Charles C. Read

  • Of Counsel
  • 355 South Grand Avenue, Suite 100
  • Los Angeles, CA 90071-1560
  • USA
  • T +1.213.891.8103


Charles Read is an energy and public utilities lawyer who handles matters for natural gas, pipeline, electric, and telecommunications companies before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), other state public utilities and public service commissions, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and in state and federal courts.

In addition to representing public utilities and their holding companies, Mr. Read advises investors, lenders, suppliers, and large customers in these sectors. Mr. Read is actively involved in the technological transformation that is changing the regulatory landscape through innovations such as renewable natural gas, carbon sequestration, battery storage, safety risk assessment and mitigation, smart meter capabilities, and energy fuel substitution analysis.

Mr. Read’s experience includes:

  • CPUC rulemakings regarding utility safety, resource planning, inspection cycles
  • Pipeline proceedings including rate cases, accident investigations, and corporate reorganizations
  • Investigations into alleged manipulation of the California wholesale energy markets
  • Advising on strategies for coordination among CPUC, FERC, and civil litigation
  • Defense of construction and operating costs of natural gas, crude oil and products pipelines, and nuclear and fossil generating plants
  • Safety and accident investigations and litigation involving oil tankers, pipelines, power plants, electric distribution systems, and gas storage

Mr. Read co-chairs the Committee on State Regulation of the Infrastructure and Regulated Industries Section of the American Bar Association and is a member of the California Conference of Public Utility Counsel. He is a member of the California, New York, and District of Columbia bars. Mr. Read also has taught classes on energy at UCLA School of Law and given CLE classes on CPUC Rules of Practice and Procedure.


  • Five9, Inc. in negotiating its application as a telecommunications carrier before the CPUC and resolving all past amounts due and penalties
  • Consolidated Edison Development Inc. in handling its mediation of solar project power purchase agreement disputes
  • Sempra Energy and SoCalGas on various regulatory aspects of the Aliso Canyon gas leak including permission to restart, determination of used and useful status, future need for the facility prudent operation, and settlement strategies
  • Sempra Energy in providing CPUC jurisdictional advice for a proposed CNG facility and compliance with CPUC rules for communications about community choice aggregators
  • SoCalGas at the California court of appeal and in the California Supreme Court, successfully defending its right to issue a compressed gas service tariff
  • SoCalGas in its appeal of a US$8 million penalty and refund ordered by the CPUC for alleged untimely billing
  • SoCalGas and SDG&E in an amicus argument before the court of appeal regarding utility responsibility to provide accurate information to CPUC
  • Southern California Edison in completing settlements at the CPUC regarding the 2007 Malibu Wildfire, 2011 Windstorm, Long Beach outage, and various safety incidents
Thought Leadership
  • Co-Author “A Guide to PHMSA’s Proposed Rule Expanding Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Requirements,” June 2016
  • “Recent Developments in Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Industries,” American Bar Association Section of Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Law, 2014-2019
  • “Pipeline Safety: PHMSA Adopts Important but Limited Updates to its Enforcement and Hearing Procedures,” 2013
  • “Trends in Public Utility Regulation: Five “Innovations” from California with Increased Regulatory Risk,” Infrastructure, American Bar Association, 2018
  • “Community Choice Aggregators in California: Key Considerations for Financing CCA PPAs,” Latham & Watkins Client Alert, 2018
Speaking Engagements
  • Building the Ark When the Sun is Shining: Emergency Planning for Utilities, Moderator, ABA Webinar, Los Angeles, California, 2014
  • “Regulatory Issues in Utility Outages,” Davies Consulting Program for Utility Managers, Washington, D.C., 2013
  • “The Tangled Intersection of Mass Torts, Bankruptcy and Regulatory Law: What Can Be Learned from PG&E?” ABA Business Law Section Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., 2019

Thought Leadership

  • Climate Change, the Regulatory Compact, and Public Utility Rights -  April 29, 2021
  • CARB Steers Clean Miles Standard Toward Formal Rulemaking -  February 05, 2021
  • California Legislature Cannot Limit Judicial Review of Certain Power Projects -  December 04, 2020
  • Trends in Public Utility Regulation: 5 Developments at the California Public Utilities Commission -  March 10, 2020
  • Five "Innovations" from California Increase Public Utility Regulatory Risk -  January 07, 2019
  • Community Choice Aggregators in California: Key Considerations for Financing CCA PPAs -  February 13, 2018
  • One Hundred Years of State Utility Regulation -  December 30, 2017
“He is commended for his agency-facing practice, frequently appearing before the CPUC and other state agencies on behalf of regulated energy clients.”
“Clients praise his intelligence and excellent judgment.”Chambers USA 2020
Bar Qualification
  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • JD, University of California, Los Angeles, 1975
    Chief Comment Editor, Law Review
  • AB, Harvard University, 1971
    magna cum laude
  • Energy & Infrastructure
  • Energy Regulatory & Markets
  • Environment, Land & Resources