James H. Barkley

Department Chair - Global Projects (Austin, Dallas & Houston) Partner

[email protected]


P: +1.713.229.1373
F: +1.713.229.2773


P: +1.512.322.2640
James Barkley

Jim Barkley’s practice focuses on the regulatory counseling of energy industry clients in agency proceedings, projects, corporate transactions and civil litigation. He represents electric utilities, pipelines, power generators, and energy consumers before the Texas Public Utility Commission, Texas Railroad Commission, ERCOT, Texas Reliability Entity, and other federal and state agencies, as well as in state and federal courts.

Electric Regulatory. Mr. Barkley has represented a variety of electric market participants on matters before the Texas Public Utility Commission (PUCT): a traditional transmission and distribution utility, new entrant transmission-only service providers, wind generation developers, power generation companies, retail electric providers and retail electric consumers. He has handled contested rate cases and licensing proceedings, rulemakings and complaint investigations and has litigated cases heard by the State Office of Administrative Hearings as well as by the PUCT Commissioners themselves. He has represented clients in investigations, challenges to rules, and market structuring proceedings at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), Texas Reliability Entity (TRE), PUCT and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Mr. Barkley has been lead outside counsel for a transmission and distribution utility on matters before the PUCT related to one of the nation's first deployments of an advanced metering system and smart grid.

Oil & Gas Regulatory/Midstream Transactions. Mr. Barkley has assisted clients with a variety of midstream oil and gas projects, including pipeline construction projects, gas storage projects, gas sales, transportation and processing arrangements. He has represented clients on oil and gas matters, including contested case hearings, before the Texas Railroad Commission (TRRC), particularly related to the TRRC's regulation of pipelines. Mr. Barkley has provided regulatory counsel for numerous corporate transactions involving the transfer or construction of oil and liquids pipeline assets, including representation of pipeline projects in state and federal court litigation against pipeline opponents.

Energy Project Siting. Mr. Barkley counsels and defends clients on matters related to the siting of energy projects, including eminent domain law and other matters related to project rights-of-way. Mr. Barkley has represented one of the world's largest wind generation companies in litigation over a proposed project near the Texas Gulf Coast. Mr. Barkley led a team of Baker Botts attorneys who defended the project against attacks at the Texas Public Utility Commission, the Texas General Land Office, the Texas Coastal Coordination Council, Texas state courts, federal district court, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In the most serious of these challenges, an injunction suit in federal district court, Mr. Barkley and the Baker Botts team received a dismissal of the case.

Before joining Baker Botts, Mr. Barkley was a consultant in Washington, D.C., advising several major non-U.S. utilities on U.S. energy and environmental legislation. From 1985 to 1990, he held several positions, including research associate, in the Arms Control and Crisis Management Program at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Awards & Community

Recognized in Chambers USA, 2011-2023

Recognized as a "Trailblazer" for Energy/Environmental Litigation by The National Law Journal, 2016

Recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer, (Thomson Reuters), 2006


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