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08 Apr 2022

Chris White strengthens Stephenson Harwood's decarbonisation expertise

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Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has strengthened its decarbonisation expertise with the addition of Chris White, who will lead the firm's nuclear practice; he will be based in the projects team of the London office.

An experienced in-house energy counsel, White has held roles including head of legal, company secretary and director-level, as well as at partner and head of practice group level in private practice. His career has seen him work across the low carbon energy sector, with a particular focus on advanced nuclear. White has significant experience in legal, regulatory and planning affairs in the UK power sector, with particularly strong links to Government on low carbon economy, carbon pricing, and construction of critical energy infrastructure in support of net-zero. He currently serves as: Chair of the World Nuclear Association’s Law Group; and Co-Chair of the UK Nuclear Industry Association’s Legal & Financial Affairs Working Group.

"As we look to realise our ambitions within the decarbonisation space – one of five core areas the firm has identified for particular focus over the next five years – recruiting a nuclear energy specialist of Chris' calibre will be a real asset," said Jonathan Cripps, partner and co-head of ESG, Stephenson Harwood. "It is difficult to see that there is any road which takes us to net zero within the UK’s timescales that doesn’t use nuclear as a low carbon baseload energy – something which is reflected in the UK government's energy strategy, announced yesterday. The greater use of nuclear supports the UK's energy security, the importance of which has come into sharp focus over recent weeks. Chris' experience working in the energy sector at the likes of EDF Energy and Urenco – and most recently at U-Battery, a UK start-up alternative energy company – combined with senior roles in private practice, gives him a unique perspective and level of client insight which will be invaluable to our team and have a meaningful impact on the service we provide our clients."

"It's clear that nuclear will likely play a crucial role in delivering the UK government's new energy strategy," said Eifion Morris, chief executive, Stephenson Harwood. "With the recent gains made by Cambridge start-up Commonwealth Fusion Systems, in relation to nuclear fusion, we can see that the UK is on the cusp of something really transformational in this space. If we can make this work – having a technology which is greener and safer – it would be a game-changer. We anticipate a resulting surge in demand for legal advice in this area, and that clients will be looking for lawyers with specific experience in this highly technical area of law. Adding someone to our team of Chris' calibre and expertise will allow us to do just that."

Stephenson Harwood's five-year strategy, launched in November 2021, identifies five core areas of focus: decarbonisation, life sciences, private capital & funds, technology, and transportation & trade. They were selected having been identified as crucial in the drive for accelerated profitable growth. Increasing expertise, including through the addition of significant lateral hires, within these areas is a key element of how these plans will be realised.

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Eifion Morris

Eifion Morris
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