Houston’s Bracewell & Giuliani raids Simmons to kickstart London practice

Houston-based Bracewell & Giuliani has moved to expand its London office with the hire of two energy lawyers including Simmons & Simmons partner Julian Nichol.

Rudolph Giuliani
Rudolph Giuliani

Bracewell, whose name partners include former New York mayor and US presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani, will now have three City partners after bringing in Nichol and Herbert Smith Freehills senior associate Alastair Young. It is understood that Giuliani was heavily involved in the strategic discussions over London.

The duo will join current London managing partner and capital markets specialist Adam Mozel, who launched Bracewell’s UK base in 2007 after joining from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (21 June 2007).

However, the energy-focused firm confirmed that Nichol would now serve as sole managing partner for the London outpost, with Mozel’s plans unconfirmed. Nichol is expected to join the firm in March, with Young coming on board in April.

The firm, which has 10 offices globally including non-US bases in London and Dubai, said it plans further City growth at associate and partner level, with a focus on the energy sector.

Giuliani said in a statement: “Our firm is a top global energy firm. Adding this experience to the London office was a natural fit. With so much business flowing through London to Africa and the Middle East, we have tremendous opportunities to better serve our existing clients and will continue to build the team here.”

Bracewell managing partner Mark Evans added: “It’s important for us to be able to serve our clients in all areas of the globe in which they do business. London is a key jumping-off point. I foresee significantly more attorney growth for us in London over the next 12 to 18 months.”

Nichol joined Simmons as a partner in 2006 from Clifford Chance, where he was a senior associate (5 June 2006). He focuses on project development and finance, as well as M&A within the mining, power, oil and gas sectors, specialising in Africa and the Middle East.

He recently led a Simmons team advising power group AES Corporation on the financing of the Dibamba and Kribi power projects in Cameroon.

Young’s practice covers oil and gas M&A, project development and regulatory matters. The recruitment deal was struck by headhunters Shilton Sharpe Quarry.

Nichol said in a statement: “Our presence in the London office will enable Bracewell to offer its clients an enhanced English law capability especially in the energy sector, and increased coverage of key energy markets.”