Three new partners supercharge Ashurst’s energy practice

One of the partners previously co-led Baker McKenzie’s global renewable energy practice

Three new partners supercharge Ashurst’s energy practice

Three new partners have come in to boost Ashurst’s energy and resources team in Australia.

Paul Curnow, who used to co-lead Baker McKenzie’s global renewable energy practice, makes the jump along with Zoë Hilson and Kate Phillips. The trio bring more than 50 years of experience altogether to Ashurst’s partnership table.

“We are thrilled to welcome Paul, Zoë and Kate to our platform. The world is changing and we are growing our business to meet the opportunities. Australia will become a global renewable energy powerhouse as Asian economies reposition toward a low-carbon future,” said Richard Guit, who heads up Ashurst’s energy and resources practice. “Ashurst is at the forefront of this evolution and it is fantastic that Paul, Zoë and Kate share our vision. They will play a pivotal role in driving further growth of the firm's market-leading energy practice.”

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Curnow, Hilson and Phillips have considerable knowledge regarding energy markets and the renewables sector, the firm said. Curnow has handled matters involving all aspects of the renewable energy markets in Australia, and has also received international acclaim for his climate change and sustainable finance work.

While on secondment, he helped establish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation in his role as acting GC. Moreover, Curnow has advised on project development, innovative offtake agreements, energy regulation, and financing matters.

“For more than two decades, he has been a driving force behind renewable energy greenfields and M&A transactions across solar, wind, pumped hydro, batteries and other emerging technologies at both utility and distributed-scales, and a long-standing policy voice for the clean energy sector,” Ashurst said.

Hilson specialises in contracting and regulatory matters, concentrating on the revenue contracts underpinning significant energy projects. Phillips is a greenfield energy projects expert, and has handled issues involving wind, solar, battery and pumped hydro energy. She focuses on providing advice regarding the structuring and development of solar, wind, pumped hydro and energy from waste projects in the NEM states to sponsors in a lead project role, Ashurst said.

Given their various areas of expertise, the firm said that the new partners would “consolidate Ashurst's position at the leading edge of the global energy transition.”

“To have attracted such a high-calibre renewable energy team reflects the growing strength and reputation of Ashurst's award-winning energy and resources practice, the quality of our clients and our ability to provide the most innovative and professional legal solutions,” said Harvey Weaver, managing partner at the firm’s Sydney office. “These appointments are well aligned with our focus on strengthening our capabilities in key growth areas, and are evidence of our commitment to expanding the Ashurst team with the best legal talent to capitalise on future opportunities.”

Curnow and Hilson will be operating from Ashurst’s Sydney office, while Phillips works from Melbourne.

“I am excited to be joining Ashurst's highly regarded energy practice in Sydney, and along with my team, look forward to the opportunity to play a key role in the partnership as it further matches its delivery capability to meet the demands of the fast-paced energy transition, underpinned by net zero carbon commitments of countries and corporates alike,” Curnow said. “Ashurst has a strong market standing in the energy sector and its Australian and Asian reach provides a great platform from which to service clients across the whole energy supply chain. We look forward to collaborating with the global team to deliver exceptional outcomes for the firm and our clients.”

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