Barclay Damon
Barclay Damon

Maureen O. Helmer

Maureen O. Helmer

Partner

p: 518.429.4220

f: 518.533.2938

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Albany Office

80 State Street
Albany, New York 12207

Maureen Helmer concentrates her practice on energy and telecommunications law as well as corporate and professional ethics and the New York State Legislature.

Maureen has had an expansive career touching on a broad range of issues related to New York energy and telecommunications law. She led the NYS Public Service Commission (PSC) during a time of sweeping change in the telecommunications and energy industries. A key goal during her tenure was the development of rational market rules that would nurture innovation and reduce barriers to competition while maintaining reliable service. It was with this goal in mind that she took on a leadership role in increasing coordination between New York and its neighboring US and Canadian ISOs and RTOs. During this initiative, she was a vocal advocate for resolving “seams” issues and enhancing regional reliability.

In addition to her work during the restructuring of the energy and telecommunications markets, Maureen's involvement in critical infrastructure issues post-9/11 has led to ongoing national involvement in security and cybersecurity issues. She is a former board member of the Center for Internet Security, a not-for-profit organization focused on enhancing the cybersecurity readiness and response of public and private sector entities.

Since leaving government, Maureen has applied her experience to assist clients of all sizes as they invest and grow in the country’s energy and telecommunications markets. She provides strategic advice regarding relevant regulatory and legislative environments and gives clients the assistance needed to impact policies that foster investment and obtain the necessary regulatory approvals. As a demonstration of her leadership capacity, Maureen serves as a Regulatory Practice Area co-chair.

In furtherance of Maureen’s commitment to diversity, she is an active participant in the firm’s Women’s Forum, as well as a founding member, former president, and current board member of New York Women in Communications and Energy.

Representative Experience

  • Obtained state regulatory approvals for upstream changes in ownership/corporate structure for large, international energy clients. 
  • Represented a large communications/cable trade association before numerous governmental entities in New York, including the Public Service Commission, the Executive, Office for Technology, the Legislature. 
  • Advised large investors and shareholders in matters pending before the New York Public Service Commission. 
  • Advised major generators in New York regarding the regulatory/political climate and updates regarding trends at the New York Independent System Operator and Public Service Commission. 
  • Advised numerous small gas and energy service providers (ESCOs and gas retail competitors) regarding Public Service Commission regulations and requirements and provision of service in New York. 
  • Advised individual cable companies regarding NYS Public Service Commission cases and assisted with filings and responses in cases. 
  • Assisted in drafting and strategy advice with respect to a major management audit of a large New York electric utility. 
  • Developed an application for the siting of a multi-billion transmission project; worked on issues related thereto with the NYS Independent System Operator, the NYS Public Service Commission, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of State, as well as numerous other local governments and NGOs. 
  • Advised a major generator regarding trends in state perspectives regarding existing generation and opportunities for future development; assisted with regulatory issues regarding the plant. 
  • Advised/represented a client before the NYS Public Service Commission and New York Independent Service Operator regarding the provision of certain wholesale electric services.

Practice Areas

Education

  • University at Buffalo School of Law, J.D., 1982
  • State University of New York at Albany, B.S., 1979

Admitted To Practice

  • New York, 1983

Memberships & Affiliations

  • New York State Women in Communications, Founding Board Member and Former President 
  • New York State Bar Association 
  • Energy Bar Association, Former State Commission Practice and Regulation Committee Chair
  • Plug Power Inc., Board of Directors and Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee and Audit Committee Member
  • Center for Internet Security, Former Board Member

Speaking & Publications

  • Global Energy Summit, November 2007
  • Former State Utilities Commissioners’ Letter to US Electricity Policymakers, November 2007 
  • Panel Moderator, “Delivering Green – Getting Green Power to the Markets,” ACE NY Fall Conference, October 2007 
  • Panel Moderator, “Paving the Way: New York Policies Shaping Competitive Markets,” Independent Power Providers of New York 22nd Annual Membership Meeting & Fall Conference, September 2007 
  • Panel Moderator, “Managing Change,” Energy Bar Association, September 2007 
  • Panel Moderator, “Balancing the Commission’s Need for Information With the Goals of Open Government,” New York State Bar Association Committee on Public Utility Law, July 2007 
  • Speaker, “New York’s Policy on Renewable Energy,” New York State Bar Association, October 2006

Honors

  • Selected to Super Lawyers Upstate New York: Energy & Resources, 2018
  • Chambers USA America’s Leading Lawyers for Business:  Energy: State Regulatory & Wholesale Electric Market - New York, 2012-2018 

Prior Experience

  • Hiscock & Barclay, LLP, Partner
  • Green Seifter, Attorneys PLLC, Member 
  • Couch White, Partner 
  • New York State Public Service Commission, Chair 1998-2003, Commissioner 1997-1998, General Counsel 1995-1997 
  • New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment, Chair 
  • New York State Energy Research and Development Authority 
  • New York State Environmental Board 
  • New York State Disaster Preparedness Commission 
  • Electricity Committee of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, Vice Chair 
  • National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), Board of Directors 
  • U.S. Department of Energy’s Electricity Advisory Board 
  • New York State Cyber-Security Task Force 
  • Counsel, New York Senate Energy Committee 
  • Deputy Director, New York Assembly Office of Minority Counsel 
  • Assistant Counsel, New York Temporary Commission of Investigation