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Legal Opportunities in Oil & Gas

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In reality, this is the boom time for energy lawyers, some of the top energy partners are charging between US $ 800 and US $1,075 an hour, something unheard of even a few years ago. The sector is constantly on the lookout to recruit lawyers with expertise in mega M&A transactions. In fact, the focus is more on the lawyer than the law firm, though it translates into business opportunities for the law firm. - Jess Potts

For decades, the Oil & Gas attorneys in the US were known as “mud lawyers” looked down upon in the highly competitive field of corporate transactional law.


But, over the last few years, ever since global investors started showing a renewed interest in energy, things have changed. A wave of M&A, joint ventures, and asset divestitures in the Oil & Gas sector in the US including investments in shale technology has transformed the scope for legal opportunities.


Hence, energy transactional law is on the move. Renowned law firms such as Baker Botts and Vinson & Elkins are witnessing record growth. Internationally prominent legal firms such as Latham & Watkins, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Sidley Austin and Weil Gotshal have made their presence felt.


Energy conglomerates are expanding their internal legal team along with providing assignments to external legal counsels.


Legal opportunities also exist on the litigation side. In reality, this is the boom time for energy lawyers, some of the top energy partners are charging between US $ 800 and US $1,075 an hour, something unheard of even a few years ago.


A law firm is said to be doing really well if it has a robust energy practice. According to experts, the revitalization in Oil & Gas law is linked to the shale revolution.


The sector is constantly on the lookout to recruit lawyers with expertise in mega M&A transactions. In fact, the focus is more on the lawyer than the law firm, though it translates into business opportunities for the law firm.


V&E and Latham are the bellwethers globally for M&A transactions, but Baker Botts, Brace well & Giuliani and Jones Day are not too far behind.


Other than M&A assignments, energy lawyers also find opportunities in energy loan transactions.


Increasingly, some of the big New York based law firms such as Cravath Swaine & Moore; Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, and Sullivan & Cromwell are clinching mega energy deals.


This reflects the dynamics of the legal opportunities in the energy sector.


- Jess Potts


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