Ballard Spahr’s Energy and Project Finance practice was named one of the top five energy practices in the nation by AOL Energy. The publication called the firm a “rising star,” recognizing it for grouping together energy and infrastructure and for recruiting former regulators from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to guide its clients through changing U.S. energy policy.

With 13 offices nationwide, including several in the Northeast, Ballard Spahr handles energy project development and financing of legal assignments nationwide, especially in the alternative and renewable energy sectors. The firm’s Energy practice also has a strong Washington, D.C., presence to handle both gas and electric regulatory issues for its clients with FERC. Said AOL Energy: “With the amount of money at play in energy infrastructure potentially reaching the hundreds of billions, the firm is poised to build on its substantial expertise into a major new role as advisor to a host of domestic and international companies.”

Ballard Spahr’s energy roster includes partners Edward G. Rendell, the former Governor of Pennsylvania, Energy Group Practice Leader and former FERC chief of staff Howard Shafferman, and Harry Weiss, who was recently appointed by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley to an advisory panel studying natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale in Western Maryland.

Energy Group Practice Leader Tom Hoffmann acknowledged the AOL recognition by saying: “We don’t consciously try to stay under the radar, but I think the rapid growth of our national practice in the past 3 years is something that only our clients fully recognize.”