Belton provides clients with solutions to complex energy, utility, environmental and cybersecurity matters based on more than 30 years of energy industry experience. He has served as general counsel to a major electric and natural gas utility, where he also had managerial responsibility for industrial customer relations, power marketing and strategic planning.

Belton has participated as a lead attorney in negotiating multi-million dollar utility contracts, in permitting major infrastructure projects, in managing mega-project regulatory matters, in litigating general gas and electric rate cases, and in developing alternative energy projects. He has extensive experience in the state regulation of solar and alternative energy projects and nuclear power, and has been instrumental in shaping state laws regulating those industries.

In recent years, Belton has adapted his extensive experience in industrial and infrastructure matters to counsel clients on data management and cybersecurity in areas such as data breach preparation and response and litigation involving data management. He is a senior member of Womble Bond Dickinson’s Data Management and Cybersecurity Team.

He also was the lead attorney for the effort to create a regional transmission organization for South and North Carolina. Zeigler has represented clients before state regulators in more than 20 major proceedings and multiple appellate matters relating to those proceedings. In addition, he has litigated important municipal power and public finance cases in the courts, some of which involved appearing before the appellate courts.

Presentations and Publications

Publications

  • Cybersecurity concerns surround the promise of driverless cars, Upstate Business Journal (2017)
  • What companies can learn from the DNC hack, Upstate Business Journal (2017)
  • Geo Political Cyber Warfare and Your Business (2016)
  • Attorneys Outline How Companies Can Comply With EU Privacy Laws, Charleston Regional Business Journal (2016)
  • Cyber Fatigue: New NIST Study Reveals Consumers Feel Overwhelmed by Security Messages, Compliance. (2016) 
  • Paper Is Key To Your Company Winning Future Cybersecurity Suit. (2016)
  • Cybersecurity IMPOSSIBLE: California AG Decides a Ceiling is a Floor. (2016)
  • Contributing Author, South Carolina Administrative Practice and Procedure, (2004)
  • Regionalization: A Growing Option for Smaller Infrastructure Systems, County Focus, (2014)
  • Affiliate Transactions and Electricity Restructuring, Electricity Journal, (1995)

Presentations

  • Speaker, Cyber Liability, SCMIT and SCMIRF Annual Member Meeting, November 2017.
  • Speaker, Cyber Security: An Overview of Threats and Responses for SC Business,  Greater Blythewood Chamber of Commerce, October 2017
  • Speaker, Cyber Security: A Primer for Risk Managers, RMA Upper South Carolina Chapter, January 2016
  • South Carolina Business Review, Cyber Risks for South Carolina Business, November 2016
  • Speaker, Cyber Security: A Primer for Special Purpose Districts, October 2016
  • Speaker, Cyber Security:  A Primer for General Counsel’s Offices, September 2016
  • Speaker, Public Power Security: Data Breaches and Malicious Attacks, June 2016

Professional Activities

  • South Carolina Bar
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • Richland County Bar Association
  • South Carolina Association of Counties
  • Municipal Association of South Carolina
  • South Carolina Special Purpose Districts Association
  • InfraGard, South Carolina Chapter (FBI infrastructure security initiative)
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals
  • Founding Board Member, Congaree Land Trust
  • Chancellor, Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina
  • Board Member, Trinity Seminary

Honors and Awards

  • Chambers USA 2018 Ranked Lawyer, Environment, South Carolina
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© in the field of Utilities Law, 2017 - Present
Experience

Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

  • Served as principal state regulatory counsel in proceedings related to a $10 billion energy megaproject.
  • Represented utility companies in siting of major electric transmission system projects and nuclear and fossil fuel-powered generation projects.
  • Negotiated electric and natural gas energy supply agreements for a global technology firm’s data center and a national manufacturing company’s production facilities across the country.
  • Represented the developer in the first hog waste-to-methane project in North Carolina.
  • Completed the transfer of natural gas pipeline systems between regulated utilities and between regulated and municipal utilities.
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Bar admissions

1982, South Carolina

Admitted to practice before:

  • United States District Court for the District of South Carolina
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Education

  • J.D., 1982, University of South Carolina School of Law
    • magna cum laude
    • Order of the Coif
  • Editorial Board, South Carolina Law Review
  • B.A., 1977, Amherst College: English
    • cum laude