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Orrick adds two energy regulation lawyers

Lisa Tonery and Erik Swenson, who join the firm from Norton Rose Fulbright, will represent natural gas infrastructure developers in the permitting process.

Orrick has bolstered its partner contingent by adding two regulation specialists to its energy and infrastructure team.

Lisa Tonery and Erik Swenson both come from Norton Rose Fulbright, where Tonery led the firm’s US liquefied natural gas regulatory practice. The attorneys pointed to Orrick’s global presence and its opening last year of a Houston office as factors that drew them to the firm.

“[Orrick] has a great commitment to the energy industry, and we are excited to help them build out their energy practice even further,” Tonery told Infrastructure Investor. “Frankly, it was a perfect match for us.”

In previous roles, Tonery, who joins Orrick’s New York office, and Swenson, who will be based in Washington, DC, have worked with LNG and natural gas infrastructure developers to help them navigate the federal permitting process, assisting them in proceedings before agencies including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Department of Energy and the Department of Transportation.

“Members of the Orrick team have worked across the table from Lisa and Erik for years, and we have long admired them as practitioners,” said Kyle Drefke, who heads Orrick’s Washington office.

Orrick, which is headquartered in San Francisco, opened its Houston office in January 2016, citing the city as a “critically important market for our clients and our firm”. Tonery pointed to Houston as one of the three cities most important for their practice, along with New York and Washington.

The firm now has 25 offices throughout the world in locations including the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, China and Japan. Swenson told Infrastructure Investor that this global presence is useful when working with clients in the LNG export industry, since it provides contacts in the countries of many of their clients’ downstream purchasers.