Birmingham firm Martineau Johnson says the latest high-profile energy deal it has just clinched proves it can challenge City practices for top energy-sector work.
Andrew Whitehead, head of utilities at Martineaus, says there is a movement of work from the City firms to firms which offer a more specialised service.
"Specialist energy expertise is not the domain of city firms," he says. "We are taking instructions from an increasing number of new entrants as well as established players in both the gas and electricity sectors."
Martineaus is advising ESIS/Altra Technologies, the joint venture that will run an on-screen daily commodity market to replace the current system in October.
"Clearly, most of our legal work has just started," says Whitehead, "although we have been working behind the scenes for a while."
The firm recently expanded its energy team by hiring William Foster, a former gas analyst with McKinsey & Co. Current clients include National Grid.