Squire Patton Boggs has appointed Neil Upton, one of Europe’s leading energy lawyers, to its global Energy & Natural Resources Practice Group in London. Mr. Upton joins the firm as partner, along with a six-strong legal and business development team, from King & Wood Mallesons in London, where he was the UK and Europe head, and global co-head, of the energy and infrastructure and project finance practice.
Mr. Upton’s global practice is focused on advising utilities, banks and other financial institutions, governments and NGOs on all aspects of the energy business, including the structuring, development and financing of projects, M&A, trading issues, privatization, market entry and regulatory matters. His expertise extends across sectors including power generation (both conventional and renewable), oil gas and LNG (liquefied natural gas), transmission and supply.
Among Mr. Upton’s key work highlights in recent years are: advising on the financing, acquisition and operation of several UK gas-fired power stations; advising on the development and financing of a coal-fired power plant in Botswana and solar PV plants in Uganda and Kenya; advising on a major LNG project; advising on a major gas supply pipeline in Central and Eastern Europe and on the power interconnector in the Gulf States; advising a US energy supplier on entry into the UK market; and advising on project and structured financings across the UK, Europe, the Gulf, Korea, Hong Kong and China.
Joining Mr. Upton at Squire Patton Boggs in London are Sushma Maharaj, a senior energy lawyer with oil, gas, LNG and electricity experience in EMEA and former secondee at the gas and electricity regulator in Northern Ireland; Jasdeep Puri, a senior lawyer with wide-ranging experience in oil and gas and electricity; associate Francis Iyayi, a UK-qualified solicitor, specializing in infrastructure and energy project development; associate Maurice Katsigazi, a fluent Lugandan speaker, with expertise in power generation projects and midstream oil and gas transactions; paralegal Robert Broom, who also has experience on the commodities energy risk desk of a global investment bank; and Patrick Robinson, an energy and infrastructure business development specialist.
“Effective energy generation and supply is one of the critical global challenges of our century,” commented Lisa Henneberry, partner and global head of the Energy & Natural Resources Practice Group. “We have been strategically expanding our global group to ensure the full range of advisory skills are available to clients wherever there is opportunity and need for energy projects, particularly in burgeoning markets across Africa and the Middle East. In Neil and his team, we have secured one of the leading and most versatile practitioners in Europe. To our strong renewables practice in London we have now added key expertise in commercial contracts in the midstream and downstream sector, in power generation, gas and LNG as well as commodity trading.”
Robert Weekes, London office managing partner, welcomed Mr. Upton: “Neil fits so well with our teams here and globally. His appointment is a continuation of our strategic hiring in London, joining up practices and industry groups more closely and creating stronger links between international offices.”
Mr. Upton commented: “Squire Patton Boggs has the strategic, long-term commitment to global energy projects and the visibility, reputation and resources to deliver them successfully. All of us are looking forward to working with colleagues old and new to explore the myriad of opportunities we see for clients in our new firm.”
Squire Patton Boggs has long-standing expertise in the energy and natural resources sectors, with strong teams in the US, Australia, China and Europe. In the past 18 months, the firm has significantly bolstered its Europe-based group with the hire of partners Matthew Mulqueen and Karim Maalioun, both with in-depth expertise in Africa and emerging markets. In addition the hires James Duckworth and Andrew Herring expanded the firm’s energy project and transport infrastructure capabilities, while the appointments of Ben Holland and James Barratt reinforced the firm’s reputation as a leading advisor on global energy dispute resolution.