Lovells’ Madrid office has hired the former chair of one of Spain’s biggest utilities companies as it seeks to bolster its non-legal knowledge base.

Electrical engineer Pedro Mieglo, who served as chair of Spanish utilities company Red Eléctrica de España from 1997 to 2004, has joined the firm as a consultant.

As first reported in The Lawyer (10 September) the firm’s Madrid managing partner Jose Maria Balana wanted to add a number of non-lawyers to the practice to provide essential non-legal expertise. Balana said Mieglo, who joins from the Madrid office of Lupicinio Eversheds, fits this bill perfectly given his past experience.

“This is the first time we have recruited someone at this level, though we have done so in other offices such as London,” Balana said. “The reason we have done it is that energy is highly technical. To understand, for example, a gas pipeline between Algeria and Spain, if you don’t have technical knowledge you are quite lost when putting the contractual documents in place.”

Balana added that Mieglo’s appointment follows that of energy head Hermenegildo Altozano, who joined from Lupicinio Eversheds earlier this year.

“Energy is something we are looking to build up,” Balana said. “”It is one of the biggest markets in Spain and it has become more international, attracting a lot of attention from international energy groups. For the time being we have to digest Pedro’s hire but we will look at further expansion from there.”

Lupicinio Eversheds said it is currently seeking a replacement for Mieglo.