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Best of the Middle Market, Energy & Industrials Featured Dealmaker: Jay Hughes, Willkie Farr

By Deal Staff
Published: June 22nd, 2020
Newly announced hire Jay Hughes, a nominee for Energy & Industrials Dealmaker of the Year for The Deal’s Middle Market Awards, joins the firm as a partner in its Houston office.

On May 19, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP announced that Jay Hughes has joined the firm’s M&A practice as a partner in its Houston office.

Hughes, who joins from McGuireWoods LLP, has experience across a wide range of corporate transactions in the energy sector and with private equity firms. He has particular knowledge of the power industry, including both fossil fuels and renewables, and has advised on some of the most high-profile deals in the sector in recent years.

“His extensive experience in the power sector, in energy transition projects and in private equity and M&A more generally will both bolster and expand our platform,” said Michael De Voe Piazza, co-head of Willkie’s Houston office.

He also advises utilities, developers and private equity and infrastructure funds in the sale and acquisition of a range of power assets.

Over his career he has advised on countless utilities and renewable energy project transactions, debt financing and hedging arrangements for various investment firms, sponsors, utilities, developers and power and energy companies. His experience spans wind and solar projects from California to Virginia.

He was nominated for The Deal’s 2019 Middle Market Awards in the energy and industrials category for his work counseling RBJ & Associates, one of the largest operators of saltwater disposal wells in west Texas’ Permian Basin, on a sale to a subsidiary of Pilot Flying J. Among other notable deals last year, he advised Intervale Capital LLC in its sale of oil services company Epic Lift Systems LLC to Tally Energy Services, a private equity-sponsored oilfield services company focused on North America shale. Epic Lift Systems enhances oil and gas production by providing artificial lift solutions to exploration and production companies.

Among his other recent experience, he has worked with Richmond, Va.-based Dominion Energy, Inc. on a number of deals over the years, including its 2020 purchase of Southern Company’s stake in the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and its Pivotal LNG subsidiary, the October 2019 sale of a noncontrolling equity interest in Dominion Energy Cove Point LNG LP for $2 billion to an infrastructure fund managed by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and on the power and utilities company’s acquisition of electric and natural gas public utility Scana Corp. for $7.9 billion in January 2019.

He received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Richmond and a JD from the College of William & Mary. Hughes began his career at McGuireWoods in 2004, made partner in 2013 and was named managing partner of its’ Houston office in 2017.

“We focus on adding and developing dynamic, thoughtful lawyers who share the view that a collaborative approach to providing complex legal advice enables us to best serve our clients on their most sophisticated transactions,” said Bruce Herzog, co-managing partner of Willkie’s Houston office. “Jay is a perfect fit — experienced, practical and committed to being a go-to adviser to his private equity and energy clients.”

Editor’s note: This article was sponsored by Willkie Farr & Gallagher.

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