Newark, NJ
The Legal Center
One Riverfront Plaza
Newark, NJ 07102
ph: 973.849.9005
fx: 973.849.2020
Photo of Deborah M. Franco

Areas of Practice



Deborah M. Franco


Deborah is a partner in the firm's Energy and Utilities department. She focuses her practice on the representation of public utilities and other energy clients in a wide range of adjudicatory and rulemaking proceedings before the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, New Jersey Office of Administrative Law, New York Public Service Commission and other regulatory agencies.

Deborah has a combination of private and public interest experience and has an extensive background in ratemaking and regulatory matters, including base rate cases, rate adjustment clauses, accelerated infrastructure investment programs, energy efficiency programs, transfers of ownership and control (including mergers, acquisitions and asset sales), tariff matters, audits, affiliate issues, third party asset management transactions, supplier licensing, municipal consents/renewals, generic dockets, customer complaints and billing disputes.

Deborah has prosecuted a number of appeals of rates and regulatory decisions and other utility/energy-related litigation. Deborah has also performed related contract work and prepared various energy/utility-related agreements between affiliates and unaffiliated third parties. She joined the firm in 1993, served with the New Jersey Division of the Ratepayer Advocate from 1997 through 1998, and then returned to private practice at the firm.

Areas of Concentration

  • Utility regulatory proceedings
  • Energy and Utility Transactions
  • Public Utilities

Representative Experience

  • Numerous rate and other regulatory proceedings involving the following utility/energy companies:
    • Elizabethtown Gas Company
    • The Brooklyn Union Gas Company
    • KeySpan Energy Delivery Long Island
  • Represented and advised clients in connection with the regulatory aspects of numerous mergers/ acquisitions including the following:
    • SJI Acquisition of Elizabethtown Gas
    • AGL Resources/ The Southern Company
    • AGL Resources/ NICOR, Inc.
    • KeySpan Corporation/ National Grid plc

Speaking Engagements

  • Deborah has spoken to industry groups and bar associations on a number of issues concerning energy and utility law.

Professional & Community Activities

  • New York State Bar Association, Public Utility Law Committee, Former Chairperson
  • New Jersey State Bar Association, Member
  • New Jersey Women’s Political Caucus, Member
  • Firm Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Co-Chairperson