Energy partner Benjamin McQuhae, formerly with Jones Day, has joined GPS Legal, a Hong Kong boutique law firm founded by two ex-Jones Day lawyers and Addleshaw Goddard’s former Asia corporate head.
McQuhae advises on a wide range of energy transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, development projects, upstream and acquisition financing transactions. In 2014, McQuhae advised Indonesian oil and gas company PT Saka Energi Indonesia on a $650 million acquisition of oil and gas assets near East Java island from U.S. oil and gas producer Hess Corp.
He joined Jones Day in 2010 as a partner from legacy Fulbright & Jaworski (now Norton Rose Fulbright), where he made partner in 2009. He previously practiced at the legacy Dentons firm in London and Hong Kong. McQuhae is also general counsel at Hong Kong-based financial services startup FinFabrik.
At GPS Legal, McQuhae reunites with former Jones Day partner Phillip Georgiou, whom he worked with on the $650 million Indonesian oil and gas deal. Georgiou co-founded GPS Legal in November with partners Sonny Payne, also a Jones Day alumus, and Brett Stewien, who was previously a partner in Hong Kong at Addleshaw and before that, at DLA Piper.
GPS Legal currently has seven lawyers and does corporate and transactional work, dispute resolution, energy and infrastructure, and intellectual property.
A core feature of the firm is an agile legal service dubbed GPS Flex, which the firm says allows it to bring the experience and capability of Big Law but with a different fee structure. The firm said it had moved away from the traditional hourly rate fee structure, and instead arranged value-based legal fees aligned with clients’ legal budgets.
Several Big Law firms also offer flexible lawyer services in Hong Kong: Allen & Overy launched its Peerpoint business in 2015; and Eversheds Sutherland rolled out ES Agile, a similar business, the same year.