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Schmitz, who had been a London partner at Squire Sanders for eight years, represents major developers in wind and solar energy projects.
McDermott has been rebuilding its City practice after being hit by a string of departures in the past two years, including corporate chief William Charnley to Mayer Brown, IP head Larry Cohen to Latham & Watkins and employment head Fraser Younson to Berwin Leighton Paisner.
The London office has taken on five new partners so far this year, including Lovells corporate rainmaker Hugh Nineham and employment ;partner ;Vanessa Morgan from Allen & Overy.
In June, the firm lost another partner, anti-trust specialist Ian Rose, to Salans. Managing partner Doron Ezickson has pledged to continue McDermott’s growth and is seeking further lateral hires in the corporate and IP departments.
Schmitz said he was attracted by McDermott’s reputation in the booming energy sector as well as its links to lenders through the banking practice.
“Renewable energy is a goldmine. It’s one of the few recession-proof industries,” he said.
Ezickson added: “You can ;see ;a ;consistent ;and aggressive approach in our investment in the energy practice, both in the US and here, and that’s going to continue.”