The Chicago-headquartered firm welcomes three lawyers to its New York and D.C. offices.
Tara Higgins, former co-head of the global power group at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, and Noreen Phelan, an energy partner specialising in corporate and finance work at Orrick, have joined Sidley Austin’s New York and Washington D.C. offices respectively. D.C.-based senior associate Chris Hutchison also jumped ship, bringing Sidley’s overall energy lawyer count to almost 150.
Higgins, who co-headed Orrick’s energy practice for six years, has longstanding experience in project finance, bond financing and M&A; she specialises in energy and infrastructure projects. “We’re very complementary to [Sidley’s] energy practice,” says Higgins, who joins a practice that also features partners from her former firm, the now-defunct Bingham McCutchen. “I’ll be helping to lead the efforts [in] growing the renewable energy platform.”
The team has handled M&A and financings involving hydroelectric, oil and gas assets, but renewables will be a key area of focus. Certainly, Higgins has form here: she recently advised I Squared Capital on its $500m sale of Lincoln Clean Energy to Danish wind-farm developer Orsted. Sidley Austin already has a strong renewables practice in the US; its latest arrivals will bolster its strength here on both the corporate and the finance side.