Leo Manuel Headshot

Leo E. Manuel

Partner
  • (228) 214-0427
Download Resume lmanuel@balch.com
Education
  • University of Richmond School of Law
    J.D., 2005, cum laude; University of Richmond Law Review, Articles Editor
  • University of Richmond
    M.B.A., 2005
  • Louisiana State University
    B.S., Mechanical Engineering, 2001
Bar Admissions
  • Mississippi, 2005
About Leo
Q&A
  • What types of clients do you represent?

    I have advised in the past and currently represent a wide range of corporate entities including electric, telecommunications, water, and sewer public utilities across the Southeast as well as small and mid-sized companies in industries such as seafood processing, gaming, construction, and maritime. I have helped clients react to significant events such as Hurricane Katrina and the BP Oil Spill, and I have assisted in the development and execution of long-term goals such as merger and acquisitions or corporate succession planning.

  • What previous experiences, prior to your work at Balch, influence your practice?

    My educational background in both engineering and business has been invaluable in delivering quality legal services to my clients. I am confident my diverse background has helped me to address complex issues such as long-term service agreements for major equipment or detailed accounting problems presented in corporate disputes or public utility regulatory proceedings.

  • What do you see on the horizon in your area of practice?

Select Matters

  • Mississippi Power Kemper County IGCC Project: Since the Project's inception in 2006, I was involved in all legal aspects of the Project's development, approval, and construction. Major areas include: applying for and obtaining various financial incentives; applying for and obtaining all necessary approvals from federal and state regulatory bodies; litigating the validity of various approvals and permits in state and federal courts; regulatory prudence review and rate proceedings; and commercial litigation concerning the Project.
  • Utility Rate Cases: Represented electric, water, and sewer public utilities in dozens of rate cases before state and federal utility regulatory bodies.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions: I have been involved in several acquisitions of multi-state water and sewer public utilities requiring the completion of all necessary due diligence and transactional legal work to complete the asset purchase, and, ultimately, the regulatory proceedings necessary to approve and close the transactions.
  • Commercial Arbitration: Obtained a zero-dollar award in a $140 million private arbitration alleging fraud and breach of contract by a 3-0 vote of the arbitration panel following a two-week trial on the merits. (2020)
  • Commercial Litigation:  Obtained a complete dismissal of a multi-million federal court class action suit alleging breach of contract and other related causes of actions. (2019)
  • Commercial Litigation: Obtained a dismissal of a state-court fraud case alleging damages in the hundreds of millions of dollars related to the construction of a large industrial facility. (2017)
  • Commercial Litigation: Successfully represented the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in litigation against its thirteen different property and casualty insurance providers to ultimately recover over $180 million in property and business interruption damages caused by Hurricane Katrina. (2007) 
  • Corporate governance: Represent third-generation family corporation to advise on corporate governance, corporate re-structuring, and leadership succession issues.
     

News

    Speaking Engagements

      Credentials

      Education
      • University of Richmond School of Law, J.D., 2005, cum laude; University of Richmond Law Review, Articles Editor
      • University of Richmond, M.B.A., 2005
      • Louisiana State University, B.S., Mechanical Engineering, 2001
      Courts
      • Supreme Court of Mississippi, 2005
      • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, 2005
      Bar Admissions
      • Mississippi, 2005
      Professional Affiliations
      • American Bar Association
      • Mississippi Bar Association
      • Energy Bar Association
      • Harrison County Bar Association
      • Harrison County Young Lawyers Association
      • Firm Pro Bono Committee, Chair
      Awards & Accolades
      • Chambers USA, Energy & Natural Resources, Mississippi 
      • The Best Lawyers in America, Energy
      • Mid-South Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2012 - present
      • Mississippi Economic Council – Leadership Mississippi Class of 2019
      • Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce - Leadership Gulf Coast Class of 2011
      Community Involvement
      • Biloxi Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors
      • Gulf Coast Business Council, Emerging Executive Committee
      • Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum, Board of Directors
      • Gulf Coast Carnival Association, Floor Committee
      • Mithras Carnival Association, Past President