Akin Adds Two Energy Partners in L.A.

Drew Combs

AmLaw Daily

July 1, 2010

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has added two lateral partners to its Los Angeles office, boosting its renewable energy and project finance capabilities.

Dino Barajas comes to Akin from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius's Los Angeles office, where his practice focused on representing Latin American energy companies and alternative power projects in connection with financing arrangements. Elliot Hinds, who was previously a partner at Goodwin Procter, also joins Akin's Los Angeles office. Hinds's practice has centered on energy-related transactions, especially those involving alternative power sources such as wind and solar. This week Hinds (pictured right) completed a solar energy financing deal for Los Angeles Community College District that provides for the installation of solar facilities at four of the district's campuses.

Earlier in their careers the two attorneys worked together in project finance at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. "It is great to work with Dino again and strengthen our overall practice," Hinds says. He adds that he chose to move to Akin because its energy and corporate practices "mesh well" with his practice.

Akin's overall energy-related practice has booked several major deals this year. In April the firm advised client Enterprise Products Partners LP when it purchased two natural gas gathering and treating systems for $1.2 billion. The firm is also representing FirstEnergy Corp., an Ohio-based electric company, in an $8.5 billion merger with Allegheny Energy, Inc., that is expected to close in 2011.

Barajas (pictured left) and Hinds mark the first lateral partner additions to Akin's nearly 80-attorney Los Angeles office since April 2009, when the firm announced that litigation partner Richard Welsh had joined the firm. Both attorneys come to Akin after relatively short tenures at their prior firms. Barajas was at Morgan, Lewis for a little more than two years. Hinds was one of four McDermott Will & Emery partners who joined Goodwin Procter in March 2008.

"This is an exciting development for the firm and signals our commitment to build a leading practice focused on the renewable energy industry," said Frank Reddick, cohead of Akin's corporate practice, in a written statement. Last year the firm also added San Francisco-based partner Robert Nelson, whose practice concentrates on energy transactions, to boost its renewable energy practice.

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