Paul Hastings has recruited three Shearman & Sterling partners to its energy and infrastructure practice in New York. Robert Freedman and Gregory Tan will co-chair the practice moving forward, while Alexandro Padres will join as a partner.
The three held multiple leadership roles at Shearman. Freedman and Tan were previously co-heads of Shearman’s global project development and finance practice, while Freedman was also the lead industry coordinator for energy. Tan was also co-head of the firm’s global finance practice.
Meanwhile, Padres was the head of the Latin America practice group at Shearman and a partner in the project development and finance practice.
The group represents a significant investment for Paul Hastings in the energy transition space and another sign of demand in the hot practice area. Paul Hastings had various lawyers working on matters related to the practice in previous years but had not brought in attorneys that specialized in the wide-ranging practice until now.
“It’s an incredibly great fit in terms of what we do, certainly on the finance side,” Tan said. “The fact that they have market-leading practices in capital markets and structured finance is a huge draw for us. What we bring to the table is a deeper energy and industry infrastructure focus. A really great combination.”
Freedman, Tan and Padres added that energy transition and infrastructure development take on a lot of different facets of the law.
“We are at a watershed moment,” Tan said. “Not in just how we generate power, but how we use the power for electric vehicles, charging stations, offshore wind farms … it’s across everything we do.”
Padres added that many think of energy transition as simply moving from an older (or dirtier) generation apparatus to a cleaner one. While that is certainly a large part, there are a lot of other moving parts.
“Many people look at it as ‘green’ or ‘clean,’” he said. “But that starts with metals and mining critical metals that are necessary for energy transition. We bring expertise in those sectors.”
That’s why the group and Paul Hastings were drawn to each other, they said. The firm has deep benches in capital markets, leveraged finance and private credit, all of which are necessary to get large, expensive infrastructure projects off the ground.
“This exceptional group is defined by superior intellectual capital, execution and reputation,” Seth Zachary, chair of Paul Hastings, said in a statement. “Widely recognized as a top-five infrastructure and energy practice, this group adds synergies and client value to our existing foundation with our leading infrastructure and energy transition practice.”
The hires come on the heels of Paul Hastings’ blockbuster 18-partner, 43-lawyer group hire from Strook & Stroock & Lavan at the beginning of April.
The group’s departure follows other Shearman partner moves in the last few weeks, including former CFIUS head John Beahn, who joined Milbank; capital markets lawyer Kristina Trauger, who joined Proskauer Rose; and Waajid Siddiqui, who joined Holland & Knight.
But the firm has also added head count after coming off a banner year. Last month Shearman took litigation and commercial arbitration partner Sam Cooper from Paul Hastings.
In a statement, a Shearman representative said: “Alex, Greg and Rob are good lawyers and we will miss them as colleagues, but we have a deep bench of talent in our project finance and Latin America practices. This doesn’t change our strategy or our client offerings. We wish them well in this next chapter in their careers, and we look forward to sitting across the deal table from them in the years to come.”