Freshfields hires A&O partner for finance practice

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has appointed a senior energy partner from Allen & Overy into its finance practice.

Alan Rae Smith is a finance partner who advises clients on project finance and investment matters in the oil and gas, renewables, power and mining and metals sectors. He was head of A&O’s Hong Kong banking department for four years from 1997.

Freshfields’ global head of finance Alan Newton said: “Alan’s understanding of the energy asset base will be invaluable to both our global finance practice and to our energy and natural resources sector group, helping to advise clients such as BP and Total.”

He added: “The demand for top quality legal advice in the energy finance realm will continue to grow over the coming years as the sector looks to meet security of supply expectations while searching for efficiencies from aging plant and equipment and integrating low-carbon technology into the energy mix.”

Rae Smith said: “It’s an exciting time to be joining Freshfields’ energy projects team as there’s large scale investment in the energy markets and an increasing number of project finance initiatives coming on-stream. Freshfields’ sector-led approach ensures clients have access to collaborative, cross-practice expertise, which is incredibly beneficial to businesses in the energy and natural resources sector.”

A spokesperson at A&O said: “Alan Rae Smith has decided to leave Allen & Overy. We’d like to thank Alan for the contribution he has made during his time at Allen & Overy and wish him all the best for the future.”