Akin Gump grows project finance team

Jacob Worenklein, who can list Lehman Brothers and Société Générale on his résumé, has joined as co-head of the legal firm’s project finance unit. Akin Gump has been beefing up its energy practice with veteran talent from the sector.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld is making good on its promise to bulk up its project finance energy business, hiring Jacob Worenklein as a partner and co-head of the law firm’s project finance practice. 

He will be based in New York and join Ed Zaelke and Adam Umanoff in co-heading global project finance for Akin Gump. Worenklein in his 30-year career pioneered the power and project finance arm of New York-headquartered corporate law firm Milbank.

In 2003, Worenklein founded US Power Generating Company, acting as chairman and chief executive officer. He has also headed global project finance and power units for Lehman Brothers and Société Générale.

A graduate from New York University School of Law, Worenklein’s hiring underscores a wider aforementioned intention at Akin Gump to heighten its energy and power profile. The firm used 2011 to beef up its energy staff, poaching a 14-member energy team from Chadbourne & Parke, including Zaelke and Umanoff, last May.

In September, the firm added BP Solar general counsel Baird Fogel and David Burton from GE Energy Financial as well as rehiring Thomas Trimble and Jeremy Schwer from Hunton & Williams.

Akin Gump has stated that energy and power is now a “strategic priority”.