Camco gets legal head for carbon trading upsurge

London-based carbon credit trading company Camco International has hired its first in-house lawyer as renewable energy and carbon credit trading companies gain scale and prominence in the City.

Camco, which listed on AIM in April, has hired DLA Piper London project finance senior associate John O’Connor as its head of legal services.

The company has a twofold role as project developer and commercialiser of carbon credits. Through contracts with Chinese, Russian and Eastern European industrial companies such as steel mills and cement factories, it develops projects to reduce the companies’ emissions and draws up contracts under the Kyoto Protocol to create carbon credits. The company then acts as broker, selling the carbon credits on behalf of the industrial producer to an international buyer – typically Western Europe or Japanese carbon emitters.

Camco chief executive Tristan Fisher told The Lawyer: “The business is heavily reliant on legal documentation and the company decided that having someone internal, who provides not just the legal review of the documents but can think on a strategic level for the company, was crucial. “[Connor] will be heavily involved in the documentation with the companies and working with the one lawyer we have based in China. He will also liaise with our external counsel, Hunton & Williams and Baker & McKenzie.”

Fisher said the company would not look to review its external advisers with the addition of Connor.

Hunton also advised the company on its £83m AIM admission, led by European managing partner Martin Thomas.

Camco’s hire comes as Constellation Energy Commodities Group, the carbon trading arm of US energy company Constellation Energy, also hunts for extra in-house counsel and with law firms looking to bolster their capacity following the Stern Report and the UK Government’s white paper on energy.