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Cameron McKenna has become the first UK firm to set up a permanent office on the west coast of the US.
The six-lawyer office in San Francisco will complement the firm's existing 15-lawyer Washington DC office, which was set up in April 1996 and strengthened in September by the acquisition of eight-lawyer niche regulatory firm Morley Caskin.
Camerons set up a project office in San Francisco in January 1997 after Fiona Woolf, head of the firm's energy and projects practice, was instructed by the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to advise on the introduction of both wholesale and retail competition into the California electric power industry.
That work has now been completed, although Woolf still has some ongoing work for the newly-created Power Exchange.
Robert Derry-Evans, managing partner, said that the number of instructions that the projects office had received justified a permanent office.
For instance, the lawyers based in San Francisco have recently completed a wind farm acquisition in southern California.
Camerons has just completed a preliminary survey of Mexico City's electricity distribution system and is believed to be in line to pick up further work from the Mexican government for the next stage of the restructuring.
US partner, Michael Hindus, will head up the office.
See Cameron McKenna wins consultancy award, page 5