Christopher T. Ellison


Christopher T. EllisonEllison, Schneider & Harris
2600 Capitol Avenue, Suite 400
Sacramento, CA 95816-5905
United States

Tel: (916) 447-2166
Fax: (916) 447-3512


Chris Ellison is a partner at Ellison, Schneider & Harris, a California law firm specializing in energy, water and environmental law. Since admission to the California bar in 1977, Chris has specialized in energy matters, concentrating on transactional, regulatory and arbitration work on behalf of energy suppliers, customers, trade associations and regional reliability organisations

After working for the California Energy Commission, the California Department of Justice Environment Section and another private law firm, Chris helped found Ellison, Schneider & Harris in 1990. Since then, he has been a leading participant in the restructuring of the electric industry to promote open access transmission, customer choice, reliability standards, competition, licensing of new power plants and the promotion of renewable energy. Chris also serves as an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association.

Chris has actively participated before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the California Energy Commission, the California Public Utilities Commission and other agencies regarding a variety of energy and related environmental issues. He has been active within several Western electricity forums on matters of transmission access and electric reliability. He was selected by the California Bar Association to serve on its Committee on the Environment. He has been selected by other attorneys for inclusion in “Best Lawyers in America” (2006), selected for “Northern California Super Lawyers” (2005, 2006) and by Sacramento Magazine for “Best Lawyers in Sacramento” (2006).

Since 1990, Ellison, Schneider & Harris’ Energy Practice Group has developed a comprehensive practice focused on wholesale and retail issues impacting electricity and gas producers, suppliers and consumers. Over the years our firm has provided timely legal advice to public agencies, industrial consumers, independent power producers, municipal utilities, irrigation districts and trade organisations.

The Energy Practice Group has worked on a broad range of regulatory and business issues affecting the electricity and natural gas industries. Ellison, Schneider & Harris attorneys have assisted clients with facility siting, environmental regulation, power purchase agreements, wholesale market compliance, the formation and regulation of regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and independent system operators (ISOs), transmission issues such as interconnection agreements and open access complaints, renewable energy policy, and public utility rate regulation.

The firm has represented clients before Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), California Energy Commission (CEC), California Coastal Commission (CCC) and other state regulatory agencies, as well as before various California courts.

Ellison, Schneider & Harris’ Energy Practice Group maintains a diverse focus across critical regulatory matters including electrical transmission access and planning, wholesale market design, combustion and renewable generation development including siting and permitting and transactional issues such power sales and avoided cost pricing. The Energy Practice Group is also directly involved in policy and regulatory issues associated with both liquefied natural gas (LNG) and large-scale solar siting before federal, state and local agencies. Rounding out the energy practice are attorneys specializing in rate related issues such as utility tariff and rate disputes as well as energy ratemaking developments at the wholesale and retail levels. Given this breadth of practice and experience, the attorneys of Ellison, Schneider & Harris’ Energy Practice Group are well suited to address any energy-related matter that California can face.

Since its founding in 1990, the attorneys and staff at Ellison, Schneider & Harris have been committed to providing the highest quality work product and superior legal services to their clients. In the ensuing years, the firm’s dedication to this goal has attracted some of the most respected clients in the energy, water and natural resource fields.

Ellison, Schneider & Harris’ 17 attorneys reflect a wide variety of backgrounds and legal experience. Many have extensive experience in government agencies, including the California Energy Commission, California Public Utilities Commission, California Department of Justice, California Environmental Protection Agency, and the Governor’s Commission on Water Rights, while others gained their experience in larger firms. All of our firm’s attorneys are dedicated to providing consistently high-quality legal advice and creative solutions to realize the best possible outcome to our clients’ complex regulatory issues.
Ellison, Schneider & Harris has a full staff of highly experienced paralegals and support personnel that help our attorneys provide the cost-efficient and timely service that our clients expect and deserve.

The firm’s attorneys and staff have longstanding working relationships with scientists, engineers and other experts with experience in energy, water, land use and environmental matters. We maintain strong working relationships with the legislature, the Governor’s office and agency appointees and staff. These relationships help Ellison, Schneider & Harris better understand the technical and political implications of our clients’ concerns.

Ellison, Schneider & Harris has helped its clients through exceptional periods for both water and energy issues. In addition to the complex resource issues surrounding California water rights, the state experienced a multi-year drought that highlighted the critical nature of this limited resource. The state’s foray into electric wholesale and retail industry restructuring in the late 1990s, coupled with the energy crisis in 2000/2001, highlights our clients’ need for legal advisors who are well versed in the ever-changing regulatory environment and capable of delivering innovative approaches to complex business transactions. Our philosophy of diligent representation, problem solving and long-term planning delivers real and cost effective results for our clients. Ellison, Schneider & Harris has emerged as a leader in its field.

Christopher Ellison regularly acts for clients in front of all of California’s key regulatory bodies. He is deeply experienced in representing energy suppliers and customers, as well as assisting trade associates with their energy issues. His practice also incorporates related transactions and arbitrations.
Chambers USA, 2013