Paul G. Neilan has more than twenty-eight years of experience as an attorney concentrating his practice in all aspects of energy and telecommunications, with an emphasis on matters arising from deregulation and competition in those fields. He has comprehensive expertise in competitive electricity supply and renewable energy, and has represented commercial, industrial and governmental energy users in both litigation and transactional matters. His long experience in the energy industry makes him a highly skilled negotiator for his clients.

Paul and Marc met after being handpicked as two of the best lawyers for a marketing group. Marc thinks of Paul as one of the smartest people he knows which makes for an interesting episode of Consult the Negotiator podcast.

Go to http://www.chicagoenergylawyer.com for more info on Paul.

 

Key takeaways:

  • To deal with massive companies confidently, you must understand the mechanics of the industry in which you are negotiating.
  • Paul has experience of being on either side of a negotiation (for example borrowers and lenders) and found the experience of negotiating on either side an excellent way to learn.
  • When managing client expectations, early communication on the value of the case is essential. No case is perfect, and the client needs to know that to keep expectation realistic.
  • Make sure you have a clear path to settlement with your client’s authorization.
  • People make threats that they shouldn’t when trying to settle. Avoid threatening or pressuring opponents when stuck at impasse since it’s hard to dial it back down.
  • Try being overly polite to soften up a difficult opponent.

 

[1:45]

What type of work do you do in telecommunications?

 

[3:00]

Why did you select this area of law?

 

[5:40]

How do you negotiate with massive companies?

 

[11:45]

What are the mechanics of ComEd paying your fees?

 

[12:40]

Are a lot of your cases class action cases or one off’s and individual?

 

[15:15]

Are some of the cases subject to arbitration?

 

[17:30]

How do you expand the pie in a negotiation which seems like a zero-sum proposition?

 

[24:00]

Aren’t you sometimes in situations where the cost of ligation trumps what the damages will be?

 

[25:40]

Where do you determine where to begin settlement negotiations?

 

[27:45]

Biggest mistakes you see other lawyers make?

 

[30:50]

What threats have you seen people make?

 

[32:35]

How has media attention affected some of the cases you have handled?

 

[33:45]

Dealing with impasse?

 

[37:00]

How to deal with a jerk opponent?

 

[39:30]

What are the most challenging matters to negotiate?

 

[43:25]

Website and contact details?

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