News In Focus
Two energy lawyers back to support Ledingham Chalmers' new practice
Legal firm Ledingham Chalmers is welcomung two oil and gas lawyers back to the firm as it launches a new exploration and production (E&P) practice.
Aberdeen-based partners Laura Petrie and Uisdean Vass have joined Ledingham Chalmers from Womble Bond Dickinson. Mr Vass has also taken up the newly-created head of oil and gas position.
Both have worked with Ledingham Chalmers before: Mr Vass was a partner in the oil and gas team in 2003, while Mrs Petrie was a trainee in the firm’s Inverness office between 2004 and 2006.
A third new start, Laura Edmunds, joins the commercial litigation team in Aberdeen as a senior solicitor, from EthosEnergy, Aberdeen.
The new practice will advise upstream companies on a range of issues including contracting and regulatory matters such as acquisition, divestment and farm-in arrangements, as well as operational considerations and decommissioning.
Firm chairman and partner, Jennifer Young, said the hires were in response to client demand. "In the context of the oil industry striving to reduce costs, we’re seeing increasing demand for locally-based skills to deliver transactions and provide specialist commercial and regulatory work.
"Uisdean is a well-respected oil and gas specialist with decades of experience practising in the UK and internationally, while Laura brings formidable oil and gas experience together with broad commercial abilities in areas including renewables, corporate and banking law.
She added: "Over the last year or so, we’ve seen a growing trend of new entrants to the North Sea acquiring assets from the old guard... We expect to see a continuation of these kinds of deals over the short to medium term, ultimately resulting in a more diverse operator landscape.
"In addition, with decommissioning activity forecast on around 349 fields across the UK, Norwegian, Danish and Dutch Continental Shelves to 2025, there’s a massive scope of work for the service sector too with the shift to end-of-field life activities."
The three hires bring partner numbers to 31, with 141 staff across Ledingham Chalmers’ Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Inverness and Stirling offices.