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Morgan Cole is taking on a leading in-house energy lawyer to boost its practice.
Geoff Hewitt joined Morgan Cole last week in a whirlwind move, say sources in the energy department.
Hewitt was formerly director and legal manager at Saga Petroleum UK. His expertise lies in "upstream" energy law - the production end of the market - and licensing oil, gas, construction and infrastructure.
Morgan Cole's current expertise is in "downstream" energy - the wholesale and retail end of the market.
Paul Dillon, head of energy at Morgan Cole, says: "Geoff has a first-class reputation in the upstream sector and is also one of the indus try's best-known characters."
Hewitt has also been chairman of the UK Energy Lawyers' Group and is on the International Bar Association's energy and natural resources council.
Paul Beharrell, senior partner at Couderts and a leading energy and natural resources lawyer, says Saga is one of many energy companies which have been downsizing upstream operations.
"There are a lot of upstream lawyers on the market," he says.
Legal operations at Saga are understood to have slowed down. Sources claim Saga is close to being sold.