Joel Meister is an associate and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. He is a member of the firm’s Finance & Financial Institutions Practice and the Energy Industry Team.
Joel regularly represents financial institutions and developers involved in a variety of complex project financings, including partnership flips, sale/leasebacks, asset acquisitions and sales, and debt financings. He has assisted clients in numerous transactions for a variety of energy technologies in residential, commercial, and utility-scale market segments. In addition, he has advised clients pursuing opportunities in innovative and emerging technologies, including energy storage, biomass, fuel cells, and combined heat and power (CHP) plants.
Before joining Foley, Joel was a manager in Deloitte Tax’s Washington National Tax (WNT) office, in the Federal Tax Accounting, Periods, Methods, and Credits group. His practice focused on renewable energy transactions, assisting project sponsors and investors with issues associated with the section 48 Investment Tax Credit (ITC), section 45 Production Tax Credit (PTC), and MACRS depreciation. In addition to transactional matters, Joel represented clients before the U.S. Treasury and Internal Revenue Service in regulatory guidance proceedings and private letter ruling (PLR) requests.
Joel previously served as assistant general counsel at an energy storage start-up before it was acquired. His duties included all legal and regulatory matters, with an emphasis on tax issues associated with the Section 48 Investment Tax Credit, project financing structures, and energy storage assets’ participation in grid services markets. He spearheaded numerous policy and market development initiatives, including the successful award of nearly $1 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative Incubator.
Previously, Joel concentrated on tax and financing issues at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the national trade association for the U.S. solar industry. On behalf of developers and project investors, he monitored the Section 1603 Treasury Grant Program and tax equity financing trends for renewable energy projects, as well as bank regulatory treatment of renewable energy projects under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and Public Welfare Investment authority. He also analyzed emerging and proposed financing solutions for clean energy, such as yieldcos, master limited partnerships (MLPs), real estate investment trusts (REITs), and asset securitization.
As the energy sector continues to evolve, his research into the complexities of renewable energy financing has been cited by academia, leading tax practitioners, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and in congressional testimony.
Joel earned his law degree from The George Washington University Law School (J.D.). He also received his bachelor’s degree from The George Washington University, where he majored in international affairs (B.A., cum laude).
Joel is admitted to practice in Virginia and the District of Columbia.
Publications and Presentations
In 2013, Joel received the Jamie Grodsky Prize for Environmental Law Scholarship, which is awarded for the best paper written in the field of environmental law by a GW Law JD, LLM, or SJD student. The award is given based on originality, innovation, depth of scholarship, the importance of the environmental issue addressed, and the quality of the writing and analysis.