Elise Zoli

Jones Day has hired Elise Zoli, a former chair of Goodwin Procter’s energy practice, as a partner in its Boston office.

Zoli, a nearly 20-year veteran at Goodwin Procter, has a practice representing clean energy companies, water companies and investors. She is well-known for her work representing clients in the nuclear sector, including on transactional, regulatory and litigation matters regarding the operation, decommission and reuse of nuclear power plants.

She said her move to 2,523-lawyer Jones Day’s global platform correlated with the growth of the clean energy industry from “scrappy” companies to multinationals. Last year, more than a half-million jobs were added globally in the clean energy sector. That brought the total number of people employed globally in the sector to more than 10 million, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.

“Today, we’re a rapidly maturing, inclusive sector with as many household names as pioneers among our ranks,” Zoli said. “And this shift from an emergent sector to an accelerated growth sector made it increasingly important for me to be able to service global players. And Jones Day allows me to serve those clients effectively.”

She added: “I’m honored and excited to join a lodestar of talented sustainability and clean energy professionals.”

Jones Day’s energy renewables and sustainable development practice lists 20 lawyers worldwide working in cities like Frankfurt, Houston and Singapore.

Zoli has lectured on clean energy and climate change at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and its Sloan School of Management. She also is a Chambers and Partners ranked environmental lawyer in Massachusetts. Zoli has advocated for a broader use of nuclear power as part of the nation’s energy mix.

In 2014, she co-authored a paper supporting a sort of option contract, known as “contracts for difference,” that would keep nuclear power plants economically competitive in a low price oil and gas environment, helping to avoid premature shutdowns.

“When I started doing clean energy work in 1999 and 2000, we were talking about a nuclear renaissance,” Zoli said. “And I think 20 years later, we may have underestimated how important it is to support those sectors.”

Zoli said she believes the market for renewable energy will remain robust, regardless of the Trump administration’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement, which would target lower carbon emissions. She said large investors and corporations remain interested in the sector for more basic economic reasons.

“They’re going to step in and step up and lead,” Zoli said.

Zoli joins Jones Day after nearly two decades at Goodwin Procter, where the clean-tech expert was once a member of the firm’s energy, environmental and private equity practices. Earlier this month, Jones Day’s Boston office also brought on former federal prosecutor Ryan DiSantis as of counsel for its cybersecurity and white-collar defense and investigations practice groups.

Jones Day set up shop in Boston, an increasingly popular destination for Big Law firms, in 2010 after bringing on five partners from a local commercial litigation boutique. One of those partners, John Hanify, served as head of litigation for Jones Day in Boston before switching to an of counsel role in recent years. Hanify officially left the firm in April.