12 Oct 2022

Orrick energy team spins out to launch sustainability boutique in Italy

Green Horse opens for business with 21 former Orrick lawyers led by partners Carlo Montella and Andrea Gentili

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A team of 21 energy and infrastructure lawyers has left Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe to launch a new sustainability-focused boutique in Italy. 

The new practice, known as Green Horse, will be led by Carlo Montella and Andrea Gentili, both of whom were partners at Orrick. Newly-minted partners Francesca Isgrò, Celeste Mellone and Maria Teresa and a trio of counsel have also moved over alongside a team of 13 associates. 

All of the lawyers were members of Orrick’s Italian energy and infrastructure team.

Green Horse focuses exclusively on the green economy and energy transition toward sustainability and alongside its principal legal offering has a four-strong financial advisory arm that was previously a separate consultancy. 

The firm lists bases in Milan and Rome on its website and offers services for matters including M&A, project development, project finance, regulatory advice and litigation in the renewables, renewable gases and sustainable infrastructures sectors. 

Montella, who serves as Green Horse’s managing partner, told legalcommunity.it he believed a multi-disciplinary approach through partnerships with other professionals was a “key factor” in being able to offer value-added service to clients in an increasingly complex industry.  

"We are excited to create Green Horse, a new consulting format that aims to provide an excellent advisory service in our professional area, in Italy and abroad,” he added. 

The Green Horse team will continue to work with their former firm. An Orrick spokesperson said: ‘We are grateful to Carlo and his team for their contributions to our firm. At the same time, we are excited for them about their new venture. We look forward to collaborating with Carlo and Green Horse to advise clients with respect to their legal needs in Italy and globally.”

Montella was the global deputy leader of Orrick’s energy and infrastructure team, which alongside technology and innovation and finance constitutes the firm’s core offering. A transactional lawyer, he regularly advises on energy sector M&A, joint ventures, development, structuring and financing of large-scale energy and infrastructure projects. 

According to its website Orrick no longer has any energy and infrastructure lawyers based in its Italian offices. 

Earlier this year, a three-partner energy and infrastructure team joined Osborne Clarke from Orrick in London, veteran partner John Cooke having departed in January to join a clean energy company in the US. 

Going the other way, last year the firm opened an office in Singapore helmed by energy and infrastructure partner Jon Thursby. Thursby, who specialises in the development and construction aspects of offshore wind and other large-scale renewables projects in the region, was initially the office’s sole practitioner, though the firm has subsequently added partner Karthik Kumar from Jones Day and counsel Lynette Lim. 

There have been a number of hires within the renewable sector in recent months as law firms position themselves to take advantage of the ESG movement's impact on the energy sector. 

Notably, in March 2021 Allen & Overy opened in Los Angeles after hiring a highly-rated six-partner US project finance and renewables team from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

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