Fernando Cano-Lasa Fernando Cano-Lasa of HFW in Houston.

Holman Fenwick & Willan, the U.K. firm that moved into the U.S. in 2017 through a merger with Houston trial firm Legge, Farrow, Kimmitt, McGrath & Brown, has added its second U.S. lateral.

Energy transactions lawyer Fernando Cano-Lasa, who had been of counsel at Squire Patton Boggs in Houston and previously held a high-ranking in-house role, joined Holman Fenwick as a partner Monday. He works on corporate transactions including commercial agreements, energy operations and compliance, and his clients are based in the U.S., Mexico and elsewhere internationally.

A Spanish speaker, Cano-Lasa previously spent more than 10 years as an in-house lawyer at the Mexican state-owned oil and gas company Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), including five years as vice president of legal and strategy at Houston subsidiary PEMEX Procurement International. He joined Squire in 2014.

The firm said Cano-Lasa will work with Holman Fenwick’s other Houston lateral partner hire, Derek Anchondo, an energy transactions lawyer who joined the firm last September from Greenberg Traurig.

With Cano-Lasa, the global firm has 24 lawyers in Houston, including 10 partners.

Cano-Lasa was not immediately available for an interview, but he said in a press release that he is excited to join a firm with an extensive international network of offices and a strong focus on the energy sector.

“It is difficult to find a team with this level of specialization and expertise. I’m also looking forward to helping further strengthen HFW’s transactional practice in the United States and Latin America, where I see the opportunities are endless,” he wrote.

Glenn Legge, a Holman Fenwick partner in Houston, said Cano-Lasa is a significant hire with experience in a key region for the firm, Latin America.

“Most of the energy companies in the Houston area are looking at both onshore and offshore Mexico as a valuable area right now. But apart from Mexico, we have two offices in Brazil and the Rio office is growing and we hope to increase the amount of business between the Houston office and the Brazil offices,” he said.

Legge said the firm is looking to expand in the United States, but declined to identify any locations.

Greg Wehrer, the managing partner of Squire’s Houston office, said in an email that the firm expects to continue to work with Cano-Lasa on numerous matters.

“Fernando is an excellent attorney and a good friend. We wish him all the best at HFW,” Wehrer wrote.

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