The Natural: L. Stephen Rizzieri Helps Panda Energy Grow Its Power Plant Business

October 06, 2008

L. Stephen Rizzieri, longtime chief legal officer and general counsel of Panda Energy International Inc., is helping the privately-owned company arrange financing and other aspects of domestic deals to develop power plants fueled mostly by clean burning natural gas instead of dirtier coal.

Attorneys who work with Rizzieri say he is the right person to handle the legal affairs of a company that develops power plants, a complicated process that includes finding the right location, gaining the necessary approvals, designing the plants, arranging financing and supervising construction.

"He's an immensely talented lawyer," says Werner A. Powers, a litigation partner in the Dallas office of Haynes and Boone who has served as outside counsel for Panda for more than 10 years. "Steve provides the intellectual support on many cases I've tried for Panda."

Powers, who litigates commercial cases for Panda, says Rizzieri provides valuable input into litigation strategy despite never having worked as a litigator. "He doesn't just hand off the case to outside counsel," Powers says. "He stays intimately involved with it."

Janice V. Sharry, a Haynes and Boone partner in Dallas who does corporate, securities and project finance work for Panda, says Rizzieri makes outside counsel part of his team by bringing them to the decision-making table.

"From our standpoint, it allows our input to be more meaningful," resulting in more creative ideas that benefit the company, says Sharry, who has worked with Rizzieri for 25 years.

Excerpted from Texas Lawyer.  For full story, please click here.  (Free registration required.)

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