Partner, Environment & Natural Resources Practice Group
Quarles & Brady LLP
Pilar M. Thomas is a partner in the Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Practice Group at law firm Quarles & Brady LLP, focused on tribal renewable energy project development and finance, tribal infrastructure and economic development, energy policy, federal Indian Law and natural resource development. She has negotiated or assisted with agreements related to transmission lines, pipelines, landfill gas, utility scale solar projects, a natural gas power plant, mineral development and other construction projects on tribal lands. Pilar also serves as general counsel for several tribes, Section 17 and tribal business entities.
Prior to entering private practice, Pilar was deputy director for the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs at the U.S. Department of Energy, responsible for developing and implementing policy and program efforts for the department and federal government related to the promotion of energy development, electrification, and infrastructure improvement on tribal lands. She also is the former Deputy Solicitor of Indian Affairs for the U.S. Department of the Interior and served as the Interim Attorney General and Chief of Staff to Chairwoman Herminia Frias of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe.
Pilar holds leadership roles in legal organizations, including trustee at large for the Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law (formerly Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation), vice-chair at large for the American Bar Association Section on Energy, Environment and Resources Native American Resources Committee and board member of the Native American Bar Association of Arizona. She was recently named to the Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona for 2022 by AZ Big Media, based on an independent review of professional ratings, accomplishments and industry impact.