Charleston, WV
600 Quarrier Street
Charleston, WV 25301
T: (304) 347-1135
F: (304) 347-2196

J.D., University of Virginia School of Law (1994)

B.A., cum laude, St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1988)

  • Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
Photo of James V.  Kelsh

James V. Kelsh


James Kelsh leads Bowles Rice’s Infrastructure and Public Utilities practice areas. He is involved with entities involved on all sides of broadband, utility scale solar, water, sewer, electric, telecommunications, natural gas, solid waste, local government, and motor carrier services. He focuses his practice on representing clients before the Public Service Commission of West Virginia. He also provides extensive assistance by advising clients on regulatory and financial matters concerning infrastructure development projects from conception to completion.

Prior to his work in private practice, Jim served as a Staff Attorney with the West Virginia Public Service Commission from 1996 to 2000. As a PSC Staff Attorney, he led a comprehensive revision of the Procedural Rules of the Commission.

Jim is certified by the West Virginia Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council and regularly attends meetings of the Infrastructure Council. He has assisted utilities with scores of projects involving the full range of funding sources.

Professional Highlights

  • Recognized in the 2024 Edition of Best Lawyers in America for Municipal Law 
  • Successfully prosecuted the first siting certificate for a utility scale exempt wholesale generator solar project to the PSC
  • Represents the West Virginia Broadband Enhancement Council
  • Successfully obtained dozens of certificates of convenience and necessity for municipal utilities and public service districts
  • Successfully prosecuted dozens of rate cases
  • Obtained the first PSC approved special electric rate for a large industrial consumer
  • Obtained a certificate of need for a solid waste transfer station

Completed Certificate Projects

  • Central Boaz Public Service District, Case No. 16-1344-PSD-CN
  • Claywood Park Public Service District, PSC Case No. 14-0248-PSD-CN
  • Claywood Park Public Service District, 2016 water project approved by Wood County Commission
  • Union Williams Public Service District, PSC Case No. 14-1033-PWD-CN
  • Greater Marion Public Service District, PSC Case No. 12-0571-PSD-CN
  • Gilmer County Pubic Service District, PSC Case No. 12-1380-PWD-CN-PC
  • Hundred Littleton Public Service District, PSC Case No. 15-1602-PWD-CN-PW
  • Jane Lew Public Service District, PSC Case No. 09-1043-PSD-PC-CN
  • Preston County Public Service District No. 4, PSC Case No. 11-1435-PWD-CN & 16-0045-PWD-CN
  • City of Oak Hill, Case No. 16-1347-S-PC-CN
  • Nicholas County Solid Waste Authority, Case No. 17-1340-SWF-PC-CN
  • West Virginia Rural Water Association
  • West Virginia Waste Haulers Association
  • West Virginia Municipal League
  • Municipal Attorneys Association
  • American Water Works Association
  • National Association of Clean Water Agencies
  • Christ Church United Methodist, Charleston, West Virginia
  • Kanawha Valley Trail Alliance
  • Mountain State Wheelers