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C. Kent Hatfield

Direct Phone: 502.568.5745

C. Kent Hatfield

Kent is a member of the Utility & Energy practice as well as the Business Litigation practice with a focus on Antitrust & Trade Regulation, Franchising, Business Torts and Corporate Law at Stoll Keenon Ogden.  His corporate practice involves counseling on a wide variety of corporate transactions, including financing, mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, private equity transactions, corporate valuations and shareholder disputes.  He has extensive experience negotiating utility service agreements, procurement contracts for large industrial manufacturing companies, and electric generating plant agreements. Kent 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.

As a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division, Kent gained extensive experience investigating and prosecuting antitrust cases in 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 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 and has unique experience in corporate and governance issues for joint ventures.  Kent completed specialized litigation training at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.

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).

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.

Work Highlights

Antitrust, Corporate Governance and Major Contract Counseling

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 construction and general procurement.

Utility Contracting and Joint Ventures

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. 

Related Practices: Utility & Energy


Represent independent franchisees in financing, franchisor relationships, contracting, construction, leasing and related matters.

Related Practices: Construction Law

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Cases

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)

Related Practices: Utility & Energy

Equity Offerings and Corporate Governance

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.

Recapitalization and Restructuring of Financial Services Compliance Firm

Represented financial services compliance firm in all aspects of recapitalization and sale of multiple series of securities to private equity firm and other stockholders.

Related Practices: Business Services

Sale of Financial Services Technology Business to Private Equity Firm

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.

Related Practices: Business Services

Class Action, Telecommunications, Public Utility, Taxation & Consumer Protection

SKO represented a class of more than 450,000 members in U.S. District Court challenge to overcharges/tariff violations by regulated telecommunications carrier. SKO 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. SKO 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).

Antitrust, Robinson-Patman Act

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).

Federal and State Regulation, Telecommunications

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).

Related Practices: Utility & Energy

Antitrust, Telecommunications

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).

Related Practices: Utility & Energy

Antitrust, Constitutionality of State Law

Kendrick brought action on behalf of a major grocery chain claiming Sherman Act and Kentucky Constitution violations by a state agency in Kentucky Milk Mktng. & Antimonopoly Comm’n. v. Kroger Co., 691 S.W.2d 893 (Ky. 1985). The result invalidated state statutes regulating milk marketing.

Injunctive Relief, State Insurance Regulation

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).

Sale of Natural Gas Production Interests

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.

Competing Venture by an LLC Member

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.

LLC Member’s “Salary”

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.