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Ted Cadwell
Ted Cadwell

In-House Counsel 2023: Ted Cadwell

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Not every lawyer embraces work that involves turning cow manure into biogas, but it suits Ted Cadwell just fine.

Cadwell, an Edina native (“I’m a cake-eater and proud of it”), was recruited by Nature Energy in 2022 to serve as general counsel for its U.S. operations. The Danish company processes manure and other waste from dairy cattle, other animals and industrial waste and turns it into natural gas (biogas) that is sold back to consumers to supply heat or provide energy.

Nature Energy, which has 13 plants operating in Denmark, is establishing a presence in the U.S. and Canada. The company was acquired earlier this year by Shell Petroleum.

Cadwell has divided his legal career between law firm work (Dorsey & Whitney LLP for nearly 17 years) and corporate counsel work (including senior counsel at Allianz Life for nearly five years and Vice President & Corporate Counsel at IRET for nearly three years). He started at Nature Energy last June.

“It’s a steep learning curve, and it involves doing something different every day,” he said of his foray into the biogas industry. “Nature Energy obviously sees the U.S. market as a big opportunity, and I will find it rewarding if I can play a small part in helping them pioneer a sustainable future by turning waste into value on a zero-carbon basis.”

Cadwell may be new to the biogas industry, but he brings impressive education chops to his new company. He graduated from Harvard University with a degree in economics and earned an MBA in finance from the Carlson School of Management before getting his law degree at the University of Minnesota Law School.

He has spent much of his first year working with the company’s business development team on contracts with farmers, commercial contracts and joint development agreements with other industry participants. Nature Energy hopes to break ground on its first U.S. biogas facility within the next year and ultimately hopes to build dozens of biogas facilities in rural areas across the U.S.

Cadwell has lived with rheumatoid arthritis for most of his life. He initially considered a career in science with a goal of finding a cure for arthritis, but instead carved out a career in corporate law while serving as a volunteer in multiple roles with the local, regional and national boards of the Arthritis Foundation.

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