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Squire Patton Boggs poaches energy team from KWM

King & Wood Mallesons’ former global infra co-head Neil Upton is moving to the law firm’s London office along with six legal and business development professionals.

Ohio-headquartered Squire Patton Boggs has hired seven staff from rival King & Wood Mallesons in a bid to boost its European energy and natural resources practice.

The highest-profile appointment is that of Neil Upton, formerly the UK and Europe head, and global co-head, of KWM’s energy and infrastructure and project finance unit. Upton advises utilities, banks and financial institutions, as well as governments and NGOs, on all sorts of infrastructure transactions and regulatory issues.

His deal roster in recent years has included the acquisition and operation of several UK gas-fired power stations, the development and financing of a coal-fired power plant in Botswana and solar PV plants in Uganda and Kenya, a major LNG project and a large gas supply pipeline in Central and Eastern Europe, among others.

Based in London, he will be joined at SPB by Sushma Maharaj and Jasdeep Puri, two senior energy lawyers with oil, gas, LNG and electricity experience; associate Francis Iyayi, a solicitor focused on infrastructure and energy project development; and associate Maurice Katsigazi, an expert on power generation projects and midstream oil and gas transactions.

Paralegal Robert Broom, who has experience on the commodities energy risk desk of a global investment bank, and Patrick Robinson, an energy and infrastructure business development specialist, are also joining.