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Former Energy Department Advisor Erika Benson Joins Gardere Government Affairs Practice in Austin

Erika Benson, formerly of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Policy and International Affairs, has joined the Austin office of Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP as a member of the Government Affairs Practice Group.

Aug. 20, 2012 - PRLog -- AUSTIN, Texas – Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Erika D. Benson as a partner in the Firm’s Austin office, where she will continue her work representing a variety of clients in matters involving government affairs.

A former senior advisor for the Americas in the Office of Policy and International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy, Ms. Benson joins Gardere with more than 13 years of experience in energy, government relations, and Latin America law.

As a member of Gardere’s Government Affairs Practice Group, Ms. Benson will advise clients on policy and regulatory issues, providing counsel to companies investing in generation and transmission assets and new and emerging technologies, as well as developers, investors, and energy product manufacturers navigating new markets of entry in the Americas.

She also will provide guidance to clients on various state and federal issues relating to transmission open access, safe harbor compliance, interstate and intrastate transmission line siting and strategy development, generation and transmission planning for utilities, and electric reliability compliance.

“We are excited to offer Erika’s expertise to new and existing clients,” says Steve Good, Gardere’s Managing Partner. “Her unique breadth of experience will augment the strength of multiple practice areas and we are glad to have her on board.”

Ms. Benson has been involved in cross-border electricity transmission development and policy issues between the United States and Mexico, as well as cross-border transmission development. She is well-versed in developing best practices and policies to maximize electricity regulatory framework development in Latin American nations.

“Energy development, from natural gas exploration to battery storage technology, is one of our country’s and region’s biggest challenges,” says Ms. Benson. “I am proud to join Gardere and am looking forward to working with such a talented team of attorneys to expand Gardere’s reach into the vast and diverse energy markets of the Americas.”

Ms. Benson earned her law degree from The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law and her undergraduate degree from Denison University. She also studied at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia.

Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, an Am Law 200 firm founded in 1909 and one of the Southwest’s largest full-service law firms, has offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and Mexico City. Gardere provides legal services to private and public companies and individuals in areas of corporate, litigation, energy, tax, real estate, financial services, government affairs, hospitality, intellectual property, labor and employment, and environmental. For more information, contact Kristin Butler at 214.999.4843 or kbutler@gardere.com.

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