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Simpson Thacher poaches Latham energy partner in Houston

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Signage is seen on the building exterior of the law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., August 17, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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(Reuters) - Chris Bennett, formerly a partner at Latham & Watkins, has taken his practice to Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in Houston, where he'll be a partner in the New York-based firm's energy and infrastructure practice.

Simpson Thacher, with more than 1,000 lawyers globally, has 50-plus lawyers based in Houston. According to Robert Rabalais, head of the firm’s Houston office, Bennett will boost a team that advises "investors across the energy value chain, including in oil and gas, renewables and energy transition."

Bennett advises energy and private equity clients on M&A and joint venture matters, with a focus on upstream oil and gas and midstream assets. Among the deals he handled at Latham, Bennett advised Plains Exploration & Production Co on a $5.5 billion acquisition of BP Exploration & Production Inc's Gulf of Mexico oil and gas properties.

A representative for Latham did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

"With a remarkable breadth of experience advising on M&A transactions across the upstream and midstream oil and gas markets, Chris has developed a reputation as a creative and commercial dealmaker," Simpson Thacher's executive committee chairman, Bill Dougherty said in a statement.

Bennett said in a statement that Simpson Thacher gives him the opportunity to grow his practice among colleagues known for a "high caliber of work on cutting-edge and complex deals."

Simpson Thacher has offices in New York, Beijing, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Palo Alto, Sao Paulo, Tokyo and Washington, D.C.

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Reporting by Chinekwu Osakwe

Chinekwu Osakwe covers legal industry news with a focus on midsize law firms. Reach her at Chinekwu.osakwe@thomsonreuters.com.

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