Patrick Somers has resigned from his role as general counsel of Lattice Group to join Hammond Suddards Edge's corporate finance practice as a partner specialising in utilities
The hire is a major coup for the firm in its push to exploit the utilities market and cement a relationship with newly merged Lattice and National Grid. The news will have big implications for the UK firms acting for Lattice and National Grid, which have been attempting to secure positions as legal advisers to National Grid Transco, as the merged firm will be known. Linklaters acted for Lattice on the merger, while CMS Cameron Mckenna advised National Grid. As well as Linklaters, Lattice uses Hammonds for corporate finance, employment and intellectual property; Pinsent Curtis Biddle for competition, employment and property; Wragge & Co for commercial; and Osborne Clarke for dispute resolution. National Grid uses Martineau Johnson, Wright Hassall and Camerons. Somers said that the integration process has only just started. National Grid has only eight in-house lawyers in the UK compared with Lattice's 32. Somers said: "There is a good synergy between the two legal departments. People shouldn't be too comfortable with their positions, but I doubt whether there will be big changes too quickly." It is understood that Hammonds and Wragges have acted for National Grid in the past. Somers, who will remain at Lattice until the merger is completed, confirmed that until things settle down, there will be a call for all lawyers currently used to provide advice.