UK energy provider Innogy Holdings has poached a lawyer from British Energy in preparation for the New Electricity Trading Arrangements (NETA), soon to replace the electricity pool as the industry's central marketplace.
Nigel Fowkes, previously at the National Grid, joins Innogy in Swindon after three years with British Energy's in-house legal team.
He joins as a commercial lawyer responsible primarily for the company's growing trading area.
The new electricity market is designed to increase competition between generators and ultimately cut consumer prices.
The arrangements are set to come into force on 27 March, although energy regulator Ofgem admitted last week that there could be a delay. The original November start date was postponed due to IT difficulties.
Innogy is also strengthening its legal team with the hire of commercial lawyer Louise Ferris from Swindon law firm Thring Townsend.
The hires follow the demerger of National Power last year to form Innogy and International Power, which split the energy giant's in-house legal team and led to a number of departures (The Lawyer, 14 February 2000). The process was completed when Innogy was floated on the London and New York markets on 2 October 2000.
Innogy's legal manager Gary Chapman says: "Nigel is a very experienced electricity industry lawyer. He comes with a big background in the energy sector. He'll be concentrating on trading work, but his skills will also be used in other areas.
"The trading area is a really new area for Innogy. We've been expanding it for the last year or so. It's important enough to the business to warrant a dedicated lawyer. Our general commercial work has also expanded following the demerger."
The arrival of Ferris and Fowkes will give Innogy a total of five commercial lawyers.