Influential Women in Energy Law: Diana Liebmann


Diana Liebmann's more than 20-year career in transactional and regulatory energy law has earned her a spot on Law360's list of “10 Influential Women in Energy Law.”

The new Law360 series features attorneys who are helping reshape an industry and practice area long perceived to be a man's world. The publication selected women who have made waves as energy regulators, litigators and dealmakers, highlighting accopmlishments such as major energy policies they've crafted. It noted that Liebmann was on the ground floor of efforts to deregulate the energy sector in Texas and helping the California State Assembly craft legislation to resolve that state's power crisis.

Liebmann leads Haynes and Boone’s Power and Renewables practice and manages the San Antonio, Texas, office as its administrative partner.

Here are excerpts from the Law360 article:

After joining Haynes and Boone in 2000, Liebmann developed the firm's electric power legal practice from scratch into a group that now employs attorneys in offices in Austin; Houston; Washington, D.C.; Mexico City; and New York City.

Buddy Clark, who co-chairs Haynes and Boone's energy practice group, said he remembered being part of the team that interviewed Liebmann as a young associate who was looking for a larger firm. A “standout” factor during that interview process, he said, was that Liebmann already had her own clients.

“She already had her own business. It wasn't like she was coming over to service clients that we had. She knew more about the subject matter than anyone at our firm knew,” he said. “From very early on in her career, she was in the thick of some pretty big deals.”

Clark remembered being impressed that Liebmann had been “fundamental in writing the new law” on energy deregulation.

“She knew how the law had been written, she heard all the sides and knew the give and take,” he said.

That experience proved valuable when Enron collapsed soon after Liebmann joined the firm. That company had been one of many manipulating the power markets in California, which caused its energy crisis in 2000 and 2001. She was paired with one of the firm's bankruptcy partners, Robert Albergotti, to work on that.

“Even though she was a young lawyer at that point — third or fourth year — she was a perfect fit for the project because she understood the power markets as well as anyone could have understood them,” Albergotti said. “She understood the entire regulatory environment, the impact of deregulation on the wholesale electricity markets, and she could translate all this to these politicians.”

Clark noted that nearly 20 years after coming to Haynes and Boone, Liebmann is still representing many of those original clients she brought with her. This is a testament to her “commitment to clients and client service.”

“I've been able to watch from the sidelines her reputation and experience grow,” he said. “She's not only grown her own practice and expertise, but she's grown to become a real leader at our firm.”

To read the full article, click on the PDF linked below. 


First appeared in Law360 on August 20, 2018. (Subscription required)

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