The Work

February 21, 2012 7:10 PM

Bennett Jones Bags Another Billion-Dollar Energy Deal

Posted by Brian Baxter

Calgary-based Bennett Jones has been on a roll of late, handling a spate of transactions in the oil and gas sector. The firm's most recent energy-related deal is the proposed $1.25 billion sale of Flint Energy Services, a company headed by a former Bennett Jones partner.

San Francisco–based construction and engineering company URS announced Tuesday that it would acquire Calgary-based Flint as part of an effort to bolster its presence in North America's oil and gas industry.

A surge in deals emanating from Canada's lucrative oil sands has been a boon to the country's natural resources industry—including companies such as Flint—and to its outside law firms, according to our previous reports.

Last week a team of Bennett Jones lawyers advised Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi on its $2.9 billion acquisition of a 40 percent stake in a British Colombia shale project from Calgary-based Encana. The firm has also been retained by Flint, whose chairman Stuart O'Connor is a former Bennett Jones partner, for its proposed sale to URS.

Bennett Jones M&A partners David Spencer and Darrell Peterson, energy practice co-leader Donald Greenfield, antitrust partner Y. Beth Riley, banking and finance partner Philip Backman, tax partner L. Alan Rautenberg, IP partner Stephen Burns, employee benefits and labor partners Susan Seller and John Batzel, and litigation partners Anthony Friend and Laurie Goldbach are leading a team from the firm advising Flint, which specializes in oil and gas production services.

Oklahoma's Hall, Estill, Hardwick, Gable, Golden & Nelson is providing U.S. legal counsel to the company, according to securities filings. Flint's general counsel is Sean James.

Leading Canadian firm Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt is advising URS on the deal through national corporate group cochair Frank Turner, corporate and finance partner Andrea Whyte, and corporate and regulatory partner Victoria Graham.

Latham & Watkins and Cooley are also providing additional legal counsel to URS, whose general counsel is Joseph Masters. URS is paying roughly $1.5 billion, including debt, to take control of Flint. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.


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