A&O, LeBoeuf scoop Centrica deal

Allen & Overy (A&O) and US firm LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae have secured the $486.4m (£243.87m) disposal of Newfield’s UK subsidiary to Centrica, the UK’s biggest energy supplier.

The deal sees Centrica take an 85 per cent stake in the Grove gas field, which started production this summer, as well as an 80 per cent stake in the Seven Seas gas development. These sales by Newfield mark the departure of the Houston-headquartered exploration company from the North Sea.

A&O’s team was led by corporate partners Mark Dighero and Anna Buscall. The magic circle firm is a member of Centrica’s panel, along with Ashurst, Eversheds, Herbert Smith and Linklaters.

Newfield is also a longstanding client of LeBoeuf, which is currently in merger negotiations with fellow New York-headquartered firm Dewey Ballantine. LeBoeuf’s team was led by London-based corporate partner Christopher Prior.

At Centrica, the acquisition is the first major transaction led by its new general counsel Peter Roberts. He joined the company in June from Jones Day, where he was global co-head of oil and gas. He now manages the 10-strong team of lawyers who oversee the company’s upstream activities (The Lawyer, 4 June).