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“David is the leading lawyer in the ethanol industry.” 

John M. May, Managing Director, Hamilton Clark


An accomplished transactional lawyer, David is a trusted advisor as companies pursue growth, acquisitions, mergers or dispositions. His emphasis is renewable energy, especially ethanol, biodiesel, renewable natural gas and wind.

David represents investment bankers, developers and owners of renewable energy projects, providing specific counsel that meshes with their business direction. David’s noteworthy industry accomplishments include:

  • Advising Texas-based Benefuel in a joint venture for development of refineries that operate with Benefuel’s patented technology for generating high yields of biodiesel from low-cost feedstocks.
  • Counseling public and private ethanol companies with all aspects of finance and operations, including strategic partnerships, senior secured debt facilities and public and private debt and equity.
  • Representing advanced biofuels companies in the development stage with matters that included debt and equity financing, procurement of technology licenses and technology scale-up.
  • Representing developers, utilities, contractors and other parties to renewable natural gas projects in all aspects of RNG project development, financing and operations.

In securities and corporate governance, David has broad experience with a variety of private and public debt and equity securities, including initial public offerings and convertible debt structures for public and private companies. He assists clients in all aspects of corporate governance, including board and committee operations, for public and private companies. Additionally, David represents early-stage and growth-stage technology companies with full life-cycle support and capital formation.

In investment management, David has represented advisors and public and private companies, both open and closed-end funds, in all aspects of investment and compliance, including structuring of fund complexes, exemptive orders, company registration, business development company (BDC) elections, ongoing Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reporting, SEC examinations, Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) applications and administration, portfolio investments, corporate governance and fund mergers. David has structured several unique BDCs, including funds with a two-level SBIC structure, a renewable energy fund and a growth stage venture fund.

“David is the leading lawyer in the ethanol industry.” 

John M. May, Managing Director, Hamilton Clark




  • The Best Lawyers in America©, Corporate Law, International Trade and Finance Law, 2005-2021
  • Chambers USA, Corporate/Commercial Law, 2010-2020
  • IFLR1000, M&A (Nebraska), Highly Regarded, 2018-2019
  • Great Plains Super Lawyers, Mergers & Acquisitions, 2018-2020


  • J.D., University of Nebraska College of Law
    • with high distinction
    • Nebraska Law Review, Managing Editor, 1978-1979
  • B.A., The George Washington University
    • Political Science


  • Nebraska

Professional Memberships and Certifications

  • Association of Corporate Growth, Nebraska Chapter, Board of Directors, 2011-2016
  • Nebraska State Bar Association, Securities Law Section
  • Omaha Bar Association
  • Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals
    • Rocky Mountain Chapter, President, 2008-2011; Advisory Board, 2000-2014
    • National Board of Directors, 2014-2018
  • Represented public ethanol issuer that operates a 125-million-gallons-per-year ethanol plant that uses excess steam from adjacent coal-fired power generation plant with significant minority investment from international grain trading company.
  • Represented growth stage technology companies with businesses focused on food ingredients, software, electronic payments, electronic security and customer interface/digital signage solutions.
  • Represented clients and served as transaction leader in numerous buy-side and sell-side merger/acquisition transactions in industries, including renewable energy, manufacturing, financial services, information technology, electronic security and retail.
  • Represented an ethanol production company in closing a large acquisition and tender offer transaction for a total deal value of approximately $750 million.
  • Represented developers of one of the largest dairy waste biogas projects in the world from inception, including real estate and feedstock agreements, RNG offtake contracts, conventional equity and debt financing and refinancing with solid waste disposal bonds.
  • During COVID-19, assisted public company clients in deft transitions to virtual annual stockholder meetings, including for one client changing to a virtual meeting one week prior to the scheduled meeting date.
Case Studies

After a challenging period for the biofuels industry following the global financial crisis, POET’s leadership decided to radically alter its structure and approach to the marketplace. The resulting plan laid out a strategy to consolidate 26 bioprocessing plants in a massive transition via numerous mergers over a three-year period. The company tapped Husch Blackwell’s energy and M&A teams to bring its plans to fruition.

Webinar | 06/29/2018
Biogas 101 - June 29, 2018

What Every Generator of Organic Waste Needs to Know:  "Green Attributes" Can Make Biogas Economic for You!

News Releases | August 15, 2019
Husch Blackwell Places 143 Lawyers in 2020 BL Rankings' Best Lawyers in America®

The firm has eight "Lawyers of the Year" and 11 attorneys appearing on the list for the first time.

News Releases | July 10, 2019
2019 Great Plains Super Lawyers Names Six From Husch Blackwell

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

News Releases | June 03, 2019
Sixteen Husch Blackwell Attorneys Recognized in 2019 IFLR 1000 United States

The 2019 edition of the IFLR 1000 represents the second year IFLR has ranked top financial and corporate law firms and lawyers on a state-by-state basis.

News Releases | April 29, 2019
Chambers USA 2019 Ranks Husch Blackwell in 10 Areas of Law; 33 Attorneys Recognized

Attorneys in 10 offices across the firm's footprint are recognized in the 2019 edition of Chambers USA

News Releases | October 26, 2018
Husch Blackwell Represents Green Plains in Announced Sale of Fleischmann's Vinegar

Husch Blackwell served as seller’s counsel to Green Plains Inc. in its $350 million stock purchase agreement with Kerry Group to sell the Fleischmann’s Vinegar Company, Inc.

News Releases | October 12, 2018
Husch Blackwell Represents Green Plains in Ethanol Plant Divestitures

Husch Blackwell represented one of the world’s leading producers of ethanol in its sale of three plants across three states.

News Releases | September 05, 2018
Husch Blackwell Places 10 Attorneys in 2018 IFLR 1000 United States

Ten Husch Blackwell attorneys have earned rankings in the IFLR 1000, a directory of leading transactional attorneys. The firm also earned rankings in three state jurisdictions.

News Releases | August 15, 2018
Husch Blackwell Places 143 Lawyers in 2019 BL Rankings' Best Lawyers in America®

The Best Lawyers in America® has listed 143 Husch Blackwell attorneys in its 2019 directory. The firm has eight "Lawyers of the Year" and five attorneys appearing on the list for the first time.

News Releases | July 02, 2018
Great Plains Super Lawyers 2018 Names Five Husch Blackwell Attorneys in Omaha

Gardels, Summerlin, Meyer, Hasan, and Schmidt are named to Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

News Releases | May 03, 2018
Chambers USA 2018 Ranks Husch Blackwell in 10 Areas of Law; 37 Attorneys Recognized

Husch Blackwell is well represented in the 2018 Chambers USA directory.

Media Mentions | February 06, 2018
Omaha World Herald: Star Vocalist Arrives in Omaha from Iceland by way of Germany via an assist from Washington

David Gardels helps Opera Omaha get its star to the show on time.

Community Leadership
  • Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska: Trustee of Bishop and Trustees, 2009-2015; Committee on Legislation; President, Council on Discipline
  • Nebraska Arts Council, Board of Directors, 2006-2013
  • Opera Omaha, Board of Directors, Advisory Board, 2011-present; Chair, Board of Advisors, 2015-present; Chair of Long Range Planning, 2011-2013; President, 2003-2005
  • Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Senior Warden, 2012-2014

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