Kent is a Member in Stoll Keenon Ogden's Louisville office. He is a member of the Utility & Energy practice as well as the Business Litigation practice with a focus on Antitrust & Trade Regulation, Business Torts, and Corporate Law. As a trial attorney in the Antitrust Division, U.S. Dept. of Justice, Washington, DC, he gained extensive experience investigating and prosecuting antitrust cases in the electric power, natural gas and other regulated industries. A frequent theme of his practice is the interplay between law and economics in the energy, telecommunications, utility, aluminum and construction industries. He has deep experience in antitrust litigation and counseling, and frequently appears before federal and state courts and agencies, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Kentucky Public Service Commission in matters involving economic and utility regulation and rates. He has successfully handled numerous Sherman Act and Robinson-Patman Act cases, including class actions. He has unique experience in corporate and governance issues for joint ventures, utility contracting, and franchising. He has received specialized litigation training at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy in Boulder, Colorado.
Kent is AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated™ by Martindale-Hubbell® and has been listed for many years in Best Lawyers in America® (Administrative Law, Communications Law and Energy Law), in "Chambers USA" (Environment, Natural Resources and Regulated Industries) and is recognized as a Kentucky Super Lawyer (Utilities). His corporate practice involves counseling on a wide variety of corporate transactions, including financing, mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, corporate valuations and shareholder disputes. He has extensive experience negotiating jointly-owned electric generating plant agreements. He is Corporate Secretary to a large manufacturing joint venture and serves as principal outside counsel to a number of businesses, having guided many businesses through organization and start-up into periods of growth and maturity.
Kent graduated with high distinction from the University of Kentucky College of Law, where he qualified for Order of the Coif and published for the Kentucky Law Journal. His undergraduate degree is in business and economics from the University of Kentucky.
Kent is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the U.S. District Courts for the Western and Eastern Districts of Kentucky, and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. He is a member of the Kentucky, Louisville and American Bar associations, as well as the Energy Bar Association and the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation.
Serve as antitrust counsel and corporate secretary to major manufacturing joint venture of two competing companies. Involves antitrust compliance, governance matters, and negotiation and drafting of major contracts for constuction and general procurement.
Represent utilities and large purchasers of electric power and natural gas in negotiation of contract for purchase and sale of energy and energy services. Includes traditional utility tariff relationships, as well as special contracts for solar renewable energy. Negotiation of significant electric generation joint venture agreements.
Represent independent granchisees in financing, franchisor relationships, contracting, construction, leasing and related matters.
Successfully handled major litigated rate case before FERC on behalf of utility purchaser of wholesale distribution service. Case established new ratemaking methodology through extensive hearing and resulted in substantial refunds and lower purchase rates for SKO client.
Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc. and Ameren Illinois Company, 148 FERC ¶ 61,206, Opinion 534 (2014)
Currently represent a software services company that provides a suite of management and IT solutions for financial institutions, designed to improve efficiency and compliance with federal regulations in connection with seed round and subsequent financings involving a large private equity funds.
Represented financial services compliance firm in all aspects of recapitalization and sale of multiple series of securities to private equity firm and other stockholders.
Represented sellers in negotiating and closing the sale of major high technology, financial services business. Included confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements, review of competing proposals by prospective purchasers; due diligence; negotiation and closing of all purchase agreements with well-known private equity firm buyer.
SKO represented a class of more than 450,000 members in U.S. District Court challenge to overcharges/tariff violations by regulated telecommunications carrier. We obtained summary judgment on federal overcharge claims for class members and protected class certification by defeating an interlocutory appeal to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. We also prevailed for class members in a collateral state utility commission proceeding on issues referred by the District Court. Settlement approved by District Court in November 2013 included cash refunds to all class members. Bowers v. Windstream Ky. East, LLC, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157242 (W.D. Ky. 2013).
Successfully defended manufacturer of lawn and garden equipment against Robinson-Patman Act claims in distribution before Sixth Circuit and District Court. New Albany Tractor, Inc. v. Louisville Tractor, Inc., 650 F. 3d 1046 (2011); New Albany Tractor, Inc., v. Louisville Tractor, Inc., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 352, (U.S.D.C. W.D. Ky. 2010).
Obtained favorable ruling in interconnection dispute between major telecommunication carriers, prevailing before Sixth Circuit, District Court, and Kentucky Public Service Commission. BellSouth Telecomms., Inc. v. Goss, 142 Fed. Appx. 886 (6th Cir. 2005).
Successfully defended telecommunications carrier in Sixth Circuit and District Court against antitrust and related claims in suit brought by prison inmates. Daleure v. Kentucky, 269 F. 3d 540 (6th Cir. 2001); Daleure v. Kentucky, 119 F. Supp. 2d 683 (U.S.D.C W.D. Ky. 2000).
Brought action on behalf of major grocery chain claiming Sherman Act and Kentucky Constitution violations by state agency. Result invalidated state statutes regulating milk marketing. Kentucky Milk Marketing & Antimonopoly Com. v. Kroger Co., 691 S.W. 2d 893 (1985).
Obtained injunctive relief for major retailer of vision care products against major insurer of vision care for violation of state “any willing provider” law. Dr. Mark Lynn & Assocs., PLLC v. Vision Service Plan Ins. Co., 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24820 (U.S.D.C. W.D. Ky. 2005).
Represented sellers of significant natural gas production interests in series of large transactions with strategic buyers. Included negotiation with multiple prospective purchasers, NDAs, due diligence, regulatory issues, negotiation and closing of all purchase-related agreements.
When a minority member of an LLC organized a competing venture, SKO brought suit and obtained injunctive relief on behalf of our client based upon minority member’s breach of his statutory duty of loyalty. After a two-week jury trial, obtained favorable settlement for client.
When a terminated member argued that he was still entitled to his “salary,” SKO prevailed in the lawsuit, demonstrating that the “salary” was a distribution and that under state law the LLC was prohibited from making a distribution under existing circumstances.