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Richard R. Butterworth

Of Counsel

With more than 30 years of experience in the Office of General Counsel of the General Services Administration (GSA), Rich advises clients in the areas of utility acquisition, including complex transactions such as ESPCs and UESCs, as well as the disposal and reuse of surplus government real estate.

During his time at GSA, Rich served as the chief counsel to the Public Buildings Service’s Offices of Real Property Utilization and Disposal and Energy Acquisition, where he provided legal counsel on national policy and practice matters and direct legal support for complex transactions handled in GSA’s regional offices. He had been focused on transactions that assist the Government in meeting its objectives through public-private partnerships (P3) and since joining Kutak Rock, has continued to advise government and commercial clients in this area.  Rich provided GSA with counsel on numerous legislative initiatives, from commenting on both Congressional and agency drafts, through agency implementation of policies and procedures. He also served as agency counsel to a number of boards and committees upon which GSA served, such as the Defense Environmental Response Task Force, the Interagency Council on Homelessness, the Federal Real Property Council, the Federal Utility Partnership Working Group, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Working Group. 
Energy Acquisitions/P3

In his position at GSA, Rich was lead counsel for energy acquisition policy and major utility acquisitions for the agency, including utility areawide contracts, P3 opportunities, such as Utility Energy Savings Contracts and Energy Savings Performance Contracts, and complex, regional power purchase agreements.

Real Property Disposal

Rich served as lead GSA counsel on complex real property transactions nationwide, including legal issues involving compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act, and has provided counsel on legal authority, appropriations law and scoring implications of proposed federal land conveyances, exchanges and outleases.

Rich’s experience has been recognized with project awards within GSA, and through commendations from the Secretary of Defense, the Secretaries of the individual military services and the Secretary of Energy, among other agencies.
Government Service
  • Office of General Counsel of the General Services Administration, 1987-2017 (Senior Assistant General Counsel)
Speaking Engagements 
  •  "Interconnection Best Practices," 2019 Spring Federal Utility Partnership Working Group Seminar,Federal Energy Management Program, San Diego, CA, May 2019 (panelist)
  • "The Color of Money: What Works in ESPC/UESC," Federal Market Workshop, National Association of Energy Service Companies, Washington, DC, March 2019 (moderator)
  • “Current Legal Issues for Federal Utility Procurement,” Energy Exchange, Cleveland, OH, August 2018
  • “Financing Energy Resiliency: Differences from Financing Energy Efficiency,” Technology and Financing Workshop, National Association of Energy Service Companies, Milwaukee, WI, June 2018
  • “Best Practices in Energy Procurement,” Federal Utility Partnership Working Group, Department of Energy, Nashville, TN, April 2018
  • “Defining and Acquiring Resilience for Military Bases,” Installation Innovation Forum, Association of Defense Communities, San Diego, CA, February 2018

Energy Acquisitions/P3
  • Provided counsel and support to the GSA ESPC PMO, which has awarded over $500 million in contracts, and is responsible for legal issues arising from unique energy acquisition contracts, such as utility areawide contracts, complex power purchase agreements like the DC Solar Challenge, and individual ESPC and UESC transactions.
  • Assisted in the use of GSA contract vehicles for P3 opportunities by other federal agencies, resulting in the award of over $2 billion in such contracts by those agencies.
Real Property Disposal
  • Agency counsel for the historic preservation outlease of the NASA Moffett Field, which relieved NASA of facility maintenance and security obligations, including environmental and historic preservation requirements, and will return over $1 billion in lease revenue to NASA over the initial term of the lease.
  • Lead counsel for the recent exchange transaction between GSA and MIT for the Volpe Center campus in Cambridge, MA, which resulted in $750 million in value to the Federal Government.
  • Provided counsel on various complex real property reutilization transactions including:
    • Sunflower and Volunteer Army Ammunition Plants
    • Governor’s Island
    • Lorton Correctional Facility 
    • Hamilton Air Force Base
    • St. Elizabeth's Hospital