new hire

New York law firm expands energy practice with new partner appointment

Sarah McLean brings over 20 years of energy industry experience to her new role at Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Photo via Wilkie.com

Willkie Farr & Gallagher has announced that Sarah McLean has joined the firm’s Houston office as a partner. It's the sixth energy industry group hire in the past year.

McLean’s practice will focus on private equity transactions. Mostly the transactions will be acting for sponsors in making portfolio investments, exiting their investments, and growing their platform companies.

“Willkie has leading private equity and transactional capabilities, a fast-growing energy platform and a collaborative culture across the Firm," McLean says in a news release. "I’m excited to join the exceptional team here and further strengthen Willkie’s dynamic work across the energy sector to support the growing needs of our clients.”

McLean was a joint head of the US Energy industry group at Shearman & Sterling prior to Willkie Farr & Gallagher, and her experience in the energy sector includes 20 years.

“Sarah is a standout private equity and energy lawyer and we are pleased to welcome her to Willkie,” Chairman Thomas Cerabino says in the release. ”She brings significant dealmaking experience to our global energy team in Texas and across the U.S. and Europe and will be an invaluable resource to our clients navigating the changing energy market.”

Willkie provides legal solutions to businesses that address critical issues that affect multiple industries and markets with 13 offices worldwide.

“Sarah has a stellar reputation as a market-leading lawyer and dealmaker, with deep private equity and M&A experience in the oil and gas and energy transition sectors that will further the growth of our expanding Texas platform,” Archie Fallon, managing partner of the Houston office, says in a news release. “As clients look for new opportunities in the evolving energy sector, Sarah’s substantial track record and experience will complement our capabilities in Texas and across the firm, and we are thrilled to welcome her to Willkie.”

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A View From HETI

Fervo Energy — and a few other Greentown Labs companies — made a global list of clean tech companies. Photo via fervoenergy.com

Nine Greentown Labs members were recognized on a global list honoring cleantech companies.

Houston-based Fervo Energy was named to Cleantech Group’s Global Cleantech 100 report. Cleantech Group is a research-driven company that aids the public sector, private sector, investors, and also identifies, assesses, and engages with the innovative solutions around climate challenges.

Fervo, a geothermal energy company that specializes in a renewable energy technology that uses hot water to produce electricity, debuted in 2022 on the list, and was honored in the “Energy & Power” category for the second straight year.

The other Greentown Labs, which is dual located in Houston and Somerville, Massachusetts, companies recognized on the list include:

  • Amogy, a New York-based novel carbon-free energy system using ammonia as a renewable fuel
  • Carbon Upcycling Technologies, a Canadian waste and carbon utilization company
  • Dandelion Energy, New York-based company offering ground source heat pumps for most homes
  • Energy Dome, a Milan-based company addressing the problem of long-duration energy storage
  • e-Zinc, a Canadian company with a breakthrough electrochemical technology for energy storage
  • Nth Cycle, a Massachusetts company with sustainable metal refining
  • Raptor Maps, a Massachusetts company with a software platform for solar assets' performance data management
  • Sublime Systems, a Massachusetts companydeveloping a breakthrough process for low-carbon cement
  • WeaveGrid, a California company working with utilities, automakers, EVSEs, and EV owners to enable and accelerate the electrification of transportation

The number of nominations from the public, a panel, i3, awards and Cleantech Group totaled 25,435 from over 65 countries, which is a 61% increase from the 2023 nomination process. Winners were chosen from a short list of 330 companies by a panel of over 80 industry experts.

While not on the list, Beaumont-based Fortress Energy was mentioned for its electrolyzer supply agreement with Cleantech Group 100 winner Electric Hydrogen.

The Cleantech Group 100 was started 15 years ago.

“In 15 more years, we will be at 2039—by which time, a mere decade out from the ‘net-zero’ target of 2050,” Cleantech Group CEO Richard Youngman says in the report. “I would expect the composition of our annual list to have markedly changed again, and the leading upcoming private companies of that time to reflect such.”

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