Southern Company expands energy expertise with second hire

Southern Company has hired a second corporate attorney from the Houston energy market as it continues to develop into a total energy provider.

James P. Sale, most recently of Houston’s ERI Energy Supply & Trading, has joined Southern Company as associate general counsel. He will report to General Counsel and Senior Vice President Stephen A. Wakefield, who joined Southern Company in August after a career in federal government energy positions and as a partner in the Houston office of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld.

“Jim will strengthen our ability to handle legal and strategic issues related to our transition from a traditional electric utility to a total energy provider,” Wakefield said.

As vice president and general counsel at ERI, Sale provided counsel and advice on commercial transactions for natural gas and power marketing, pipeline and storage operations. From 1993-1995, he served in a similar position at Transco Gas Marketing Company, and before that was a senior attorney for business development projects with ANR Pipeline Company.

The bulk of his career, from 1974-1991, has been spent at United Gas Pipe Line Company or one of its affiliates. In his last job there, he served as the company’s senior vice president and general counsel. Previously, he had served United in business executive capacities for sales, supply and marketing and in the legal positions of associate general counsel and vice president of legal.

Sale received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Oklahoma State University in 1969 and a law degree from University of Houston Law Center in 1972.

Southern Company (NYSE: SO), the largest producer of electricity in the United States, is the parent firm of Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power and Savannah Electric. Based in Atlanta, Southern Company, through its Southern Energy Inc. subsidiary, supplies electricity in 10 countries on four continents. Southern Company also provides energy-related marketing, trading and technical services and Southern LINC wireless telecommunications. Its common stock is one of the 20 most widely held corporate stocks in America.