Pillsbury takes two from Dewey & LeBoeuf

Law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman has snapped up two energy and infrastructure finance partners based out of London and Abu Dhabi from rival Dewey & LeBoeuf. The latter firm has reportedly slashed partner compensation amid disappointing profits and other troubles.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman (Pillsbury), the US-based international law firm, has hired two energy and infrastructure partners to its finance practice from troubled rival firm Dewey & LeBoeuf.

James Simpson, who is based in London but divides his time between the UK capital and Abu Dhabi, was co-head of Dewey & LeBoeuf’s project finance and infrastucture practice with 25 years’ experience in power, energy and infrastructure in areas such as project development, privatisation and M&A. Having been head of Dewey & LeBoeuf’s Budapest, Hungary office for five years, he has spent the last 15 years in London.

Meanwhile, Stephen Jurgenson moved from London to the United Arab Emirates to head up Dewey & LeBoeuf’s Abu Dhabi office in 2010. His practice covered power, renewable/clean energy, water, oil and gas, liquefied natural gas, mining and infrastructure across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He has been involved in many of the independent power (IPP) and independent water and power (IWPP) projects in the Gulf region.

Pillsbury chair Jim Rishwain hailed the duo as “an ideal fit for our growing Middle East practice, where Pillsbury's experience in energy and infrastructure planning, financing and transactions sets our firm apart and keeps us well-positioned to work on diverse projects – from nuclear power and LNG to renewables and water – in a host of nations”.

Dewey & LeBoeuf is reported to have lost around a third of its partners in recent weeks, with yesterday seeing the departure of M&A head Morton Pierce and seven other partners for White and Case. Under severe financial strain, there have been reports that Dewey & LeBoeuf may head into bankruptcy – a claim denied by the firm itself.