Christopher N. Skey is a partner in the Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Practice Group in Quarles & Brady's Chicago office. For more than 20 years, Chris has conducted a broad-based energy practice, handling complex matters on behalf of competitive energy suppliers (electric and natural gas); public utilities and energy cooperatives; transmission companies; municipalities; large commercial, industrial, and governmental energy users; renewable energy developers and asset owners; airports; trade groups; lenders; building and facility owners; data centers; "green" energy suppliers; nonprofit organizations; and other energy market participants.
Chris handles regulatory, transactional, and litigated matters. His work ranges from complex contract drafting and negotiations associated with energy supply and energy development issues, to proceedings before state and federal regulatory agencies and courts on a variety of energy-related licensing, rulemaking, investigatory, compliance, audit, complaint, and other litigated proceedings. He regularly counsels domestic and non-U.S. energy market participants and energy project developers on compliance and strategic planning related to the regulatory, legal, and political developments affecting their interests and projects.
Chris complements his energy and infrastructure-related work with background experience in environmental, natural resource, constitutional, and commercial matters, including construction, insurance, trade secrets, restrictive covenants, employment, fraud, product liability, copyright, contracts, antitrust, securities, and other business-related matters. In addition to energy companies of all sorts, Chris has represented lenders, construction firms, accounting firms, financial services firms, data centers, technology firms, universities and research institutions, museums, law firms, pharmaceutical firms, food and beverage firms, engineering firms, industrial manufacturers, real estate developers, airlines and airports, Native American tribes, consultants, marketing firms, insurance companies, small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and individuals.
Chris is strongly committed to pro bono work, providing free representation to low-income individuals and small businesses, as well as to local and national nonprofit organizations. Chris has a long affiliation as a volunteer attorney for Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS), the oldest civil pro bono legal services organization in the Chicago area. Chris also served for six years on the CVLS Board of Directors and as Board President in 2013-2014. He currently chairs CVLS's Advisory Board.
In addition to private practice experience, Chris served as a Judicial Law Clerk to U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday, Middle District of Florida (Tampa Division), from 2000 to 2003.
Chris is active in community organizations as a volunteer tutor and member of the Board of Directors for Books & Breakfast in Evanston, IL; a youth soccer coach for Evanston AYSO; and a food repack volunteer for Feed My Starving Children in Libertyville, IL.
Education and Honors
- Northwestern University School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1997)
- Northwestern University (B.A., 1991)
Professional and Civic Activities
- Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (Volunteer; Current Chair of Advisory Board; Former President, Vice President for Development, Chair of Board Development Committee, Member Board of Directors 2008-2016)
- Books & Breakfast (Current Member, Board of Directors)
- Chinatown Pro Bono Legal Clinic (Volunteer)
- Legal Prep Legal Clinic (Volunteer)
- Evanston AYSO (Youth Soccer Coach)
- Feed My Starving Children (Food Repack Volunteer)
- Asian Legal Service Clinic (Former Volunteer and Clinic Coordinator)
- Cook County Juvenile Detention Center and Barry Elementary School, through the Lawyers in the Classroom program sponsored by the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago (Former Volunteer Teacher)
- Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law's "Introduction to Legal Learning" course offered to incoming law students at Northwestern University School of Law (Former Instructor)
- Listed in Chambers USA as a "Leader in Their Field" for Energy & Natural Resources (Illinois) (2018 & 2019)
- Lexology Client Choice Award (Illinois: Environment & Climate Change) (2017)