Canadian firm Gowlings’ EMEA head of energy, infrastructure and mining David Shasha has left the firm (1 November).
Shasha joined Gowlings in November 2010 as part of the firm’s strategy to make London a hub for its energy and infrastructure work in the EMEA region (10 November 2010).
He previously worked as Simmon & Simmons’ head of energy and infrastructure, having moved to the firm from Clifford Chance in 2003.
Shasha’s exit from Gowlings comes shortly after the firm’s IP team jumped ship in August (30 August 2013). The two-partner team, consisting of James Tumbridge and Paul Harris, left to join US firm Pillbury Withrop Shaw Pittman in August 2013. They were joined by two IP associates Katerina Mikheev and Robert Peake.
Shasha had joined the firm in 2010 with a remit to grow the team. At the time, he told The Lawyer he aimed to build the City office’s team to 30 lawyers by May 2012.
According to the firm’s website, the group is currently home to 12 qualified lawyers – half of which are partners.
The energy partners account for the vast majority of the firm’s partner headcount, which currently stands at seven including office managing partner Mark Ledwell. They are supported by 11 other qualified lawyers.
“I’ve been here for a few years and I feel like it’s time to move on,” Shasha said of his decision.
“I have two or three different options of what to do next, and I’m taking time out to decide which one to go for,” he continued. “They’re all still in law, with the exception of one. The two legal jobs are with two very different types of firm.”
Gowlings London managing partner Mark Ledwell said the firm was putting “increased focus” on the emerging capital markets practice in the resources sector and less emphasis on large project finance.
He added: “We are seeing more opportunities in London in our oil and gas and mining practices, particularly in Africa, and the decision by the Firm to part company with David at this time was a strategic one. We wish David all the best in his next role, wherever that may be.”
Shasha plans to start in his new role in January.