The Massachusetts restrictive covenant legal landscape is set to shift dramatically with a new law limiting the use and enforcement of non-competition agreements by employers – effective October 1. In a post on our Mintz Levin teammates’ Employment Law Matters blog, they review the new law’s requirements, discuss the legal and practical implications of the law, and outline action items for employers. Click here to read the blog post.
Tom Burton is Chair of the firm’s Energy & Sustainability Practice, which he founded in 2004. A Member in the firm’s Boston office, his global practice focuses on complex corporate finance matters including mergers and acquisitions, venture capital, private equity, and securities transactions. He represents high-growth and emerging businesses, including companies in the energy and clean technology, social media and software industries, as well as life science companies, from start-ups to public companies.
As the sustainability movement grows, so too do the ambiguities under which boards of directors govern. In this article published by the National Association of Corporate Directors, Thomas R. Burton and Benjamin D. Stone, members of our Energy & Sustainability practice group, provide suggestions for how boards can navigate this exciting but still developing sector and help corporations generate both profits and positive impact.
“It is encouraging to live in a time where society is increasingly insisting that corporations generate and measure social impact alongside profit. Not only is this a positive development from a moral perspective, but it’s also good business. In the report, “From the Stockholder to the Stakeholder: How Sustainability Can Drive Financial Outperformance,” for example, Oxford University and Arabesque Asset Management establish that corporations that “incorporate sustainability considerations into decision-making processes . . . show better operational performance and are less risky.”
Mainstream financial and business leaders appear to, in large part, agree. In 2017, Larry Fink, chair of Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager, sent a letter to CEOs stating that, “to prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.” Investors are following suit, with eighty-four percent (84%) applying or considering Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria.”
Read the full article: “Stakeholders’ Desire for Sustainability Presents Opportunities and Challenges for Boards”
A hot new area for the development of energy efficiency storage technology is refrigeration. Last month, this blog covered the recent success of Mintz Levin client Axiom Exergy. Axiom’s focus on lowering the costs of refrigeration through their Refrigeration Battery has caught the attention of major investors such as Shell Investors, and has led to deals with major chains, including Wal-Mart and Whole Foods. The battery, which is described in more detail in the June 12th post, generates and stores excess refrigeration by freezing tanks of salt water during off-peak hours and releasing the refrigeration during peak hours to avoid high peak energy costs. The Refrigeration Battery is especially useful for supermarkets, which dedicate nearly 60% of their energy consumption towards refrigeration, and can help reduce peak energy consumption by up to 40%.
Of course, energy efficiency storage technology holds promise for more than just supermarkets. Ice Energy’s Ice Bear battery creates and stores ice during off-peak hours. It can then use that stored Continue Reading Battery Companies Drive Innovation in Energy Efficiency Storage Technology
At the Northeast Clean Energy Council’s (NECEC) latest Emerging Trends Series forum on July 11, 2018, leaders from the clean energy industry and the public sector convened to discuss the future of energy efficiency in the Northeast. As a sponsor of NECEC, Mintz Levin was proud to host this forum, which featured speakers from leading companies and organizations working to drive energy efficiency in the Northeast through new policy mechanisms and with innovative technologies and service models.
It has been over two years since Governor Baker enacted the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program, and nearly one year since the state’s Department of Energy Resources (DOER) released its final set of proposed regulations for the program. In our latest SMART update, we take a look at where the program currently stands and what energy providers can expect next (read our previous updates here and here).
A recent change to Section 3(c)(1) of the Investment Company Act may make it easier for small venture capital funds and certain special purpose vehicles to raise capital. While Section 3(c)(1) previously enabled such funds with up to 100 beneficial owners to be exempt from registering as investment companies with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the revised law increases this threshold to 250 beneficial owners.
Teammates from Mintz Levin’s Corporate & Securities Practice recently explained the change to Section 3(c)(1) and the potential benefits for qualifying venture capital funds in an alert. To read the full alert, click here.
In May, Mintz Levin client Axiom Exergy closed an impressive $7.6 million Series A round to scale its cold-storage device for grocery stores, bringing its total fundraising to $12.5 million. Led by Shell Ventures and GXP Investments, this financing will allow the innovative thermal storage startup to expand from two pilot installations to fleet-wide rollouts and reinforce its cloud-based data analytics for optimizing electricity consumption.
Continue Reading June Leader in the News: Axiom Exergy Closes $7.6 Million Series A with a New Thermal Storage Model for Grocery Stores
Analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance finds that roughly 18% of U.S. energy generation is supplied by renewable sources. The details can be found in the 2018 edition of the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, Bloomberg’s dive into the country’s energy mix and evaluation of how various renewable energy industries are faring.
On February 7, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that Massachusetts has installed more than 2,000 megawatts (MW) of solar electricity through 78,646 projects across the state. The achievement represents the culmination of various projects that make Massachusetts a leader in clean energy and energy efficiency and help the Commonwealth meet greenhouse gas reduction requirements set out by the Global Warming Solutions Act.
After releasing a request for proposals in March 2017 seeking long-term contracts for clean energy projects, on January 25 the Baker-Polito administration selected the Northern Pass Hydro (Northern Pass) project to move forward to contract negotiations with Massachusetts’ electric distribution companies in an effort to bring over 1,000 megawatts of electricity to the Commonwealth. Less than a week later, the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee defeated those plans, voting unanimously to deny a certificate to Eversource Energy, the utility responsible for developing the project. Now, the administration is giving Northern Pass a second chance to gain approval from New Hampshire regulators, but they have chosen a “back-up” project should Northern Pass fail once more.