Bert Acken represent clients in public utility commission and other administrative proceedings, compliance and enforcement matters, and environmental, real estate, and tax litigation. He also represents energy, utility, mining, and remediation clients in business transactions. Bert helps his clients develop and implement creative, effective, and efficient legal solutions to meet their objectives.
Northwestern University School of LawJ.D., 2002
- cum laude
The George Washington UniversityB.A., Geology, 1996
- National Merit Finalist and Presidential Academic Scholarship Recipient
- Best Lawyers in America
- Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business
- Environmental (including water rights) 2014-2020
Energy and Utilities | Representative engagements include:
- Obtaining state siting approval for the largest wind project permitted in Arizona on behalf of independent developer and operator.
- Representing independent power producers to obtain power purchase agreement as Qualifying Facilities under PURPA.
- Representing municipalities in public utility commission proceedings against private water and wastewater utility regarding provision of safe and reasonable services.
- Representing competitive power providers in regulated investor-owned utility rate cases to promote buy-through programs for customer choice.
- Representing international technology company to revise regulated electric utilities’ tariff to authorize exclusive use of renewable energy for data centers.
- Representing the first merchant transmission line project to seek and obtain state siting authority for a 200-mile transmission line project.
- In proceedings before the Interior Board of Land Appeals, successfully challenging BLM denial of right-of-way for extra-high voltage transmission line.
- Siting the first utility-scale solar power plant in Arizona on behalf of an international developer and operator of utility-scale solar facilities.
Permitting and Compliance | Recent engagements include:
- Representing mining trade association in state and local regulatory rulemakings and legislative proceedings regarding air quality, water quality, and reclamation.
- Participating in regional haze rulemaking, subsequent judicial appeal before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and ongoing rulemaking efforts on behalf of cement manufacturing facility.
- Representing current and prospective property owners to address dry cleaning operations through voluntary cleanup program actions and prospective purchaser agreements.
- Assist several mining and manufacturing facilities navigate state CERCLA-equivalent investigation and cost allocation proceedings.
- Defending clients in agency enforcement actions under air, water, and waste regulatory regimes.
Litigation | Recent engagements include:
- Litigating mining claim disputes regarding unpatented mining claims on federal lands.
- Representing mineral estate holder in multiparty litigation to determine respective rights of mineral and surface estate holders.
- Defending property owners in actions brought by utilities with condemnation authority seeking to obtain rights-of-way across private property.
- Representing clients with respect to indoor air quality, mold, and water damage claims and litigation matters.
- Representing mining client holding mineral estate to secure access across surface estate which is part of Indian reservation.
Business Transactions | Representative projects include:
- Coordinating review of land positions, mineral title, corporate structure, water availability, and permitting status and compliance for various mining projects.
- Managing cross-disciplinary due diligence for renewable and fossil fuel power plant acquisitions including evaluation of water rights, real estate, environmental, tax, and state public utility requirements.
- Drafting agreements for remediation contractors, property owners, and remediation consulting companies.
- Negotiating and drafting power purchase agreements and related agreements for independent power producers.
- Counsel to aggregate mining trade association board
- Top 50 Pro Bono Attorneys in Arizona, Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education (2012)
- Arizona District Court, 2007
- Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2005
- Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2013
- Co-Author, “ACC’s Permissive Power Allows ACC to Appoint an Interim Manager to Remedy Threats to Public Health and Safety”, Dickinson Wright Client Alert, August 2020
- Regulatory Developments Affecting the Rock Products Industry, presentation for trade association members concerning federal, state, and local legislative and regulatory developments.
- Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Regulatory Developments, presentation at State Bar convention addressing air quality and greenhouse gas legal developments.
- Arizona State Law Journal, “Secured Creditors: Exempt From Liability?” (Summer 2014)
- Arizona State Law Journal, “Sustainable Energy in Arizona” (Fall 2011)