Alan R. Merkle

Alan R. Merkle
Partner
Seattle, WA
Overview

About Alan

Alan Merkle is a partner and former Chairman of the Firm. His practice is focused primarily in the areas of infrastructure, energy, construction and design, and government contracts. He represents public and private owners, developers, engineers, architects, contractors, manufacturers and suppliers in a wide array of business matters. He is experienced in the drafting, negotiation and administration of contracts. He also handles bid protests, claims, litigation, arbitration, mediation and other alternative dispute resolution matters for a broad range of clients. In addition to serving as an advocate, he regularly serves as a neutral on Dispute Review Boards and as a mediator and arbitrator. He has been lead counsel for numerous complex projects involving multiple public agencies and jurisdictions. A significant portion of Alan's practice is acting as a "trusted advisor" to senior management of the companies we represent. 

Prior to practicing law, Alan spent 12 years with General Electric Company where he managed the technical and business sides of major projects and business units. Alan is also a former mayor and registered professional engineer.

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Experience

Experience

Wind

  • Represented one of the largest U.S. wind developers in first ever multi-year frame turbine supply agreement with leading U.S. turbine manufacturer.
  • Represented Chinese company in its first wind turbine sales to the U.S.
  • Represented major Australian energy company in its acquisition and subsequent disposition of a Canadian and U.S. wind development company, as well as turbine supply and project agreements.
  • Represented major Canadian energy company in acquisition of wind turbines, operation and maintenance and construction agreements in development of Canada's largest wind project.
  • Represented major Canadian energy company in due diligence of large U.S. wind development company with pipeline of several thousand megawatts of projects.
  • Represented one of the largest U.S. wind developers in first ever multi-year frame turbine supply agreement with leading U.S. turbine manufacturer.
  • Represented Chinese company in its first financing of U.S. wind projects.
  • Represented Chinese JV financial institution in its equity commitments and project financing of U.S. renewable energy projects.
  • Represented European developer in acquisition and related development agreements for pipeline of wind projects in North America.
  • Represented one of Europe's largest wind developers in conversion of and renegotiation of worldwide turbine supply agreements for U.S.-based, project financeable agreements.
  • Represented one of the leading U.S. contractors in negotiating a series of balance of plant agreements for various developers throughout the United States.
  • Negotiated the first turbine supply agreements with a new North American turbine vendor.
  • Represented a significant number of North America's largest wind developers in a full range of project developments for owner/operator and build/transfer projects for several thousand megawatts of wind power.
  • Negotiated first of its kind stand-alone tower manufacturing contracts on behalf of U.S. project developer purchasing foreign made turbines without towers.
  • Lead litigation counsel in a number of significant disputes regarding failed gearboxes, breach of contract, and warranty disputes on behalf of project owners and developers.

Biofuels

  • Represented major international biofuels designer/developer in matters related to development of the largest hydrogen manufacturing facility in North America.
  • Represented industry leader in development of combined biodiesel, ethanol, methane, dairy, algae integrated facility.
  • Represented major international developer of ethanol projects in unique biomass boiler/ethanol and fluidized bed boiler/ethanol production facilities.
  • Represented the largest U.S. biodiesel refiner in matters related to the engineering and construction agreements for its production facilities.
  • Represented one of leading U.S. developers of algae production for biodiesel and ancillary products in project financing and development agreements.
  • Represented international JV developer of biomass facilities in strategic project development in the U.S.

Solar

  • Represented leading manufacturer of Stirling solar engines in negotiation of $600M supply and subsequent EPC contract.
  • Represented one of the world's leading solar panel manufacturers in development of new manufacturing and production facilities in the United States.
  • Represented one of the leading renewable energy developers in the United States in development of a series of solar projects in the western U.S.

Gas-Fired Facilities

  • Represented two of North America's largest combined cycle project developers in development of a series of large combined cycle projects, including negotiation of turbine and HRSG supply agreements and EPC contracts to design and construct facilities with different contractors and equipment vendors (several thousand megawatts).
  • Represented major utility in designing its RFP process, as well as drafting and negotiating EPC and equipment agreements for 500-megawatt combined cycle plant.
  • Represented major international energy company in negotiating EPC contracts for development of 500 megawatt combined cycle facility for third party refinery co-location.
  • Represented major developer in negotiation of EPC and project related agreements to develop a combined enhanced oil recovery/combined cycle cogeneration facility.

Geothermal

  • Represented geothermal developers in procurement, engineering, construction and related project agreements for new geothermal operations in California and Idaho.
  • Lead litigation counsel in disputes related to plant performance for two binary cycle facilities.

Pump Storage

  • Represented major North American developer in due diligence and project agreements for development of two pumped storage/wind integrated projects in North America.

Electrical Storage

  • Represented leading U.S. developer of electrical energy storage systems.

Nuclear

  • Represented one of the leading developers of small scale modular nuclear power systems in negotiation of its engineering, manufacturing, co-development and project partner agreements.
  • Represented major utilities in litigating claims related to large scale nuclear power projects.

Corporate Policy

  • Authored a comprehensive corporate contracts manual for one of the world's leading industrial process design and construction companies. The manual guides this Europe-based company's worldwide negotiations of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts for industrial gas manufacturing, clean coal, biofuels and other industrial projects.

Pre Law

  • Lead negotiator for contracts for installation of Control Rod Drive Systems and Reactor Internals for BWR facility.
  • Project Manager for EPC contract for turbine island for PWR facility.
  • Manager of hydro operations for manufacturer of large and small hydro facilities in the U.S.
  • Responsible executive for EPC contracts for combined cycle combustion turbine power facilities for North Slope of Alaska and numerous similar projects in the interior of Alaska.
  • Lead Project Engineer and Start-up Engineer for numerous new construction and major outage projects for thermal power plants from 50mw to 1100mw units.
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Honors

Honors & Activities

Professional Honors & Activities

  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America© (currently: Construction Law, Energy Law, Litigation-Construction), 2008-2018
  • Selected as one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" (Nationwide) by Chambers USA (currently: Projects: Renewables & Alternative Energy), 2013-2017
  • Listed in Washington Super Lawyers® (Construction Litigation: Business, Energy & Natural Resources, Alternative Dispute Resolution), 2003, 2005-2017
  • Named one of Seattle's "Top 100 Lawyers" by Seattle Magazine
  • Biography in Who's Who in American Law, Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World
  • Distinguished Environmental Law Graduate Award, Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College, 2014
  • Past Chair, Public Procurement and Private Construction Law Section, Washington State Bar Association
  • Past Board Member and Legal Affairs Committee Chair, Associated General Contractors of Washington
  • Member, WSBA Litigation Section, Oregon State Bar Association Construction Law and Litigation Sections, American Bar Association Public Contract Law and Litigation Sections, Federal Energy Bar Association
  • Board Member and honorary AIA, Seattle chapter, American Institute of Architects
  • Graduate, American Arbitration Association mediator training program
  • Distinguished Citizen Award, City Council of Mercer Island, Washington

Civic Activities

  • Former Mayor and Council Member, City of Mercer Island
  • Chair, Washington Department of Transportation Expert Review Panel
  • Executive Vice President, National Executive Committee, French-American Chamber of Commerce
  • President, Board of Directors, French American Chamber of Commerce - Pacific Northwest
  • Part-time adjunct lecturer, University of Washington School of Construction Management and Graduate School of Architecture
  • Former Board Member, Vice Chairman, Cascade Water Alliance
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Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations

  • Moderator, "Financing and Investing in Offshore Wind: Financing the Development of Projects & Infrastructure: What are the Options?" Turbines, Towers & Vessels 2011, Providence, Rhode Island, Sept. 2011
  • Moderator, "Turbine Manufacturing and Supply Chain: Chicken or the Egg? Establishing a Manufacturing Supply Chain for Turbines & Towers," Turbines, Towers & Vessels 2011, Providence, Rhode Island, Sept. 2011
  • "Design, Engineering, Construction," The Law of Marine and Hydrokinetic Energy: A Guide to Business and Legal Issues, Stoel Rives LLP, 2011 (formerly The Law of Ocean and Tidal Energy.)
  • "Construction Liens" chapter for Washington State Bar Association
  • "Damages" chapters and chair of Washington State Bar Association program "Architect and Engineer Liability"
  • "Licensing and Registration" chapter, Construction Law, Oregon State Bar
  • "Procurement and Construction" chapters for the wind, solar and geothermal editions of the Stoel Rives LLP "Law of" series
  • Frequent speaker and writer on subjects of turbine warranties, operating and maintenance agreements, and EPC agreements for wind and biofuels industry
  • Author and speaker, "Public Contracting in Washington"
  • Chair, Public Works Symposium
  • Author and speaker, "Advanced Construction Law," National Business Institute
  • Author and speaker, "Washington Construction Law," Law Seminars International



Related News & Publications

The Law of Solar - 9/15/2017

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