Bird & Bird expands energy capability with key partner recruit

23 July 2007

International law firm Bird & Bird has recruited highly rated energy partner, Michelle de Rijke, to boost its expanding energy practice. Based in the firm’s office in The Hague, Michelle will play a key role in the further development of the firm's international activities in the sector. Bird & Bird has recently been building its energy capabilities with other key recruits in The Hague as well as across the firm's international offices.

Michelle brings extensive experience of regulatory and commercial matters in the energy sector having represented an array of Dutch and international energy businesses on both contentious and non-contentious energy matters. Highly rated as a leading individual in the legal directories for her regulatory experience, Michelle's appointment will be of particular interest to the firm's international clients looking to exploit opportunities from the regulation of the energy market across Europe. Michelle will join Hague based energy and infrastructure partner Harm van Berkum, who joined the firm in February and has since been involved in a number of deals including advising ObN-NetH Holding and its financial adviser Macquarie Bank Limited, on the €400 million acquisition of former RWE gas networks and a party involved with the NUON Essent merger.

Commenting on her appointment, Armand Killan, co-head of the firm's office in The Hague said:

"I'm delighted that Michelle is joining us. Michelle's regulatory and commercial experience combined with Harm's strong corporate experience within the energy sector provides us with a unique energy group in the Dutch legal market. The group will be a perfect partner to advise on future challenges of the energy market such as unbundling and clean and sustainable energy”.

Marjolein Geus, Head of the Regulatory and Commercial Group, added:

"Michelle’s experience within the energy sector and energy regulation is a most welcome addition to the group’s experience in other regulated markets such as the telecoms and the postal sectors, public transport, airports as well as related networks and infrastructure”.

Michelle added:

"I am thrilled to be joining Bird & Bird’s office in The Hague. The office is part of an international firm with a strong sector focus, which is, at the same time, committed to be a leading player in the national regulated business. The Hague houses all relevant regulators, national courts, the parliament and ministries and is therefore an ideal place to further grow the energy practice together with the existing group."

For more information on this please contact Natalie Arestis, PR Manager on 020 7905 6248 or natalia.arestis@twobirds.com.

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Notes to Editors

About Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird is a full service international commercial law firm with an in-depth knowledge of chosen industry sectors.

With offices in Beijing, Brussels, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, The Hague, Hong Kong, London, Lyon, Madrid, Milan, Munich, Paris, Rome and Stockholm, we offer our clients local expertise within a global context helping them to realise their business goals both domestically and internationally.

Bird & Bird was identified as one of the Top 50 Law Firms in the world that has “taken the greatest strides towards globalisation while maintaining quality”, in a recent survey carried out by researchers for the PLCWhich Lawyer? Yearbook.