Katie Leesman


Tel 202.661.2266
Fax 202.661.2299
Washington, DC

Katie Leesman counsels clients on complex business transactions, with an emphasis on energy project finance, project development and acquisition, related financings, and associated federal and state energy regulatory matters. Katie is experienced with numerous project technologies, including commercial, utility-scale, residential-scale photovoltaic systems, and community solar projects.

Representative Matters

  • Representation of developers, investors, and lenders in the financing and development of solar projects located throughout the United States, including utility scale, distributed generation, and community solar portfolios.
  • Representation of an independent investment manager in its acquisition of distributed solar photovoltaic portfolio with a nameplate capacity of 115 MWAC, comprising 136 projects across 12 states, including California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Massachusetts.
  • Represented project developer in first tax equity financing of community solar portfolio in the U.S., totaling over 15 MW of solar PV projects.
  • Serve as Trustee’s counsel in prepaid natural gas transactions financed by municipal bonds.
  • Counsel independent power producers and electric power marketers in transactional and regulatory matters involving the Federal Power Act, Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, and Energy Policy Act of 2005
  • Provide counsel to two independent electric system operators
  • Representation of natural gas shippers in rate filings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  • Provide counsel to a large electric distribution cooperative
  • Assisted with the representation of Pacific Northwest utilities in the California Refund Proceeding before FERC
  • Assisted with the representation of a nonprofit public benefit corporation in its enforcement proceeding against a California market participantCounseled independent power producers and electric power marketers in transactional and regulatory matters involving the Federal Power Act, Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, and Energy Policy Act of 2005
  • Counseled natural gas companies on the regulatory requirements of the Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

*Certain representations undertaken prior to joining Ballard Spahr LLP.

Before entering law school, Katie worked as a legal policy analyst for Dell Inc.'s government affairs group. She served internships with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Office of Administrative Litigation in the summers of 2009 and 2010. In spring 2010, she was a law clerk to the Office of Enforcement and Compliance, National Planning, Measures, and Analysis of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Professional Activities

Former President, Women's Energy Network

American Bar Association

Energy Bar Association

Recognition & Accomplishments

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals and Superior Court of the District of Columbia named Katie to the Capital Pro Bono High Honor Roll in 2014, for providing 100 hours of pro bono service in the prior calendar year.

The Best Lawyers in America "Ones to Watch," – Project Finance Law (Washington, D.C.), 2021

The Legal 500, Energy: renewable/alternative, 2020


Co-author, "Effects of COVID-19 on Energy Projects and Programs," Ballard Spahr alert, May 5, 2020

Co-author, "Oregon Creates Community Solar Program", Ballard Spahr alert, March 16, 2016

Co-author, "Maryland Public Service Commission Issues Draft Regulations Implementing Community Solar Pilot Program," Ballard Spahr alert, November 19, 2015

Co-author, "Threading the Needle on Gas/Electric Coordination: Who Has To Change and Who Has To Pay?" American Bar Association's Trends, Vol. 45 No. 5, May/June 2014

Co-author, "The Potential Impact of New Pipeline Safety Legislation on PHMSA's Regulatory Initiatives," Pipeline & Gas Journal, April 2012

Co-author, "The National Transportation Safety Board's Report on San Bruno: Implications for Pipeline Safety," Pipeline & Gas Journal, November 2011

Speaking Engagements

Speaker, "Community Solar Update – State-Specific Programs and Implementation," Ballard Spahr webinar, Washington, D.C., April 7, 2017

Speaker, "Community Solar Update – State- Specific Legislations and Regulations," Ballard Spahr webinar, Washington, D.C., February 23, 2016 

Board Memberships

Women's Energy Network, 2012-present

American University, Washington College of Law (J.D. 2011, cum laude)
Member, American University International Law Review; Member, Moot Court Honor Society

Mary Washington College (B.A. 2004, cum laude)
Member, Pi Sigma Alpha; Member, Phi Alpha Theta

District of Columbia