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Prominent Shipping, LNG and Energy Partner Kevin Keenan Joins Reed Smith’s Global Transportation Industry Group in Houston

HOUSTON – Sept. 9, 2020 – Reed Smith today announced that Kevin D. Keenan, a Houston-based lawyer whose wide-ranging global practice is at the intersection of energy transportation and infrastructure development, has joined the firm’s Houston office as a partner in its global 140-lawyer Transportation Industry Group. A former partner with Hogan Lovells, Keenan advises clients across the energy sector, with a focus on LNG, project development and shipping.  

“Kevin is a key addition to our team,” said Rob Wilkins, co-chair of the Transportation Industry Group. “His arrival expands our transactional shipping capabilities, LNG experience and infrastructure project work in Houston and in the US, while providing additional bench strength to our well-known energy and commodities practices.”

An internationally recognized practitioner with more than two decades of experience, Keenan has earned a strong reputation in the energy space, particularly in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector, where hhe has carved out a unique niche practice involving all three links of the LNG value chain, including areas where those three links increasingly overlap (floating liquefaction, storage and regasification). Additionally, Keenan has extensive experience with a full range of other commodities-related transportation and development projects, including crude oil, petrochemicals, coal and biodiesel. 

“Reed Smith is a marquee player representing all facets of the shipping and energy industries worldwide. Its global platform, stretching from Houston to London to Singapore and Hong Kong, enables the firm to effectively service the needs of its diverse client base,” Keenan said. “My presence in the US market will significantly broaden the reach of the firm’s combined capabilities in shipping and energy and the firm’s existing global shipping and energy platform will provide robust bench strength to enable me to better service my clients as well as further grow my practice.” 

“We are thrilled to welcome Kevin with his international shipping and infrastructure development practice to our Houston office,” said Kenneth E. Broughton, Houston office managing partner. “His connections in Asia, Europe and the Middle East are a great fit with our global resources, and we are eager to work with him to expand his practice as he bolsters our own capabilities.”

Keenan’s clients include large integrated oil and gas companies, joint ventures, state-owned entities, private equity funds and project startups. His experience in the LNG sector is global, with projects ranging from Papua New Guinea to Qatar to the US Gulf Coast. Over the course of his 24-year career, he has negotiated more than 75 charters of conventional LNG carriers, FSUs, FSRUs, FSRBs, FPSOs and MCVs and more than 60 LNG shipbuilding and ship conversion contracts (including for three FSRUs and two MCVs) under bespoke terms with South Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and European shipyards. Many of these shipping projects involved the development of critical infrastructure, including LNG liquefaction and regasification facilities, refinery expansions, greenfield refinery developments, LNG-to-Power and similar energy-related infrastructure. After the 2010 Deepwater Horizon tragedy and the resulting Macondo spill in the US Gulf of Mexico, Keenan was the lead lawyer representing a joint venture among the 10 largest exploration leaseholders in the Gulf charged with building and deploying a rapid-response well containment system, access to which was a precondition to the issuance of new drilling permits following the Obama Administration’s six-month drilling moratorium in the Gulf. That system remains in place today.

“Businesses in the global transportation sector are experiencing dramatic change due to competitive pressures, fluctuating oil and gas prices, shifting demand patterns and the adoption and evolution of new technologies and working practices,” Keenan said. “These challenges create opportunities as well as new competing priorities for the industry participants we advise. Likewise, new trends and evolving technologies – such as the increased use of FSUs, FSRUs and FSRBs in LNG-to-Power projects around the world – continue to shape the LNG sector and drive its robust growth.”

Keenan is frequently listed among the world’s premier lawyers by Chambers GlobalChambers USAChambers Latin AmericaLegal 500 USALegal 500 Latin AmericaExpert Guides (The World’s Leading Lawyers) and Who’s Who Legal. He is a 1996 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center.

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