McKennas sets up US base to target North America power restructuring

City firm McKenna & Co is opening an office in Washington DC to take advantage of the restructuring activity affecting the electricity industry in Canada and the US.

Managing partner Robert Derry-Evans said the firm had recruited two senior American lawyers from US firm LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae. they join the new office as partners.

Reinier Lock is experienced in electricity regulation, restructuring and project development while Amy Koch specialises in hydro-electric projects and regulation, and has experience in project development.

Derry-Evans said Fiona Woolf, head of McKennas' utilities and major projects group, would supervise the new office, travelling regularly between London and Washington.

“The principal reason for opening up is that Canada and the US are now starting to introduce a degree of regulation and competition into their electricity industry which we have introduced in the UK in the last few years,” he added.

“We have the legal expertise in that field and there is a great opportunity to exploit this expertise in North America. We can best do that from a base in Washington DC since that is where the US regulatory authorities are based.”

Locating in Washington also puts the firm closer to the World Bank, which is one of its major clients.

Derry-Evans said Lock and Koch would be supported by lawyers in the London office.