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David M. Perlman
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Karen Bishop


David Perlman is a partner in the energy practice in Bracewell's Washington, D.C. office. He represents and counsels clients in regulatory and compliance matters concerning the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission and state public utility commissions, energy-related transactions and financings, and in the establishment of compliance programs and training. His clients include utilities, commodities merchants, oil and gas pipeline companies, electric generators, energy marketers, industrial customers, generators, lenders and financial institutions, and oil & gas producers.

Mr. Perlman has held positions as chief counsel to Lehman Brothers commodity trading business, where he was responsible for legal, transactional and regulatory matters relating to the firm's physical and derivative commodity businesses, and general counsel and chief energy counsel at Constellation Energy's merchant and trading business.

He also served as a senior legal advisor in the Office of General Counsel of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, where he provided advice regarding complex legal, regulatory policy and legislative issues coming before the Commission. These included matters related to Regional Transmission Organizations (RTO)/Independent System Operators (ISO), gas and electric market oversight, market-based rates and transmission.

Mr. Perlman was Co-Chair of the committee that created the EEI Master Power Purchase and Sale Agreement and continues as a committee member.

Representative Matters 

Energy Agreements
Long-Term Solar Off Take Agreement - Mid Atlantic Solar Facility

Energy Management Agreements - Facilities located in California, Nevada and Texas

Derivative Agreements - hedging agreements for various energy companies

Gas Asset Management Agreements

Complex RTO Capacity Secured Trading Agreement

Lien-based Bosque Power Plant Off Take Agreement - Leman Brothers Commodity Services/Bosque Plant

Long Term Power Supply Agreement - High Desert Power Project/California Department of Water Resources

CFTC Regulation
Counsel to Multiple Energy Companies in CFTC and Dodd-Frank Implementation Matters including Exelon and American Electric Power Company 

Counsel to the Coalition of Physical Energy Companies (COPE) group in CFTC and Dodd-Frank Implementation Matters 

Draft comments on behalf of Edison Electric Institute, Electric Power Supply Association and other trade groups in CFTC Dodd-Frank Rulemakings

Counsel to multiple energy companies in Dodd-Frank compliance

Assist various funds in Commodity Pool matters

FERC Regulatory Matters
Conditional Firm Transmission Service Agreement - FERC Transmission Service Dispute resolved through ADR Process in unique transmission service agreement

Multimember Group (including American Electric Power, Exelon & Shell Energy) - PJM Matters concerning market participation and other market restructuring issues

Electricity Regulatory Matters - Various Financial Institutions and Wind Generators 

Natural Gas Regulatory Matters - Large European Bank 
Financial Institutions Regulatory Group in FERC corporate securities proceedings

Large European Banks in Public Utility Holding Company Act of 2005 matters

FERC & CFTC Enforcement
Drafting of Compliance Manuals, Associated Training and Advice – Commodity Businesses of Large Banks,  Wind Generation Companies, Oil & Gas Producers & Traders, Interstate Pipelines, Electric Utilities and Gas Local Distribution Companies

FERC Investigation of Large Trading Organization in Enforcement Investigation concerning RTO market

CFTC Investigation of Large Investment Bank in Natural Gas markets

NERC Enforcement
Appeal of Registration of Wind Generator as Transmission Owner/Transmission Operator and related compliance issues

Energy Litigation
Represent Large Bank in Arbitration concerning Tolling Agreement

Mergers and Acquisitions
Acquisition of Nine Mile Point Nuclear Power Plant from Niagara Mohawk (and other owners) by Constellation

Acquisition of AES New Energy by Constellation

FERC Regulatory Service
Responsible for FERC staff team that developed "Market Behavior Rules"

General Counsel Liaison to RTO Market Monitors

General Counsel Lead for RTO Market Issues

Publications and Speeches

"FERC Reconsiders Horizontal Market Power in Transactions," Law360, September 2016.

"EPAct 2005: A Game Changer for Transmission?," Renewable Energy World, June 2016.

"Dodd-Frank/CFTC and new SEFs, SDRs, and DCMs: the Latest on Execution and Clearing of Swaps, Reporting Swap Data, and Trading Platforms and Venues," American Conference Institute 9th National Forum on Energy Trading Compliance & Regulatory Enforcement, June 2014.

"Dodd-Frank:  Actual Impacts On & Challenges to the Energy Market," WSPP Spring Operating Committee Meeting, March, 2014.

"Responding to Regulatory and Criminal Investigations," Energy Market Price Integrity: Policy Enforcement and Litigation, February, 2014.

Moderator, "Swap Dealer Perspective - Engaging in Transactions with End Users after Dodd- Frank," Edison Electric Institute, CFTC - Dodd Frank Compliance Forum, October 2013.

"Current Policy and Regulatory Issues" and "Development of Transmission and Electricity Commodity Markets," Transmission Business School, Chicago, Illinois, June 2013.

"Swaps, Non-Swaps, Financial Entity and Beyond: Adapting to Statutory and CFTC Definitions," American Conference Institute's Energy Trading Compliance and Regulatory Enforcement conference, June, 2013.

"Financial Entity Update," Edison Electric Institute Contract Drafting Committee Meeting, February 2013.

Panelist, “Interconnection: NERC Compliance; TO/TOP (e.g., Cedar Creek Order); and Other Issues,” Electric Transmission in the West Conference, Portland, Oregon, March 23, 2012.

Panelist, “Commodities, Futures and Energy Issues,” SIFMA Compliance & Legal Society Annual Seminar, Miami, March 20, 2012.

Moderator, CFTC/Dodd-Frank Roundtable, Edison Electric Institute Compliance Forum, December 13, 2011, Washington, D.C.

"Dodd-Frank - Credit and Margin: What’s a Credit Officer to Do?," 87th Annual International Energy Credit Association Conference, Summerlin, Nevada, October 11, 2011.

"Introduction - Dodd Frank 101 for the Utility Lawyer," EEI Dodd-Frank Webinar, July 27, 2011.

"Energy Regulatory Update: Dodd-Frank Act," Energy Capital Week Conference, Houston, June 1, 2011.

"Commodities, Futures and Energy Issues," Compliance & Legal Society Annual Seminar, Phoenix, AZ, March 22, 2011.

Moderator, "FERC, NERC & BPA Hot-Button Issues," Wind & Transmission Workshop, American Wind Energy Association, February 9, 2011.

"Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act OTC Derivatives," EEI Contract Drafting Committee Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, August 2010.

"Policy and Regulatory Issues Towards Competitive Electricity Markets" and "Development of Transmission and Electricity Commodity Markets," Transmission Business School, Chicago, Illinois, June 2010.

"Commodity Trading Update Proposed Position Limit Rule," Energy Bar Association, Houston, Texas, June 2010.

"OTC Legislation," EEI Contract Drafting Committee Meeting, Washington, D.C., May 2010.

"Emerging Directions in Enforcement," Infocast FERC & CFTC Compliance Summit 2010, Washington, D.C., April 2010.

"Derivative Markets Transparency & Accountability Act," EEI Contract Drafting Committee Meeting, Rosemead, California, February 2010.

"Assessing FERC's New 'Notice Of Violation' Strategy," Law360, December 22, 2009.

"U.S. v. Radley: Undercutting Enforcement Authority," Law360, October 1, 2009.

"Emerging Directions in Enforcement," Infocast FERC & CFTC Compliance Summit 2010, Washington, DC, September 2009.

"Focus on Renewable Energy," EnergyRisk USA 13th Annual Conference, Houston, Texas, May 20, 2009.

"Critical Issues Facing Risk Managers in the Current Market," EnergyRisk USA 13th Annual Conference, Houston, Texas, May 20, 2009.

Moderator, Plenary Session, Energy Bar Association Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., April 2009.

"Carbon, Emissions and Renewable Energy Credits," Energy Compliance Network Meeting, Houston, Texas, April 14, 2009.

"Now's The Time To Lure Gov't Talent: Experts," Law360, January 21, 2009.

"Bracewell Scores Energy Guru Perlman," Law360, January 07, 2009.


J.D., University of Baltimore School of Law, 1980
B.A., University of Maryland, 1977

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia


Committee Member-EEI Power Contract Drafting Committee (Founding Co-Chair)
Chairman, Finance & Transactions Committee, Energy Bar Association
Faculty, University of Illinois, Transmission Business School, 2003 - present - Lecturer  on legal and regulatory issues relating to electric transmission and power markets to students including company representatives, government officials, regional transmission operator personnel, foreign officials, and graduate students.


Chambers & Partners, Chambers USAEnergy: Oil & Gas (Regulatory & Litigation), 2016
Legalease, The Legal 500 United StatesAlternative/Hedge Funds, 2015-2016; Energy: Regulatory, 2013-2014