Nicholas Bernier, Esq.

Nicholas D. Bernier, Esq.

Partner


(617) 466-6359
nbernier@rampartlaw.com

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
  • US District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • US District Court for the District of Rhode Island

Memberships

  • Rhode Island Bar Association
  • National Association of Bond Lawyers

Education

  • Washington University (St. Louis) School of Law, Master of Laws in Taxation
  • Washington University (St. Louis) School of Law, Juris Doctoris
  • Boston College, Bachelor of Arts, History with Scholar of the College Title

Nick Bernier's practice is focused in energy, corporate taxation, tax controversies, municipal finance, and government relations advocacy. He has experience serving tax/regulatory counsel; syndicating tax credits; handling local zoning and permitting matters; resolving state and federal regulatory compliance and controversies; and selling/acquiring renewable energy projects. Utilizing his tax and corporate background, Nick has advised numerous clients in a variety of projects addressing issues involving historic tax credits to utilizing tax-exempt municipal bonds. He has served as issuer's counsel for tax-exempt bond transactions connected with the purchase of a school building for a Massachusetts public school department and was listed as Issuer's Counsel in The Bond Buyer's Municipal Marketplace ®, more commonly referred to as the "Red Book."

Mr. Bernier has advised clients in developing/acquiring large portfolios of renewable energy generation projects in Massachusetts and in Rhode Island having interpreted the application of the "single-parcel rule" to individual solar fields during due diligence and as to how Rhode Island energy regulators may address policy considerations of the "single-parcel rule" in developing a portfolio of renewable energy generation facilities in Rhode Island.

In connection with his representation of clients involved in the solar industry, Mr. Bernier has negotiated payment in lieu of taxation (PILOT) agreements in numerous Massachusetts communities and having to occasionally litigate solar property taxation cases at the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board while winning precedent setting verdicts in favor of the renewable energy industry:

  • Quabbin Solar, LLC et al. v. Barre Assessors, ATB 2017-480, 487 (November 2, 2017) (ruling that the three large commercial solar generation projects that were selling their power to a chain of convenience stores located in other communities had provided sufficient evidence to establish their twenty-year tax exemption)
  • KTT, LLC v. Swansea Assessors, ATB 2016-426 (October 13, 2016) (finding that the Massachusetts Department of Revenue's guidance was contrary to the plain language of the statute and ruling that a taxpayer selling power to banking institutions located in a different community was entitled to a twenty-year tax exemption)
Prior to joining Rampart, Nick worked as an attorney/shareholder at a downtown Boston law firm with an energy specialization, as an associate attorney at a well-regarded boutique Providence and Boston based tax law firm, as counsel with a regional real estate law firm, as an assistant district attorney for Bristol County, Massachusetts, and completed a legal internship program with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C.

Nick serves as General Counsel of a regional renewable energy company.