John Bel Edwards Joins Fishman Haygood

NEW ORLEANS – Fishman Haygood LLP announced today that Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards will join the firm when he leaves office on Jan. 8.

An attorney, Edwards will work with Fishman Haygood’s business and litigation teams. In his new role as special counsel, he will focus on renewable energy.

“We are thrilled to have the governor join our team,” said Fishman Haygood Managing Partner John Werner in a press release. “John Bel has been a proven leader throughout his life, including his recent efforts to grow the renewable energy sector in Louisiana. We are excited that he has chosen to join us in this next phase of his career.” 

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At Fishman Haygood, corporate and litigation attorneys advise businesses on local, national and global matters. On the transactional side, the firm is engaged in several renewable energy and energy efficiency deals and projects. In litigation, the firm has tried cases for plaintiffs and defendants, both companies and individuals, in high-stakes state, federal and international matters.

As governor, Edwards worked to position Louisiana as a leader participating in and benefiting from the energy transition. Under his administration, the state has garnered $50 billion in private sector capital investments for both low- and no-carbon projects. With opportunities in Louisiana’s renewable energy sector expanding, Edwards said he looks to continue playing a leading role in this emerging market.

“It has been the greatest honor of my lifetime to serve as governor of the state of Louisiana,” said Edwards. “I look forward to rejoining the legal profession and continuing to serve the state by establishing Louisiana as a leader in green energy while maintaining our commercial competitiveness.”

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Fishman Haygood is representing the landowner in a series of agreements with a subsidiary of Talos Energy, a leading Houston-based energy company which actively participates in carbon capture and storage opportunities. The firm also is engaged in local and national litigation to enforce the plugging of non-productive oil wells and the removal of abandoned equipment, which blight the environment and interfere with landowner property rights.

“John Bel forged one of the best formulated climate plans in the country, benefitting Louisiana’s economy and coastline,” said Fishman Haygood Partner Jim Swanson. “He understands the business and litigation sides of our practice, and we believe his unique perspective will bring value to our team and our clients.”

Prior to his governorship, Edwards was a practicing attorney. He was elected to the Louisiana State House of Representatives in 2008 and was reelected to the legislature until being elected governor in 2015. He spent eight years in the governor’s mansion and enjoyed high approval ratings from a majority of people in the state.

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Edwards inherited one of the largest budget deficits in the state’s history, but he is projected to leave office with a $330 million surplus.

“John Bel is a remarkable combination of integrity, intelligence, leadership and courage,” said Darryl Berger, prominent New Orleans businessman and president of The Berger Company. “To have him as the leader of our state has been a blessing for all who live here. The governor is a fantastic addition to Fishman Haygood and will be an invaluable asset to the firm and its clients.”

An Amite native, Edwards was born seventh out of eight children. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1988 and accepted a commission to the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant. In eight years of active duty, he earned Airborne, Ranger, and Jumpmaster status, which culminated with the command of a rifle company in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Following his military service, Edwards enrolled in Louisiana State University’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center. After graduating law school, he clerked for Judge James L. Dennis of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

When he leaves office, Edwards will return to Tangipahoa Parish with his wife, Donna Hutto Edwards, and their three children.

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