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U.S. Clean Energy Push Keeps Deal Lawyers in Demand

The ongoing development of U.S. energy policy is leading to an increased need for legal counsel in the realm of infrastructure and clean energy transactions, resulting in major law firms recruiting additional partners. Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld announced on Wednesday the addition of Vanessa Richelle Wilson, an energy transactions partner, to their team. Wilson previously served as the U.S. head of the energy and natural resources sector team at DLA Piper.

According to Reuters, Akin has long had a strong energy practice and has focused on building out an energy transition team over the past three to four years, Wilson said.

She represents clients in mergers and acquisitions, financing and development deals in areas including renewable generation projects, energy storage facilities and hydrogen production facilities, according to 900-lawyer Akin.

Past clients include energy and renewables companies Sonnedix, National Grid, Renewco and Shell’s renewables business, according to her DLA Piper online biography.

A DLA Piper spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on her departure.

Large law firms have been expanding the capacity to meet client demand in the energy sector, particularly to handle legal work spurred by the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act. The law includes tax credits and other provisions to promote cleaner domestic energy production and manufacturing.

On Monday, New York was awarded nearly $24 million in funding to bolster its electric grid with a U.S. Energy Department grant under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, separate legislation that Congress passed in 2021 that includes a clean energy component.

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