Law firm Reed Smith has appointed LNG specialist Nina Howell as a partner in its energy and natural resources group, working out of its London office.

Reed Smith said Howell, who joins from King & Spalding, brings with her work on Germany’s Brunsbuttel onshore LNG import terminal that is being developed by Gasunie and RWE.

Howell told TradeWinds the LNG sector has been her focus for around 15 years.

She is continuing to work on the Eemshaven LNG terminal in the Netherlands, which was started up at breakneck speed in 2022.

The facility is served by two floating storage and regasification units for which she drew up the charterparties.

Howell said she is involved with work on the expansion of the Gate LNG terminal in the Netherlands, where a fourth storage tank is being added.

She is also working on a floating LNG production project.

The legal partner said she does a huge amount of work on short and long-term LNG sale-and-purchase agreements, citing those for NextDecade’s Rio Grande LNG project in the US.

She has been particularly busy since the invasion of Ukraine, which resulted in a rush by Europe to secure LNG imports as Russia cut off pipeline gas supplies.

The LNG sector is really busy and in a healthy state, she said, and the Biden administration’s decision to pause approvals of new liquefaction projects in the US is not worrying market players, as it simply gives competing projects elsewhere a chance to move forward.

Howell suggested that people also see it as a “political decision” designed to attract the green vote for the upcoming presidential election and it will probably disappear at some point.

“Certainly in Europe, it is very lively,” she said, adding that the industry is seeing more new entrants, including some of the state-owned entities in central and eastern Europe that were previously very dependent on Russian pipeline gas.

She believes there will be a move to make LNG projects “greener and cleaner” as they move forward. “I think we will probably see a bit more merging of green energy projects and LNG.”

Reed Smith said Howell joins the firm with more than 20 years of experience advising clients across the energy industry and has worked on upstream joint ventures, unitisation, mergers and acquisitions, along with other energy-related corporate transactions.

She has also worked on secondment to BP and the former BG International, which was later bought by Shell.

Reed Smith energy and natural resources group co-chair Kyri Evagora described Howell’s track record as “impressive”, adding: “The LNG sector continues to grow and present significant opportunities for our clients to produce and transport LNG around the globe. We are pleased to be expanding our practice in response to increased demand from clients.”