Editor's Letter

Ben Wheway, Research manager

Welcome to the first-ever Energy Yearbook from Legal 500 and Legal Business.

This supplement brings together analysis of the key issues across the energy market – with a particular focus on the topic on everyone’s lips, energy transition – as well as interviews with leading figures in the sector.

For this first edition, Legal 500 Global Green Guide editor Anna Bauböck talks to two senior partners about their distinguished careers in the energy sector – TLT real estate head Maria Connolly, who leads the firm’s cross-discipline future energy team and is also executive board sponsor for the firm’s sustainability strategy, and Harper Macleod’s David Bone, who has advised on an array of the largest renewables developments in Scotland and has been dubbed ‘Scotland’s authority on renewable energy law’.

In our lead feature, Alex Ryan looks at the struggle to balance the competing imperatives of energy transition, security and affordability, amid what is described as ‘the most disruptive change in the energy market in decades’.

Partners at firms such as Slaughter and May, Clifford Chance, Baker McKenzie, Milbank, Vinson & Elkins, Dentons and DLA Piper offer their takes on all the key considerations for law firms and their clients alike, covering net zero targets, decarbonisation, and geopolitical considerations ahead of upcoming elections.

Elsewhere, we showcase the firms with the most Legal 500 UK energy rankings and also the firms with the most individuals ranked across our core energy sections.

You can also find out what’s happening in energy law around the world in the articles from our partner firms in locations from Germany to the Dominican Republic.

We hope you enjoy this first Energy Yearbook, and we’d love to hear from readers about the issues you think we should be covering in future. Please do get in touch if you’re keen to share ideas.

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On the horns of a trilemma

Energy Yearbook 2024

As energy transition, security and affordability become ever-more urgent, the market is surging like never before. Alex Ryan asks power pundits for their views on whether the purple patch can last.

For close to two years now, energy sector commentators have spoken of a ‘trilemma’: a struggle to balance the three competing imperatives of energy transition, security, and affordability. Of these three, energy transition arguably looms largest. For John Dewar, project, energy and infrastructure finance partner at Milbank and Legal 500 Hall of Famer for power: …

Perspectives: David Bone

Energy Yearbook 2024

‘I’m working in an area where projects not only provide employment but also help our environment and make a difference to our lives.’ David Bone, senior partner in renewable energy at Harper Macleod, opens up about his 30-year career in renewable energy

What made you decide to become a lawyer and, once you’d made that decision, why energy? I decided to become a lawyer in my early teens, through watching courtroom dramas on TV. As it turned out, however, I have only appeared in court once and that was sitting on the bench (another story!). Becoming a …

Thought leadership: Bulgaria expects record energy investments in 2024-25

Energy Yearbook 2024

Country goals In 2023 Bulgaria adopted key legislation amendments that are expected to lead to a boom in green energy investments in the following years. The measures are taken in response to the decline of renewable energy sources’ share in the country’s end consumption for the last two years. The 2022 share of renewable energy …

A clean break – how law firms are helping to power the energy transition

Energy Yearbook 2024

With energy transition and net-zero targets high on the agenda for businesses of all shapes and sizes, Maya Sainani takes a look at the law firms identified by the Legal 500 Green Guide as playing a key role in driving change

Since 2021, the Legal 500 Green Guide has been highlighting the law firms making significant contributions to the green transition around the world, be it through client work, external engagements, internal initiatives, or all of the above.

Perspectives: Clare Burgess

Energy Yearbook 2024

‘Work hard, be curious, support others (it is noticed and appreciated) and grab opportunities.’ Clifford Chance partner Clare Burgess on energy perspectives

What made you decide to become a lawyer and why did you choose to go into infrastructure transactions? I chose to study law with thoughts of becoming a barrister. While at university I was introduced to City law firms through the milk rounds and was drawn to the emphasis on working as a team, opportunities …

Q&A: Oppenheim

Energy Yearbook 2024

1. How does the Hungarian regulatory framework govern renewable energy projects, and what are the latest amendments or proposals that could impact such projects? Renewable energy projects are not regulated separately, the respective rules are embedded in the regulation of the given sector. For example, solar and wind projects have their rules within the frame …

Corridors of power

Energy Yearbook 2024

From traditional energy to renewable sources, the Legal 500 rankings cover the full breadth of the energy market – but which law firms hold the most rankings?

The Legal 500 energy rankings cover four core areas of the market – mining and minerals; oil and gas; power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables); and water, listing 70 firms and 150 individuals in total.

Q&A: Osborne Clarke

Energy Yearbook 2024

1. Can you describe the current legal framework governing renewable energy in Germany and any significant regulatory developments that have occurred in the last year? In a nutshell, the legal framework for renewable energy in Germany consists of a priority grid connection claim and support via the Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz (EEG) feed-in tariff for smaller installations and …

Stepping on the gas – the factors behind the rise of green hydrogen

Energy Yearbook 2024

Green hydrogen projects are set to play a huge part in the energy transition. Harry Hyde talks to the lawyers on the front lines of a fast-developing market

At COP28 last year, all parties acknowledged that renewable and low-carbon hydrogen will be an essential factor in meeting global energy needs while decarbonising industry. With law firms advising clients on green hydrogen projects which seek to replace conventional fuels within heavy transport, thermal power stations, domestic heat grids, and industrial activity, hydrogen has the …

Perspectives: Maria Connolly

Energy Yearbook 2024

TLT partner and head of future energy and real estate Maria Connolly on a 25-year career in renewable energy, the challenges facing the industry and why it’s important to love what you do

What made you decide to become a lawyer and, once you’d made that decision, why energy? I chose to do law at university as I felt it would be a good base for a future career choice, whether that was law or otherwise. Even the prospect of doing a degree was pretty daunting at first, …