Orrick expands Africa practice with new infra hire

Simon Ratledge, an emerging market specialist, has left Simmons & Simmons to join the law firm’s energy and infrastructure practice in Paris.

San Francisco-headquartered law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe has added a new energy and infrastructure partner to its European team with the hiring of Simon Ratledge, a seasoned lawyer whose practice focuses on project finance in emerging markets.

While Ratledge will be based in Paris, his practice will focus on energy and infrastructure projects in Africa.

“The volume and sophistication of investment and development in Africa today is unprecedented, and Simon adds to our team pre-eminent skills representing development banks and other lenders involved in these projects,” Pascal Agboyibor, head of Orrick’s Africa practice, said in a statement.

Over the course of his 20-year career, Ratledge has represented project finance clients, including major development banks and other lenders, in the power/renewables, mining, petrochemicals, oil and gas and transport sectors as well as social infrastructure.

Most recently a partner at Simmons & Simmons’ Paris office, Ratledge has previously served as co-head of Linklaters’ North Africa practice.

Ratledge is the sixth new member to join Orrick’s Paris team over the past fortnight. Last week, the law firm announced the addition of a five-partner team of finance and corporate practitioners from Freshfields.

The San Francisco-based firm has been expanding on a global scale the past two years, adding six new partners to its European energy and infrastructure practice in 2015. Earlier this year, it followed on with the hire of Peter Roberts and Weyinmi Popo, two energy sector practitioners with extensive experience in Africa.

In January, it opened its Houston office, which currently employs 38 lawyers serving clients across all segments of the energy markets.