Ernst & Young's law firm Tite & Lewis has hired Texaco's chief legal adviser as the company's in-house department reshuffles post merger.
Brad Nielson has been general counsel to Texaco's upstream and downstream operations in Europe, Eurasia, North Africa and the Middle East since 1996. Texaco merged with fellow energy giant Chevron last month, so the combination of the legal teams in the UK has meant a restructuring. Nielson's post will be filled by Texaco's Ricks Frazier, who is relocating from the US to London. He will take responsibility for the legal aspects of the downstream business of the combined group. The current head of legal for Chevron, Peter Rixon, will run the upstream operation. Frazier's title will be vice president and general counsel downstream for Europe and West Africa products. Rixon will be vice president and regional general counsel for upstream, covering Europe, Eurasia, the Middle East and North Africa. Nielson was responsible for a team of seven lawyers in the London legal department of Texaco, reporting to the general counsel in the US. His arrival at Tite & Lewis signals the launch of an energy practice hoping to leverage off Ernst & Young's strong name in the sector. The accountant's clients include both Texaco and Chevron, as well as Exxon, BP Amoco, BG (formerly British Gas) and Mobil. Nielson said he hopes to pick up legal work from ChevronTexaco, as it is now called, at Tite & Lewis. On the £30bn merger, Lovells advised Texaco while Herbert Smith advised Chevron on European competition issues. Tite & Lewis managing partner Christopher Tite said: "This is really playing to the global strengths of Ernst & Young. They're market leaders in that sector and the opportunities for us to position law alongside their wider offerings are just too good to miss." At the firm Nielson will pull together a team of 10 lawyers across the practices to form the group - covering project finance, structured finance, regulatory, public affairs, e-commerce and real estate.