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Jones Day Reavis & Pogue in Madrid has taken on a senior counsel from US firm McGuireWoods.
He is believed to have become the first US-qualified lawyer to be permanently based in Spain. Richard Puttré, who was a partner at McGuireWoods' North Carolina office, has joined the project finance team, headed by Luis Muñoz. He will increase the firm's project finance capability in Europe and act for Spanish clients doing work in the US, as well as for US clients investing in Spain. Muñoz said it was cost effective to have a US-qualified lawyer in Spain. "US companies are used to having US lawyers everywhere in the world. Now they have Puttré to assist in US matters while we deal with the local law," he said. Project finance work in Europe is burgeoning, particularly in the energy sector, following the European Commission's recent adoption of proposals for a European directive on renewable energy sources. The directive states that a certain percentage of electricity must come from renewable sources; in response, there are a number of Spanish-led deals that include the development of energy sources from wind farms and biomass. There are also a number of US corporates pursuing opportunities in Spain as deregulation of the industry continues. But Puttré said Spanish utility companies were also looking for power assets in the US, which will give them a foot in the door and make it easier for them to develop over there. He added that he is ideally placed to take full advantage of the market as he works for both Spanish and US clients. Jones Day opened in Madrid in January 2000 when it merged with local firm Tena Muñoz y Asociados. Then, in October, it merged with the specialist competition firm G&J Abogados.