Cozen O’Connor Adds Litigator Charles A. Zdebski to Energy & Utility Practice

Thursday, September 21, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – September 21, 2023 - Cozen O'Connor is pleased to welcome veteran regulatory lawyer and litigator Charles A. Zdebski to its Washington, D.C. Office. Zdebski, whose career spans three-plus decades of serving as litigation, regulatory, and transactional counsel to many of the world’s leading energy, telecommunications, and transportation brands, joins as a member of the firm’s Utility and Energy practice group.

Zdebski comes to the firm from Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC and, previously, Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP. He focuses his practice on complex regulatory litigation and related civil litigation matters, regularly representing clients in regulatory enforcements, investigations and proceedings, and appeals. He also brings a strong background of defending highly regulated clients in class actions involving civil liability, representing clients in State AG, DOT, TSA, FCC, and FERC investigations, litigating breach of contract matters, resolving “No Fly” list issues, and, when necessary, appealing adverse regulatory agency rulings.

“Regulatory compliance is becoming ever-more complex and our clients — regardless of the industry in which they operate — need an experienced hand at the wheel,” said David P. Zambito, chair of the firm’s Utility & Energy practice. “We serve major corporate entities operating in complex, high-risk regulatory environments. Charlie’s been working in these arenas for decades — and for a wide range of clients, from electric and other energy utilities to global telecoms. I’m very happy he’s chosen to join us.”

Zdebski most recently served as lead defense counsel for several major U.S. energy companies facing multiple state attorneys general investigations and class actions involving pricing and marketing practices. He also served as spectrum relocation counsel for a national telecommunications carrier embroiled in a dispute involving its move from an auctioned Advanced Wireless Spectrum to another spectrum; protected and guided a wholesale energy trading company through a highly technical FERC audit that resulted in no adverse recommendations or findings; and served as FCC counsel to Southern Company and its affiliates. He has also represented Ameren, Duquesne Light Company, Dominion Virginia Power, Florida Power & Light Company, PacifiCorp, Pepco, CLECO, and Conectiv — among others — regarding major network access, pricing, and pole attachment issues.

“Charlie’s regulatory acumen is obviously second to none,” said Jonathan M. Grossman, office managing partner of the Washington, D.C., office. “But he also brings to our clients the added depth of experience in handling a wide range of closely related matters, from high-profile state attorneys general matters to class actions and contract disputes. Charlie’s extensive experience in numerous industries, including energy, telecommunications, aviation, rail, and maritime, adds to our deep and expanding roster of lawyers in these areas. He’s a great fit, and I’m thrilled to welcome him to Cozen O’Connor.”

“I’ve long been familiar with Cozen O’Connor. The existing Utility & Energy and Transportation practices both have excellent reputations throughout North America and have rosters of major clients, many of whom have global operations,” Zdebski said. “In addition, Cozen O’Connor has a breadth of practices and, with 30 offices throughout North America, the geographic coverage to fully address the co-occurring and related issues that are common to many of my clients. So, I’m quite happy to be here, and I’m very much looking forward to working with David, Jonathan, and my other new colleagues.”

Zdebski earned his J.D. at George Washington University and his B.A. from Harvard University, both with honors.

About Cozen O’Connor

Established in 1970, Cozen O’Connor has over 850 attorneys who help clients manage risk and make better business decisions. The firm counsels clients on their most sophisticated legal matters in all areas of the law, including litigation, corporate, and regulatory law. Representing a broad array of leading global corporations and middle-market companies, Cozen O’Connor serves its clients’ needs through 32 offices across two continents.


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