Areas of Practice
  • Harvard Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 1979, Senior Editor, Harvard Law Review
  • Harvard University, B.A., magna cum laude, 1974, Phi Beta Kappa
Judicial Clerkships
  • Hon. Levin H. Campbell, US Court of Appeals, First Circuit, 1979-1980
Bar & Court Admissions
  • District of Columbia
1330 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20036
TEL: +1 202 429 6232
FAX: +1 202 429 3902

Steve Reed helps major US oil pipeline companies resolve their most difficult regulatory problems.  Because of his exceptional experience with complex pipeline issues and his deep understanding of the industry, he is consistently sought out to shepherd new pipeline projects through the regulatory process, and to help resolve challenging disputes arising before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), state regulatory agencies, and appellate courts.  In recognition of his achievements and capabilities, Best Lawyers in America named him the 2017 Washington “Lawyer of the Year” in Natural Resources Law. 

Oil Pipeline Regulation
For more than three decades, Mr. Reed has played a key role in landmark cases that have laid the foundation for FERC’s current regulation of oil pipelines.  He was a leading participant in the FERC’s major rulemaking initiative that established the governing principles for oil pipeline rates and authored a seminal article on that topic.  Because of his extensive background in oil pipeline regulation, he is often asked to speak on the history of the field and the ongoing development of FERC’s regulatory methodology.

Backed by a deep bench of experienced energy lawyers, Mr. Reed frequently represents industry-leading clients, such as the owners of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (particularly ConocoPhillips Transportation Alaska Inc.), Enbridge, Colonial, and the Association of Oil Pipe Lines.  He served as lead counsel in a case for Spearhead Pipeline that led to FERC’s first explicit approval of firm service contracts for oil pipelines.  He has successfully guided oil pipelines through contested FERC cases in which their tariff rates were ultimately found to be lawful as filed, most notably on behalf of the Southern Lights Pipeline.  Further, he has helped to devise and defend creative settlements, such as the settlement regarding Enbridge’s multibillion-dollar Alberta Clipper project.

Mr. Reed frequently assists clients with projects to build new pipelines, to expand existing pipelines, and to extend lines into new markets.  These have included major cross-border pipelines between Canada and the US, new pipelines to the US Gulf Coast region, and major expansions of pipelines serving the Bakken region of North Dakota and other growing domestic oil resources.  In total, these projects have led to investments of billions of dollars in new US infrastructure. 

Appellate Practice
Mr. Reed is also a seasoned appellate litigator who has argued major cases in the federal courts of appeals and state appellate courts, including the Supreme Courts of Texas and Alaska.  His appellate experience ranges beyond energy to rail transportation, insurance, environmental law, and taxation. 

Mr. Reed is a Band 1 Oil and Gas lawyer in both Chambers USA and Chambers Global.  He serves as co-head of the firm’s Regulatory and Legislative Department, which encompasses Steptoe’s transportation, telecommunications, energy, environment, and government affairs practices.


  • Band 1, Chambers USA, Energy: Oil & Gas, Regulatory & Litigation, (Nationwide), 2010-2017
  • Band 1, Chambers Global, Energy: Oil & Gas, Regulatory & Litigation, (US), 2014-2016
  • Recognized as a Leading Lawyer: Energy Regulatory: Oil & Gas in The Legal 500 US, 2017 
  • Legal 500 US, Energy: Litigation 2009-2017
  • Legal 500 US, Energy: Regulatory 2013-2017
  • Washington, DC Super Lawyers, Energy and Resources, 2009-2017
  • Best Lawyers in America, "Lawyer of the Year," Washington, DC Natural Resources Law, 2017
  • Best Lawyers in America, "Lawyer of the Year," Washington, DC Oil and Gas Law, 2018
  • Best Lawyers in America, Natural Resources Law; Oil and Gas Law, 2007-2018
  • Who's Who Legal, Energy, 2013-2014
  • The Top Rated Lawyers Guide to Appellate Law, 2013
  • Benchmark: Litigation, Appellate, 2010-2014
  • Who's Who Legal, Oil & Gas, 2012
  • The Top Rated Lawyers Guide to Environmental Law, 2012 
  • Euromoney's Expert Guide to the World's Leading Energy and Natural Resource Lawyers 2007, 2008, 2010
  • Chambers Global,Energy: Oil & Gas, Regulatory & Litigation, (US), 2008, 2009
  • 3000 Leading Lawyers in Americaby, 2010
  • Chambers USA, Energy: Oil & Gas (DC), 2009
  • 500 Leading Lawyers in America by, 2007

Select News & Events

Selected Publications

Professional Affiliations

  • Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Law Section, American Bar Association
  • Energy Bar Association