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Associate - Energy & Infrastructure (Mid - Senior Level)

Location: London

Vacancy Type: Solicitor

Contract: Permanent

Hours: Full-time 

Experience Level: Mid - Senior Level 

Expiry date:  01/02/2023

About Us

Bird & Bird LLP is an international law firm which supports organisations being changed by technology or the digital world. We combine exceptional legal expertise with deep industry knowledge and refreshingly creative thinking, to help clients achieve their commercial goals. We have over 1,300 lawyers in 31 offices across Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, and North America, as well as close ties with firms in other parts of the world. If you want to find out more, visit www.twobirds.com.

The firm offers excellent prospects for progression and our culture provides all our people with world-class support to achieve their ambitions and goals.

Bird & Bird is committed to maintaining an inclusive work environment and we are an equal opportunities employer. We support an agile working environment and are happy to discuss flexible working.

 

The opportunity

We are looking for mid-senior level associate to join our first-rate Energy & Infrastructure (E&I) projects/commercial team in London.  

The role will involve working on large, complex project contracts for the design, construction, and operation/maintenance of assets across the energy & infrastructure sectors. The role offers potentially significant career progression.  

 

The team

Our London E&I team consists of 3 partners, 1 legal director and 5 associates and we sit as part of Bird & Bird’s Commercial practice group. We are a close-knit team who are passionate about what we do. In Energy, Bird & Bird’s longstanding focus on sectors being disrupted by technology means our work is primarily in Cleantech, across renewable energy (primarily solar, wind, energy storage and renewable heat) energy management and EnTech. In Infrastructure we also have a technology focussed team, working across all classes of smart infrastructure including highways, airports and grids/networks. Our team also advise on some very large defence/military projects, including projects for the manufacture or maintenance of submarines, ships or aircraft.

Our team goes to market as part of our international Energy & Utilities, Public Projects & Procurement, Defence, or Infrastructure groups. We are a genuinely cross-sector practice group. We operate across borders as ‘One Firm’ and enjoy working with close colleagues across a large range of jurisdictions. Our clients range from public sector entities (government departments, local authorities) and multi-nationals to investment funds, property developers and start-ups. 

Examples of current projects our E&I team are or have recently worked on include advising

  • A major gold miner on the procurement of a large solar energy and storage plant to be constructed on their gold mine in Egypt.
  • A pension fund on their acquisition, build and operation of a utility scale solar farm
  • A German EPC contractor on their EPC contract with a major fund for the build of a 65MW solar farm
  • A listed fund on their private wire PPAs to supply power from their solar farms to local water utilities or other corporate offtakers
  • An international online retailer on a Corporate PPA framework for solar on rooftops of distribution centres
  • A Swiss investment fund on PPAs to be entered into by their investment vehicle with both Axpo and Microsoft
  • An offshore wind cable installer on their EPC Contracts
  • Commodities traders, manufacturers and operators on innovative grid flexibility solutions to enable the better use of clean energy, including technologies such as smart metering, blockchain, AI, battery storage
  • A major smart city development project on its city-wide heat distribution/energy efficiency system
  • A wide variety of either multinational property developers or energy solutions companies on energy efficiency and heat distribution for high profile commercial and residential property development schemes
  • A European investment fund on their acquisition of a portfolio of energy from waste and onshore wind assets (with our team leading the diligence/negotiation of the project documents)
  • An international packaging company on the procurement of industrial scale CHP plants to be constructed on their manufacturing plants, in UK, Germany and France; and
  • An investor on its acquisition of the largest in-front of the meter energy storage plant in Europe.

Our team won ‘Energy & Infrastructure Team of the Year’ at The Lawyer Awards 2021, beating top-tier firms including Pinsent Masons, DLA Piper and Hogan Lovells.  We are also ranked Tier 2 in Legal 500 2022 for Power (Including Electricity, Nuclear And Renewables).

“Our Energy & Utilities Sector Group has also been named as the number 1 firm globally for M&A transactions in renewables by volume in the Clean Energy Legal League Tables 2022, based on the number of deals done in 2021”

 

What you’ll do

You will be working on a broad range of commercial contracts for the design, construction and operation/maintenance of assets across the energy & infrastructure sectors. This will include concession contracts, offtake/power purchase contracts, EPC (engineer, procure, construct) contracts, O&M (operation & maintenance) contracts, manufacturing contracts, services contracts, energy performance contracts, fuel supply contracts and other ancillary contracts such as bonds, guarantees and warranties. Occasionally you may be required to give regulatory advice. You will likely be working on 1-2 large projects at any one time, together with a few smaller matters. 

You will work on projects in the UK, but also on projects in other jurisdictions as diverse as Iceland, Africa, Europe, and Middle East. This will either involve working closely with our other offices, or with our associated firms if we don’t have offices in those jurisdictions. 

Further details of the Energy & Utilities, Public Projects & Procurement, Infrastructure and Defence sector groups can be found on our website: www.twobirds.com

 

About you

You will have post qualification experience in commercial contracts in the energy sector, gained within a comparable environment. Experience specifically in renewable energy, energy technology and/or district heating projects is advantageous. l. Experience advising on projects in the infrastructure sector is relevant but not essential. 

We expect excellent academic achievement and legal skills, combined with an aptitude for providing commercial solutions and excellent transactional and project management skills.

We would like candidates to demonstrate the willingness and ability to support business development activities, client relationship management and thought leadership.

 

The main responsibilities of this role are outlined above; however, this description is not exhaustive, and the job holder may be required to undertake additional duties from time to time to ensure the smooth running of the department. The role may require some working outside our normal working hours of 9:30am- 5:30pm.

Bird & Bird is committed to creating and sustaining a diverse and inclusive environment. We are delighted to confirm that we have recently achieved Mansfield Certification, following our successful participation in the UK pilot programme. This certification was achieved by considering at least 30% women, lawyers from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, lawyers with disabilities and LGBTQ+ lawyers for at least 70% of UK fee earner and leadership positions. We are participating in Mansfield Rule UK 2.0 and continue to work towards ensuring a diverse pool of candidates are considered our roles, in line with the Mansfield Rule. You can read more about this here. 

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