Energy lawyers are in demand in Washington these days, with top-ranked lawyers jumping from firm to firm as the practice area heats up.
The most recent move came today, when McDermott Will & Emery announced it picked up go-to natural gas regulatory partner Karol Lyn Newman from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.
Newman advises clients on regulatory issues affecting coal gasification, liquefied natural gas, natural gas storage, and natural gas transportation projects. She called the move to McDermott “an amazing fit” and said that it “blends the strength of my regulatory practice with McDermott’s internationally-recognized transactions practice in the energy area.”
“We are very pleased that a lawyer of Karol Lyn’s caliber is joining the practice,” said Blake Winburne, partner and global head of McDermott’s 27-lawyer energy advisory practice group in a news release. “We will continue to invest in and grow this important practice area.” In September, the firm brought on Jeffrey D. (Dan) Watkiss, a leading energy regulatory partner from Bracewell & Giuliani.
McDermott isn’t the only firm adding power to its energy practice. On Nov. 17, Venable announced it added five energy lawyers in Washington. Partners David DeSalle and Daniel Malabonga and associate Michael Splete joined from Duane Morris, and partner Brian Zimmet and associate Jason Wool were formerly with Hunton & Williams.
“Energy issues occupy such a critical role in our economy today, and that makes the addition of these three partners both timely and fortuitous,” Brock Landry, who is co-chair of Venable’s government division, said in a news release.
DeSalle has extensive experience with transmission planning and generation interconnection issues, as well as issues related to unconventional shale formations. Zimmet specializes in federal regulation and restructuring of the electric utility industry, with a particular emphasis on electric reliability matters. Malabonga’s practice focuses on electricity and ancillary service markets.
Another big move came in late October, when Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe announced that Adam Wenner joined as partner in charge of the firm’s energy regulatory group. He moved from Chadbourne & Parke, along with of counsel Amanda Riggs Conner.
Wenner represents independent power generators — including some of the largest wind and solar projects in the U.S. — as well as “merchant” transmission companies and traditional electric utility companies in regulatory proceedings.
Other energy moves in Washington in recent months include Amy Koch, a former chair of Patton Boggs’ energy and natural resources practice group, who moved to Reed Smith.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld picked up Thomas Trimble and Jeremy Schwer from Hunton & Williams, and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius added partner Glen Bernstein, previously with Sidley Austin.