Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, the premier provider of legal services to technology, life sciences, and growth enterprises worldwide, announced that Elise Zoli has joined the firm’s energy and climate solutions (ECS) practice as a partner in the Boston office, where she will focus her practice on global strategic alliances and market-opening transactions in the clean energy, water, agriculture, and de-carbonization sectors.
Prior to joining Wilson Sonsini, Zoli was a partner at Jones Day, where she was the global head of the Future of Energy, Renewables+, and Sustainability working group. Zoli’s clients included mature private and public companies focused on the energy transition and those seizing the opportunities driven by the strengths of their patent portfolios, available investment capital, and commitments to meet consumer-, investor-, and government-driven momentum around sustainability and climate change.
Resident in Boston, and recognized in the U.S. and in Europe for her energy and climate-focused practice, Zoli has substantial experience representing clients engaged in advanced clean energy technologies, including renewable energy, hydrogen and alternative fuels, energy storage, electric vehicles, micro-and smart-grid, water, and regenerative agriculture. Additionally, her practice involves inbound joint venture/investment structures promoted by European strategic companies focused on climate- and energy-related patent portfolios and generating assets in the U.S. Zoli has also advised clients on renewable, ecological, and carbon-based assets, attributes, and markets.
“Elise’s addition and our firm’s emphasis on energy and climate solutions align with the business opportunities that many of our forward-looking public and private company clients are leaning toward in terms of leadership and revenue generation in the clean energy space,” said Doug Clark, managing partner at Wilson Sonsini. “Elise’s achievements as a deal maker and her record of working with innovative companies, investors, and others undertaking groundbreaking transactions in the new energy economy are critical to clients navigating the global energy transition and are wonderfully aligned with Wilson Sonsini’s entrepreneurial approach. We’re pleased to welcome her to the firm.”
In recent years, Zoli has been recognized as a trailblazer in clean energy (The National Law Journal, 2021), a global power broker in sustainable infrastructure (Financier Worldwide, 2021), among 100 global leaders in wind energy (Word About Wind Legal Power List, 2020), and one of the 10 most influential women in U.S. energy law (Law360, 2018, as part of the publication’s inaugural selection focused on clean energy and sustainability). She has long been ranked as a leading energy and environmental expert by Chambers USA.
“I am excited to join Wilson Sonsini, with its longstanding leadership in the new economy, premier position as an innovation powerhouse, and pioneering work on behalf of founders, investors, and global companies that are aimed at delivering a sustainable future anchored in global prosperity,” said Zoli. “I jumped at the chance to be part of the firm’s impressive energy and climate solutions practice. What drove timing and rationale for me is that this is our moment to deliver a transformative, sustainable global economy. We lawyers must do everything in our power to help clients scale up sustainable technologies and projects.”
Zoli added: “I’m thrilled to join a group that, like me, has devoted their careers to supporting innovators, disruptors, and other change-makers focused on climate and sustainable solutions—and one of the only firms that earned an ‘A’ grade in the most recent 2021 Law Firm Climate Change Scorecard, because they work with climate-minded clients.”
“We take great pride in being the law firm of choice for forward-looking companies, investors, and lenders undertaking first-of-their-kind transactions in the energy and climate verticals,” said Peter Mostow, partner and leader of Wilson Sonsini’s energy and climate solutions practice. “Elise’s addition to our ECS team and to the firm’s broader practice in global innovation markets, including Boston, represents an extraordinary enhancement to the work we do for visionary clients—those who engage with climate change and resource scarcity as opportunities for creativity, invention, and growth.”
Zoli serves on the board of directors at the Stimson Center, a leading, nonpartisan global think tank seeking to advance global peace and prosperity, including through climate resilience, where she co-founded and is on the Board of Counselors for the Stimson-affiliated Alliance for a Climate Resilient Earth (ACRE). She is a co-founder of the Global Sanctuary for Elephants, among other global sanctuaries. She is also a strategic advisor to the Bhutan Foundation (where she advanced the second global SuperFabLab), the Guestbook Project, H2oVortex, and the Regenerative Food Network, among others.
Before joining Jones Day in 2018, Zoli practiced law at Goodwin Procter in its Boston office, having joined that firm in 1998.
Zoli received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1990 and earned a B.A., magna cum laude, from Duke University in 1987. She is completing her global MBA from Tufts’ Fletcher School.