24 May 2022

Skadden adds DLA Piper energy co-chair in Houston

Drew Baldinger also served as DLA Piper's M&A vice-chair

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Skadden Arps Meagher & Flom has hired DLA Piper’s US energy practice co-chair as a partner in Houston. 

Drew Baldinger joins the New York firm after six years at DLA Piper, where he also worked as vice chair of the firm’s M&A practice. He was appointed as vice-chair in early 2020 as part of a wider shake-up of DLA Piper’s US corporate sub-groups.

Baldinger advises clients on offtake, gas supply, transportation and other key contracts in the oil and gas sector. He also advises project developers, private equity firms and portfolio companies on M&A, financing and project development matters relating to conventional and renewable energy technologies, including gas-to-liquids, solar, wind and geothermal generation projects.

Lance Brasher, partner and global head of Skadden’s energy and infrastructure group, said Baldinger’s experience handling private equity transactions in the upstream, midstream and renewable energy sectors would be “of tremendous value” to the firm’s clients.

The move sees Baldinger return to Skadden, where he spent five years as an associate having begun his legal career with a stint at Akin Gump between 2005 and 2007. 

“Skadden’s energy and transactional practices are among the best in the world, and as the industry becomes increasingly globalized, the firm’s platform and resources will provide key opportunities in international markets,” Baldinger said. “I look forward to working closely again with many colleagues with whom I have long-established relationships.”

Skadden’s wider energy and infrastructure group consists of eight partners based across the firm’s offices in Washington DC, Hong Kong, New York and Houston. 

Baldinger’s arrival in the firm’s Houston office brings its lawyer headcount to 26. Launched in 1993, the Skadden’s sole Texas location also houses securities partner and office head Noelle Reed, litigation partner Allen Lanstra and M&A partners Eric Otness and Cody Carper. 

Skadden led Refinitiv’s global M&A legal advisory league table by deal value in the opening three months of the year, having worked on 49 deals worth almost $146bn. 

Other recent partner laterals at the firm have included that of Kathleen Saunders Gregor, who joined the firm’s tax controversy and litigation group in Boston in April from Ropes & Gray. Also in April the firm added Raymond Bogenrief as a corporate partner in Chicago from White & Case. 

Going the other way, Skadden’s China practice head, Julie Gao, left the firm last month after a decade as its top Asia capital markets lawyer to be CFO at ByteDance, the owner of TikTok. 

And in March Skadden saw veteran trial lawyer John Neukom exit for Debevoise & Plimpton, with Neukom bolstering Debevoise’s IP litigation group in its recently-launched San Francisco office.

DLA Piper did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding Baldinger’s departure.

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