Former NC Utilities Commissioner Kerr hired as general counsel of Southern Co.

Former N.C. Utilities Commissioner James Kerr II, who has spent the past six years representing Duke Energy Progress and other utilities in private law practice, will become general counsel and executive vice president of Southern Co., one of the nation’s largest electric utilities.

Kerr has represented Southern Co. as a Raleigh-based law partner at the McGuireWoods Consulting practice, where he is co-chairman of the firm’s energy industry team and also listed Dominion Resources as a client.

Kerr previously regulated these utility companies for eight years as a commissioner on the N.C. Utilities Commission, which oversees utility rates and service in North Carolina for electric and natural gas utilities as well as moving companies and ferry services.

He begins his new position March 8.

Atlanta-based Southern Co. reported $17.1 billion in revenue last year, compared with nearly $25 billion for Charlotte-based Duke Energy, the nation’s largest electric utility. Southern has 4.4 million electricity customers in four states: Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Duke has 7.2 million customers in six states.

Staff writer John Murawski