Penelope Warne, the practice group manager for the energy, projects and construction group at CMS and a member of the firm’s board, is also one of the unsung heroes behind the international growth of the firm’s European network.
CMS’s strategic mission to tap into the world’s leading energy markets as part of its overseas expansion clearly bears the hallmarks of Warne’s years of expertise in oil and gas.
“I opened our offices in Aberdeen and Edinburgh and built the oil and gas practice in London,” says Warne. “I also opened the Brazil office in Rio de Janeiro and this year opened Dubai. And I’m not stopping there. That’s what I do.”
Not just that, though. In her day job Warne also advises on a broad range of high-profile deals and transactions and commercial work relating to the oil industry for clients such as BP.
“Energy is very important to CMS and is a significant sector in real terms,” says Warne. “Nothing happens without energy. In legal terms, it’s a very dynamic industry that needs a lot of lawyers, whether it’s at the exploration end, renewables or whichever part of the market.”
For CMS, the next stop is the US. It would be a major shock if CMS’ US partner firm – when a deal happens – didn’t have a major energy component. And an even bigger one if Warne wasn’t at the heart of the deal.