Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe has hired James Atkin in Tokyo as the global co-head of the firm’s oil and gas practice from Vinson & Elkins, where he was managing partner of its office in the Japanese capital.

Atkin, who is UK-qualified, focuses his practice on advising Japanese companies in the oil and gas sector with outbound energy investments, and is particularly experienced in large-scale oil and gas projects, LNG sales arrangements, and energy-related mergers and acquisitions.

Atkin’s hire makes him the 24th partner in Orrick’s global energy and infrastructure practice, which has been growing since early 2016 when the San Francisco-based firm launched its Houston office.

Orrick’s Tokyo office marked its 20th anniversary last year. In a Q&A with ALB, Mark Weeks, who leads the firm’s Tokyo office, said one of the office’s most significant work was acting for Setouchi Future Creation, a special-purpose company consisting of GE Energy Financial Services, Toyo Engineering and Kuni Umi Asset Management, as sponsor of the 231.44MW Setouchi Solar Project, which will be the largest photovoltaic solar project in Japan when it launches next year.