Nicholas D. Bernier

617.737.1800 x 4503
nbernier@ferriterscobbo.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/nickbernier/
Nicholas D. Bernier, Esq
Get Vcard

I joined Ferriter Scobbo & Rodophele, PC as a shareholder in July, 2018. Ferriter Scobbo broadens my ability to assist clients solve their complex legal problems in the Boardroom, Courtroom, and Statehouse. 

My practice focuses in energy, corporate taxation, tax controversy, municipal finance, and government relations advocacy.  Generally, I solve clients’ complicated problems in the Boardroom, Courtroom and Statehouse as tax/regulatory counsel; syndicating tax credits; local zoning and permitting matters; state and federal regulatory compliance and controversy; and selling/acquiring renewable energy projects.

In the Boardroom

Utilizing my tax and corporate background, I have advised numerous clients in a variety of projects addressing issues involving historic tax credits to utilizing tax-exempt municipal bonds. I have served as issuer’s counsel for tax-exempt bond transactions connected with the purchase of a school building for a Massachusetts public school department. I am a member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers and have been listed as Issuer’s Counsel in The Bond Buyer’s Municipal Marketplace®, more commonly referred to as the “Red Book.”

My practice also entails working with clients developing/acquiring large portfolios of renewable energy generation projects in Massachusetts and in Rhode Island.  My Boardroom experience extends to advising clients on the application of the “single-parcel rule” to individual solar fields during due diligence and as to how Rhode Island energy regulators may address policy considerations of the “single-parcel rule” in developing a portfolio of renewable energy generation facilities in Rhode Island.

In the Courtroom

In connection with my representation of clients involved in the solar industry, I negotiate payment in lieu of taxation (PILOT) agreements in Massachusetts communities. That representation is informed by litigating solar property taxation cases at the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board.  Precedent setting verdicts in favor of the renewable energy industry I have tried include:

  • Quabbin Solar, LLC et al. v. Barre Assessors, ATB 2017-480, 487 (November 2, 2017) (ruling that the three large commercial solar generation projects that were selling their power to a chain of convenience stores located in other communities had provided sufficient evidence to establish their twenty-year tax exemption) and
     
  • KTT, LLC v. Swansea Assessors, ATB 2016-426 (October 13, 2016) (finding that the Massachusetts Department of Revenue’s guidance was contrary to the plain language of the statute and ruling that a taxpayer selling power to banking institutions located in a different community was entitled to a twenty-year tax exemption).
     

In the Statehouse

Based on my experience in the Boardroom and Courtroom, I advised clients, legislators, and executive branch regulators on how various laws could and should be modified.  I provided government affairs and lobbying services to a variety of clients. I drafted various pieces of legislation that addressed such issues as standardizing the valuation and taxation of solar projects to amending the state motor vehicle statute and accompanying regulations to allow for the use more innovative vehicles..

Prior to joining Ferriter Scobbo, I worked as an attorney at a well-regarded boutique Providence and Boston based tax law firm, advocated for clients as counsel with a regional real estate law firm, served as an assistant district attorney for Bristol County, Massachusetts, and completed a legal internship program with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C.

Education

  • Washington University (St. Louis) School of Law, Juris Doctoris
  • Washington University (St. Louis) School of Law, Master of Laws in Taxation
  • Boston College, Bachelor of Arts, History with Scholar of the College Title

Bar Admissions & Organizations

  • Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
  • United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • Supreme Court of Rhode Island
  • United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island
  • National Association of Bond Lawyers

Related Practice Areas

Contracts

Corporate Governance

Energy

Environmental

Financing

Government Relations

Land Use

Litigation

 

 

 

Bernier