International law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has added three energy industry partners to its transactions practice across its London and Houston offices. John C. LaMaster and Marc Hammerson have joined the firm in London, and Steven Otillar has joined the firm in Houston. All three partners focus on cross-border energy transactions.
Leading international law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has added three leading energy industry partners to its transactions practice across its London and Houston offices. John C. LaMaster and Marc Hammerson have joined the firm in London, and Steven Otillar has joined the firm in Houston. All three partners focus on cross-border energy transactions.
Previously, Mr. LaMaster was chairman of, and both Mr. Hammerson and Mr. Otillar partners in, Dewey & LeBoeuf’s Global Oil & Gas Industry Sector Group. Their arrival at Akin Gump will significantly bolster the firm’s international energy capabilities, particularly in the areas of international mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, project development and upstream projects in emerging markets.
They join Akin Gump following the arrivals in March of noted global energy transactions leader Stephen D. Davis, who joined the firm’s Houston office from Vinson & Elkins LLP, and in January of Jacob J. Worenklein, who joined the firm’s New York office from Bingham McCutchen LLP and is globally recognized for his energy project finance experience.
Akin Gump chairman R. Bruce McLean commented: “The additions of John, Marc and Steve represent a major development for the firm and highlight the growing depth and global footprint of our energy transactions team. Each of them will help develop our international platform and build on our established strengths, while adding new skills and outstanding energy transactional experience. April saw the culmination of several transformational cross-border deals for our clients, and I know that they will help us build on that momentum.”
Each of the three partners has been ranked as among the world’s leading energy lawyers and joins a global team that stretches across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the United States.
Steve Blakeley, partner in charge of the London office, added: “We continue to build a very strong transactional energy practice. The arrival of John and Marc will add to our offering for clients around the world. This is a significant development for the firm in London, and we are delighted they have joined us.”
Christine LaFollette, partner in charge of Akin Gump’s Houston office, added, “Steve Otillar’s well-rounded skills and experience, particularly in upstream projects, both domestically and internationally, will provide tremendous benefits to our clients. Coupled with the recent arrival of Steve Davis, who has worked extensively with John, Marc and Steve, I’m thrilled to welcome another fantastic attorney to our growing energy team in Houston.”
Mr. LaMaster said, “The strength of Akin Gump’s global energy practice in terms of transactions, funds and disputes is remarkable. It is committed to considered expansion of its global footprint, reflecting the needs of clients. Additionally the crafting of transformational deals for clients, year after year, makes the firm a great fit for us all. We are all delighted to join the firm.”
About John LaMaster
Mr. LaMaster has over 25 years of experience in virtually all areas of the energy industry, including upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas, electricity generation, biofuels, chemicals and petrochemicals. He has worked on energy transactions throughout Europe, Russia and the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, India, Africa and the United States. He has been named among the world’s leading project finance and energy and natural resources lawyers by Global Media Group.
About Marc Hammerson
Mr. Hammerson has over 15 years of experience working in the energy industry, including upstream, midstream and downstream oil & gas and power generation. He has been based in London, Houston, Singapore and Tokyo and has experience with energy transactions throughout Africa, Europe and the Far East. Since 2009, he has been recognized by Chambers UK as one of the world’s leading energy lawyers.
About Steven Otillar
Mr. Otillar has over 15 years of experience in the development, acquisition and divestiture of energy projects, with a particular emphasis on upstream projects in emerging markets. He advises clients on public tenders and auctions and a variety of development agreements in relation to major energy infrastructure projects. He also represents financial institutions in relation to financing the acquisition and development of oil & gas and renewable energy projects. Mr. Otillar is the Vice President of Strategic Planning (and former US Regional Director) of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN) and is on the Executive Committee for the Institute of Energy Law. He is listed as one of the world’s top oil and gas lawyers by Who’s Who Legal and named as a “Rising Star” by the Texas Lawyer.
· Akin Gump’s international corporate transactions practice has been involved in several recent high-profile deals.
o On April 2, 2012, the firm announced that it had advised OAO LUKOIL on a project financing of up to $500 million for the Khauzak-Shady and Kandym gas fields in Uzbekistan. The project is the first project financing to be completed in Uzbekistan and the largest financing of a private company operating in the fuel and energy sector in Uzbekistan.
o On April 17, the firm announced that it is continuing to advise long-standing client ExxonMobil in its ongoing multibillion-dollar joint venture agreement with Rosneft. The two companies signed agreements on April 16 in New York to implement the long-term Strategic Cooperation Agreement, which was initially signed in August 2011, to jointly explore for, and develop oil and natural gas in, Russia and to share technology and expertise.
· In March 2012, the firm announced that Stephen D. Davis had joined the firm’s Houston office as a partner in its energy and global transactions practice from Vinson & Elkins LLP. Mr. Davis’ work ranges from handling project finance and development-related matters for world-scale refining, petrochemical and other energy projects in the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, to guiding mergers and acquisitions, strategic joint ventures and private equity transactions on a global basis, to advising on transactions at the intersection of finance and commodities.
· In January 2012, the firm welcomed Jacob J. Worenklein, who has over three decades of experience advising the world’s largest energy and financial institutions on complex project finance transactions. Recognized as one of the world’s preeminent project finance lawyers, Mr. Worenklein has successfully guided the financing and development of some of the largest electricity, natural gas, water, oil, nuclear and transportation infrastructure projects across the United States and throughout the world. His success and dedicated work in this field have garnered international attention, including Infrastructure Journal’s Lifetime Achievement Award.