Peggy Heeg has left Norton Rose Fulbright, where she has worked since 2003, to join Reed Smith’s energy and natural resources group as a partner in Houston.

Heeg, who started work at Reed Smith on Oct. 27, said she made the lateral move because of the opportunity afforded by her new firm and not because of anything at Norton Rose Fulbright.

“I have a lot of friends there, great memories and it’s a great firm,” she said of Norton Rose Fulbright, whose legacy firm Fulbright & Jaworski she joined in 2003 after serving as general counsel for natural gas giant El Paso Corp.

Heeg said she knows a number of lawyers at Reed Smith’s Houston office, which opened in early 2013, and has been talking with the firm for some time.

“It just seemed like a natural fit, complementary to my practice,” Heeg said of Reed Smith. “I liked the idea they had come into Houston and had quite a bit of success and became a market mover.”

She added that Reed Smith’s Houston office seems to be “very collaborative, supportive, entrepreneurial, all of those things you would expect.” The firm set up shop in the city more than four years ago by hiring 17 lawyers from seven different firms, including Norton Rose Fulbright.

Before her time at Norton Rose Fulbright, where she was a partner and former member of the firm’s executive committee, Heeg was the top in-house lawyer at El Paso Corp., which was acquired by Kinder Morgan Inc. in a deal that closed in 2012.

Peggy Heeg

Heeg, who formerly worked as a commissioner and staff attorney at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said she expects to work closely with Reed Smith lawyers with regulatory expertise, including two who recently joined the firm in Washington, D.C.  They are partners Colette Honorable, a former commissioner of the FERC, and Regina Speed-Bost, a former chairwoman of Schiff Hardin’s energy group.

Prajakt Samant, chairman of the firm’s energy and natural resources industry group, said in a press release that Heeg is a significant addition to the energy team and the Houston office. He said her regulatory experience complements the new FERC team in Washington, D.C.

Kenneth Broughton, managing partner of Reed Smith’s Houston office, said that Heeg’s “work and experience put her in direct contact with some of the most important companies in Houston and throughout the energy industry.”

Reed Smith is up to 66 lawyers in Houston, and earlier this year added several lawyers to its energy and natural resources practice in Houston.

Heeg’s practice includes pipeline development, regulatory compliance and corporate governance. She declined to identify clients she has brought to Reed Smith, but Heeg said she’s doing a lot of crude oil pipeline development work right now in the Permian Basin.

“It’s very busy. It’s amazing. I’ve been in the energy industry for 30 years and I’ve never seen anything like what’s going on in the Permian Basin right now,” Heeg said. “They need pipeline infrastructure to get the crude to market.”

Daryl Lansdale Jr., an M&A and securities partner tapped a year ago this month to serve as Norton Rose Fulbright’s U.S. managing partner, wished Heeg well in her future endeavors.

“Norton Rose Fulbright is recognized globally for our quality of legal talent, client service and industry experience,” said Lansdale, who works out of Houston and San Antonio. “While many of our lawyers have made their careers here, others choose different paths. We wish Peggy well.”

Heeg was named one of Texas Lawyer’s 2016 Top Women in Energy Law.