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Norton Rose Fulbright Grabs Energy Lawyers in Lone Star State

Aug. 13, 2019, 6:00 PM

Norton Rose Fulbright has deepened its renewable energy bench in Austin, Texas with the hire of two lawyers from McGuireWoods, including the head of that firm’s renewable energy practice.

Partner Becky Diffen, the former practice head, and senior counsel Sam Porter are making the switch. Diffen has already begun working at Norton Rose Fulbright, and Porter will join later this month.

They will both be members of Norton Rose Fulbright’s project finance team, which will have added 11 more lawyers by the end of September, according to Keith Martin, co-head of projects.

“The renewable energy market has been extremely busy this year, and we can use the additional help in Austin,” Martin said in a statement.

“Becky and Sam both learned the renewable energy business by working for developers before moving to their current roles as outside counsel,” Martin said. “Becky for a wind developer and Sam for a large solar manufacturer and developer. They are both bright, energetic and hardworking.”

Diffen began her career as a utility-scale wind power developer and currently focuses her practice on energy transactions, M&A and project development in the renewable energy, energy storage and power generation industries.

Diffen is also an adjunct professor at the University of Texas School of Law, where she teaches classes on renewable energy and electric power law. While a JD student there, she co-authored an article on the development of wind law and helped design the first-ever wind energy law class in the country, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Porter advises clients on the acquisition, development, financing and sale of energy projects and companies. He previously worked in-house at a solar manufacturer and developer and at an oilfield services and midstream energy business.

Norton Rose Fulbright has more than 4,000 lawyers and legal staff globally, and has several offices in Texas.

The firm also picked up a lateral earlier this week in its Denver office, Chandra Westergaard, a former Perkins Coie attorney who works on healthcare regulatory and enforcement issues.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Russell-Kraft in New York at srussellkraft@gmail.com
To contact the editor on this story: Rebekah Mintzer in New York at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com