Sheila K. Tipton


Office: 515-242-2438

Fax: 515-323-8538



As co-chair of Brown Winick’s Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law Practice Group, I spend all of my time helping clients navigate the exciting and ever-changing world of energy and other utility infrastructure – infrastructure that is essential to the lives of everyone, everywhere.  It is a practice that I have enjoyed for 40 years.  In that time, I have helped my clients develop and finance the facilities necessary to create and safely deliver energy, water and communication services to their customers. I have represented public investor-owned utilities, municipal utilities, private developers, commercial and industrial customers, residential customers and cities.  I have represented those clients in certification, siting, ratemaking, rulemaking, merger, reorganization, permitting, licensing, compliance and other litigated proceedings before state and federal administrative agencies and in the state and federal courts.  Whether you need to know what laws and regulations affect your business, how to obtain the necessary approvals to conduct that business, what documentation is required, how to resolve thorny regulatory or contractual issues or resolving disputes that may arise in any of those contexts, I am ready, willing and able – and excited — to provide the assistance you need.   

My Approach

My goal with every representation is to help you accomplish your objectives as thoroughly, quickly and efficiently as possible.   I understand very well that for you, time is money and the sooner that you can get your project to commercial operation, or your commercial dispute resolved, the better.   To do that, I make certain that I know as much as possible about your business and goals.   I also work hard to maintain a deep and current knowledge of the relevant industry and the laws and regulations that govern it.  Finally, I work very hard every day to develop and maintain a reputation for knowledge, credibility and trust among regulators, opposing counsel and the judiciary, which works to your advantage as my client.

More About Me

I have a J.D. with honors from Drake University and a B.S. Degree from Ohio University.  Since being admitted to the Iowa Bar in 1980, I have been a member of the American, Iowa State and Polk County Bar Associations.  Before joining Brown Winick, I practiced law at other Des Moines firms.  From 2013-2015, I was a member of the Iowa Utilities Board, which regulates rates and services of Iowa’s utilities. 

My Martindale Hubbell rating is AV (Preeminent) (peers and judiciary ratings).  I have been listed in Best Lawyers© since 1992, in Super Lawyers© since 2008, and in Great Plains Super Lawyers© since 2009.  I was Best Lawyers© Lawyer of the Year in Administrative/Regulatory Law in 2017 and in Communications Law in 2012. 

My community activity has included service on the Drake University Law School, Des Moines Metro Opera, Youth Homes of MidAmerica, Downtown Community Alliance and Rotary Club boards.   

My Specialties

  • Energy Law
  • Renewable Energy Law (wind, solar, renewable natural gas)
  • Water Law
  • Telecommunications Law
  • Administrative/Regulatory Law

Blog Posts

IEDA and IEC Financial Assistance Programs

April 17, 2019 The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and the Iowa Energy Center (IEC) have opened two new programs to facilitate energy-related projects in Iowa, the IEC Grant Program Read…

Financing Renewable Energy Projects

January 29, 2019 BrownWinick's Energy Practice Group is proud to have been asked to contribute the Iowa Chapter for the new American Bar Association treatise on Financing Renewable Energy Projects: A Read…

Use of Microgrids During Natural Disasters

September 1, 2017 The nation’s attention is focused on the devastation brought to Texas and Louisiana by Hurricane Harvey, but there is one positive development that deserves our Read…

Houston Grocery Store Survives with a Microgrid

August 31, 2017 The nation’s attention is focused on the devastation brought to Texas and Louisiana by Hurricane Harvey, but there is one positive development that deserves our Read…


Gabe Foshe



Ohio University

B.S., Zoology, 1973


Drake University

J.D., with honors, 1980


Iowa, 1980

Memberships & Associations

  • Polk County Bar Association
    Member; Board of Directors (2006-2008); Ethics Committee (2006-2008)
  • Iowa State Bar Association
    Member; Administrative Law Section; Chair, International Trade Committee (1992-1994); Co-Chair, Iowa Supreme Court Quality of Life Task Force (1993-1996); Section Council, Section of Business Law (1993-1996); Section Council, Section of Administrative Law (1989-1991)
  • American Bar Association
    Member; Infrastructure and Regulated Industries Section
  • Energy Bar Association
  • American Arbitration Association
  • National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC)
    Member; Committee on Telecommunications and Critical Infrastructure Committee (2013-2015)
  • Mid-America Regulatory Conference (MARC)
    Member (August 2013-April 2015)
  • Federal Communications Commission’s Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC)
    Member (2014-2015)
  • Board of Directors, Embassy Club of Des Moines
    Member (2012–2015)
  • Board of Directors, AIB College of Business
    Member (2012–Present)
  • Power Generation and Marketing Committee, Federal Energy Bar Association
    Chair (2006-2007)
  • Electricity Committee of the Public Utility Section of the American Bar Association
    Member (2002-2007)
  • Drake University Law School
    Board of Counselors (1996-1998; 2003–2009)
  • Rotary Club of Des Moines
    Member; Board of Directors (1996-2003); Sergeant-at-Arms (1997-1998); Secretary-Treasurer (1998-1999); Vice President (1999-2000); President Elect (2000-2001); President (2001-2002)
  • Des Moines Metro Opera, Inc.
    Member; Board of Directors (1991-2005); Vice President-Development (1994-1995); President Elect (1995-April 1996); President (April 1996-August 1997)
  • Youth Homes of Mid-America
    Member; Board of Directors (1990-1997); Secretary (1994-1996); Vice President (1996-1997)
  • Polk County Legal Aid Society
    Member; Board of Directors (1990-1992); President (1991-1992)
  • Downtown Community Alliance
    Member; Board of Directors (2012–2013)