Norton Rose Fulbright today announced that it has expanded its renewable energy capabilities in Texas with the addition of partner Becky Diffen and senior counsel Sam Porter to the global law firm's Austin office. Diffen and Porter arrive from McGuireWoods, where Diffen served as chair of the firm's renewable energy practice.
Diffen, who began her career as a utility-scale wind power developer, focuses her practice on energy transactions, mergers and acquisitions and project development in the renewable energy, energy storage and power generation industries. She is also a recognized thought leader, frequently speaking and writing about project finance and development topics relevant to the renewables industry.
Porter, who has prior in-house experience at a solar manufacturer and developer and at an oilfield services and midstream energy business, advises clients on the acquisition, development, financing and sale of energy projects and companies. He has led renewable energy project acquisitions and divestitures, construction, project and tax equity financings, solar and energy storage offtake agreements and project document negotiations.
Diffen and Porter join Norton Rose Fulbright's project finance team, which Law360 has named as a "Project Finance Practice Group of the Year" each of the last five years. In addition, Chambers USA 2019 ranks the firm in Band 1 for Nationwide: Projects: Renewables & Alternative Energy, and The Legal 500 US 2019 lists the firm in Tier 1 nationally for Finance: Project Finance.
Daryl Lansdale, Norton Rose Fulbright's US Managing Partner, said:
"Becky and Sam provide superb client service and exceptional representation to developers, sponsors and financiers on sophisticated renewable energy matters. Our global projects team is consistently recognized among the best in the world, and it just got better."
"Becky and Sam both learned the renewable energy business by working for developers before moving to their current roles as outside counsel – Becky for a wind developer and Sam for a large solar manufacturer and developer. They are both bright, energetic and hardworking. The renewable energy market has been extremely busy this year, and we can use the additional help in Austin. We will have added 11 more lawyers to our projects group by the end of September."
Diffen, ranked by Chambers USA 2019 as an up-and-coming lawyer in Texas, said:
"We are delighted to be part of Norton Rose Fulbright's growing global platform. Our clients will benefit from the firm's expansive renewable energy and project finance depth and impressive list of energy lawyers. Sam and I are well-positioned for success and future growth by joining Norton Rose Fulbright."
Licensed to practice in Texas, Diffen is active in the Austin community, serving on several non-profit boards and providing pro bono services to local affordable housing organizations and nonprofits. She received her JD from the University of Texas School of Law – where she now serves as an adjunct professor – and her BA from Carleton College.
Porter is admitted to practice in New York and Texas and received his JD from Columbia Law School and his BA from the University of Utah. He is active in the Austin renewable energy community and serves on the board of a local solar nonprofit.
Diffen is currently practicing with Norton Rose Fulbright, while Porter will join the firm later this month.