. In his early career, he worked as a legislative aide at the U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C. where he had responsibility to draft and advise on legislation, including major federal environmental legislation.
He was a key presenter at an international oil and gas conference where he spoke on climate change and resiliency. Recently Les completed an extensive resiliency case study of the city of Boston. The six-month study evaluated the resiliency of 16 major components including horizontal and vertical infrastructure, energy, climate change, education, health care, transportation, police, fire department, emergency response, interoperability of the city governmental departments and community and other factors. The study was published by the USGBC in July, 2018. He has also been advising the USGBC concerning its LEED for Cities pilot program, development of a resiliency and efficiency rating system for utilities and other matters. He testified twice this year in the California legislature on the subject of resiliency and resilience focused legislation. Les was also requested to draft a White Paper for the Southern Governors Conference on the rebuilding of utility services in Puerto Rico. He is the developer for the First Nations Ecological Conservancy which will be built on a recently acquired 26 acre site in Southern California and will serve as both a research and educational center on environmental and resiliency issues.
His legal practice focuses on environmental (including environmental justice matters), energy, state and federal environmental regulatory, permitting, compliance, planning, resiliency, LEED and climate change. He has provided legal services to corporate and energy clients for over 30 years and has served as both in-house general counsel and outside general counsel. His litigation experience includes civil, criminal, administrative (state and federal) and appellate matters. His development experience includes being primary counsel and chairman of the finance & planning committee for the $18 billion CityCenter Project, as well as working on the Fountain Bleu project, the expansion of the Harrah Caesar facilities, renewable energy projects, LNG projects and many other matters.
He is frequently consulted on matters related to environmental matters, resiliency, energy, utility, alternative energy, energy policy, climate change, resiliency, sustainability, carbon capture and sequestration, smart grid, green building, energy and “green” tax incentives, renewable portfolio standards, and other issues. He has also assisted governmental entities in drafting legislation, ordinances, and regulations related to environmental matters.
He has substantial experience handling general administrative and managerial matters, managing case loads and information, supervision of attorneys and staff (including hiring), assigning and supervising attorneys work including appellate and both performing and supervising complex legal work. He has exercised the highest levels of judgment and communicated effectively with all levels of personal and stakeholders.
In addition, he has testified before Congress as an expert witness on energy and SEC matters. Before entering private practice, Les served as a Legislative Aide at the U.S. Senate offices in Washington, D.C., where he assisted in the drafting of major environmental bills, including the Endangered Species Act, Clean Air Act 1970, Clean Water Act, Offshore Drilling Act, and the Federal Noise Abatement Act.
Les is a member of the Pacific Counsel on International Policy. He has also served on numerous boards, including Wishtoyo/Coast Keepers, Native American Service Agency, “Support Vets Now,” Constitutional Rights Foundation, Neighborhood Legal Services, the USC and Georgetown Law School Corporate Forum Advisory Boards, the Pepperdine Law School Board of Advisors and others. He serves on the Legal Advisory Committee of the U.S. Green Building Council. From 2010-2012, was Chair of the North American Policy Study Group of the Carbon Market Investors Association. He has served as Chair of the Legal Committee of the American Gas Association and Vice-Chair-Electric, of the American Bar Association, Utility Section. He is Chairman and President of the Hiawatha Institute for Indigenous Knowledge.
In addition, Les is a frequent speaker on a wide variety of environmental and energy issues and has authored numerous articles. Recent examples include: in April of 2017 he delivered the key presentation on climate change to the international oil and gas conference in Quito, Columbia; and in November of 2017, he delivered presentations at the GreenBuild annual conference of the USGBC, covering resiliency topics such as the assessment of social equity, environmental justice, systemic racism, interoperability, and resiliency & the quality of education, medical, utility, police and fire services, as well as measuring and improving the resiliency of infrastructure and human systems.