JUVE Law Firm of the year

Energy Law

Legislation steps up a gear

This year saw legislators supply energy lawyers with a steady stream of work, with the Electricity Market Act creating the framework. This aims to help guarantee the security of supply in the market with the ongoing rise in renewable energies. The Renewable Energies Act amendment brought along new tendering models for renewable energies; the first tender for offshore wind farms immediately caused a furor when EnBW won with its zero-cent bid. The Cogeneration Act amendment also established tendering models, as well as providing relief to companies with intensive energy costs. For these same companies, changes to the self-generation of power have caused some uncertainty, which the amnesty regulation only allays to a limited degree.

Contractual solution to nuclear waste

The contentious issue of responsibility for nuclear waste was cleared up contractually between the federal government and the energy corporates: €24.7bn flowed into a sovereign wealth fund.

The current M&A market is dominated by joint ventures, which are symptomatic of the consolidation of the industry and the search for new business models, partly driven by digitalization.

Meanwhile, disputes surrounding franchise procedures for gas and electricity networks are still going strong. And firms are seeing a rise in litigation work overall.

Tough competition

Competition among law firms remains fierce and an ongoing fragmentation of the advisory market is evident. Young energy lawyers are parting ways with their firms: a well-known regulatory team from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer moved to Flick Gocke Schaumburg, which thus entered the market. At the same time, boutiques and startups are attempting to broaden their influence: FBD spinoff Chatham Partners gained clout and boutique Boos Hummel & Wegerich opened a Cologne office. Pinsent Masons is fighting for market share from Düsseldorf with its new team, and Noerr has been working on raising its profile for years.

Established outfits like Freshfields and White & Case are still under huge pressure as the high margins expected are barely feasible. In this regard, Clifford Chance took a good step with its restructuring – but paid the price by losing a portion of its activity and reputation as a regulatory firm.

 

Firms in this subchapter offer advice to clients from the energy industry in more than one relevant legal field ( ?corporate, ?M&A, ?banking and finance, ?antitrust, ?public sector).


PfeilJUVE Law Firm of the year