Owen MacBride is an energy and telecommunications lawyer who focuses his practice on regulatory matters, including regulatory agency proceedings and appeals, and transactional matters. Owen’s varied and extensive representation of electric, gas, telecommunications, water and pipeline industry participants in regulatory, transactional, legislative and litigation matters gives him a broad spectrum of knowledge and experience in planning, operating, pricing, financial, accounting, tax construction, and reliability issues in these industries.

Owen draws on his thorough understanding of the energy and telecommunications industries to represent and counsel electric and gas public utilities, electric generators, wind and solar energy generators, electric transmission companies, and wholesale and retail electric suppliers. His diverse group of clients has also included common carrier pipelines, large energy users, water utilities, and other energy and telecommunications industry participants. Currently, his practice is focused in the areas of Electric Transmission, Electric Generation, Renewable Energy, Pipelines, and Telecommunications.

Owen has extensive experience representing both incumbent and competitive telecommunications carriers in regulatory and transactional matters. His experience with transactional matters includes negotiating electricity and gas supply and purchase contracts, advising on and obtaining regulatory approvals for business combinations and asset transactions, and advising on and obtaining regulatory approvals for financings.

  • Experience

    Owen’s representation of energy and telecommunications industry clients has included:

    • Counseling Illinois electric and gas utilities and telecommunications carriers on regulatory requirements for numerous mergers, acquisitions, other business combinations, and major asset sales or transfers including sales of generating stations. Owen represented Illinois electric and gas utilities and telecommunications carriers in successfully obtaining Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) approval for mergers, acquisitions, and other business combinations and reorganizations in five major transactions, as well as in obtaining ICC approval for other asset sales and transfers including two major generating plant sales.
    • Representing major pipeline companies in obtaining certificates from the ICC for authority to operate as common carrier pipelines in Illinois transporting crude oil, natural gas liquids and other products.
    • Representing electric industry clients in the negotiating, drafting and passage of Illinois’ electric utility industry restructuring law, enacted in 1997, and the Illinois Power Agency Act and related Public Utilities Act amendments, enacted in 2007.
    • In seven separate cases, Owen obtained appellate reversals of ICC decisions for his clients. In other cases, he has successfully defended ICC decisions on appeal.
    • Representing wind and solar generating companies in ICC proceedings relating to procurement, contracting and contract administration for renewable energy resources to meet Illinois’ renewable portfolio standards.
    • Representing major Illinois electric and gas utilities and telecommunications carriers in more than one dozen rate increase cases before the ICC.  For electric and gas utilities, these cases have covered both fully bundled and unbundled (e.g., distribution and transportation) services.  For telecommunications carriers, these cases have including both traditional and TELRIC rate setting.
    • Advising and representing numerous large industrial, commercial, institutional and governmental energy consumers in negotiating electricity and gas purchase agreements.
    • Representing telecommunications carriers in negotiating numerous interconnection agreements under the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (TA 1996) as well as other inter-carrier agreements.  Owen represented competitive telecommunications carriers (CLECs) in three major interconnection agreement arbitrations with the incumbent carrier before the ICC.  He also represented CLECs in numerous other proceedings arising out of TA 1996.
    • Representing the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) in its role as the Electric Reliability Organization (ERO) under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 in numerous Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proceedings to obtain approvals for NERC’s activities, including certification as the ERO, approval of NERC’s initial set of mandatory reliability standards, approval of NERC’s original and amended delegation agreements with Regional Entities, approval of NERC’s original and amended Rules of Procedure, and approval of the annual business plans and budgets for NERC and the Regional Entities and the related funding assessments to U.S. load-serving entities for the years 2007 through 2018.
  • Credentials


    • Yale Law School, J.D., 1975
      Yale Law Review, Board of Editors
    • University of Michigan Law School, 1972-1973
    • University of Michigan School of Public Health, Bureau of Hospital Administration, 1972-1973
      Research assistant; authored numerous papers on health care economics
    • University of Michigan, B.A., Economics, 1971
      Phi Beta Kappa

    Bar Admissions

    • Illinois
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois


        • Honorable Robert P. Anderson, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit (1975 - 1976)

        Professional Memberships

        • American Bar Association
        • Illinois State Bar Association
        • Chicago Bar Association
        • Energy Bar Association
      • Insights

        News Release

        2019 Leading Lawyers Lists Recognize 95 Schiff Attorneys

        Schiff Hardin LLP is pleased to have 95 attorneys named to the 2019 Leading Lawyers list.

        News Release

        61 Schiff Attorneys Named to 2019 Best Lawyers in America List and Six Recognized as “Lawyer of the Year”

        Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that 61 attorneys have been included in the 2019 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, as well as six who were named a “Lawyer of the Year” in their respective areas of practice.

        News Release

        Chambers USA 2018 Recognizes Four Practice Areas and 22 Attorneys

        Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that four practice areas and 22 attorneys have been recognized in the 2018 edition of Chambers USA, a leading legal industry ranking.

        News Release

        95 Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2018 Leading Lawyers Lists

        Ninety-six Schiff Hardin lawyers have been named to the 2018 Leading Lawyers lists for Illinois and Michigan.

        News Release

        Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2018 The Best Lawyers in America

        Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that five attorneys have been named a “Lawyer of the Year” in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America©.

        News Release

        Chambers USA 2017 Recognizes 20 Schiff Hardin Attorneys and 4 Practice Areas

        Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that 20 attorneys and four practice areas were recognized in the 2017 edition of Chambers USA, a leading legal industry ranking.

        News Release

        99 Schiff Hardin Attorneys Named to 2017 Leading Lawyers List

        Ninety-nine Schiff Hardin lawyers have been named to the 2017 Leading Lawyers list for Illinois and Michigan.

        News Release

        53 Schiff Hardin Attorneys Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2017

        Three Schiff Hardin attorneys also received the prestigious Best Lawyers’ 2017 “Lawyer of the Year” award.

        Other Publications

        • “Administrative Review,” Chapter in Civil Appeals: State and Federal, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) (2018)
        • “Administrative Review,” Chapter in Chancery and Special Remedies, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) (2017)
        • “Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Approves NERC's Proposed Changes to Sanction Guidelines,” Energy Manager Today (Jan. 31, 2013)

        Speeches & Presentations

        • “Lessons Learned from Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement of Mandatory Reliability Standards,” Energy in California Conference (2012)
        • “Upcoming Changes to the NERC Rules of Procedure,” Texas Reliability Entity Compliance Workshop (2012)
        • “Current NERC Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Initiatives,” California Independent System Operator Legal Forum (2011)

      Energy and Environmental Law Adviser

      Executive Orders Speed Infrastructure Permitting and Create Opportunities for Utility-Scale Renewable Projects

      With city after city setting 100 percent clean energy goals and states following in lockstep, opportunities are growing for renewable energy companies to develop utility-scale projects. Project development includes the need for energy infrastructure such as transmission lines, for example. President Trump recently issued two executive orders consistent with the administration’s continuous efforts to speed... Continue Reading