Bird & Bird boosts energy sector group in the Netherlands with the appointment of Sophie Dingenen as partner

01 June 2016

Bird & Bird is delighted to announce the appointment of Sophie Dingenen today, as a partner in the Energy & Utilities sector group, based in The Hague.

Sophie joins from Baker & McKenzie. Prior to this she spent 1.5 years in-house at South Stream Transport BV, and 11 years at Norton Rose Fulbright. Her move will help develop and strengthen both Bird & Bird's corporate practice, and its work in the energy and utilities sector both in the Netherlands and internationally.

The majority of Sophie's practice consists of advising national and international energy companies on the development of renewable energy projects and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, privatisations and restructurings.

In the Netherlands, there is huge potential for investment in renewable energy. Investments in energy projects, particularly renewable energy, and expansion of energy infrastructure (offshore grid, energy storage, heating, smart grids) are strongly encouraged by the Dutch Government.

The Dutch energy market is undergoing a rapid change towards renewable energy. As a consequence, the traditional energy companies are facing a process towards renewable energy systems and innovative business models; therefore there is a need for strategic advice. Sophie has extensive experience in providing strategic & boardroom advice. Besides her legal skills, her commercial and corporate skills will expand the firm's existing strength in energy regulatory advice towards energy project development which further develops the energy client base and expands the variety of services on office, both in The Hague and other jurisdictions.

Pauline Kuipers, co-head of Bird & Bird, The Netherlands says: "We're so pleased to welcome Sophie to our team. Her expertise in renewable energy projects will be particularly welcome to our Dutch and international clients whose businesses depend on meeting the demands of a changing market." 

Matt Bonass, co-head of the International Energy and Utilities sector group says: "With our deep rooted knowledge of IT and IP and our understanding of key business processes, we are well placed to advise participants in the energy industry as it becomes increasingly disrupted by technology. Like many of our lawyers, Sophie has a wealth of knowledge about the industry, well beyond providing legal advice.  We very much look forward to working with her and to building on  the strong existing energy capabilities provided in the Netherlands through partner Michelle de Rijke and her team."

Sophie adds: "It's a really exciting time for the energy sector in the Netherlands and in the wider European market. Given the ever-changing regulatory landscape and the need for investments to achieve the challenging Kyoto targets, clients are looking for advisors that really understand their businesses. As opposed to the approach of traditional law firms, Bird & Bird's sector focussed industry groups are the ideal platform to provide such multi-disciplinary advice.  I look forward to working with the Bird & Bird energy sector group and the ever-increasing client base to meet the challenges and expand their businesses."