Thursday, 31 October 2013

Conflict of incest: Energy minister Ed Davey and the brother who advises the energy industry

In 2012, upon being appointed to the Cabinet, Energy Secretary Ed Davey declared his brother's close links to the energy industry. Henry Davey is a partner at the energy department of leading London law firm Herbert Smith and has handled huge deals for the likes of Petrobas, Centrica and EDF. He has also been involved in briefing reports on Feed-in Tariff cuts for solar power and UK electricity market reforms.

Henry Davey is a corporate partner at Herbert Smith, where he leads the oil and gas team and has been advised on multi-million pound deals for corporations such as Petrobas. His website biography reads: “Henry has over 20 years' experience in the international energy industry, where he has advised on mergers and acquisitions. His practice encompasses energy mergers and acquisitions including electricity generation, distribution and transmission assets.”

The law firm, based in the City of London, claims it specialises in the acquisition and disposal of both upstream and downstream assets in the oil, gas and power markets. Henry Davey is credited for the following deals:

• Macquarie Bank on its acquisition of Wales & the West Gas Distribution Network from National Grid Transco in the UK for £1.2 billion

• EDF on the trading contracts relating to the acquisition of British Energy

• MidAmerican/Northern Electric on the £1.2 billion swap of its UK electricity and gas supply and metering businesses to Innogy for the acquisition of Yorkshire Electricity's distribution business

• Seeboard on the sale of their UK metering business to Invensys

• OFGEM on the establishment of the UK's offshore electricity transmission network

Other clients listed by Herbert Smith include BG Group, BP, Chevron, EDF, ENRC, Essar Group, Gazprom Neft, Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsui, Rio Tinto, Sojitz and Tata Group.

Department of Energy and Climate Change officials insist that the relationship will not compromise Ed Davey's work on energy issues in the Cabinet. A spokesman said (in February 2012): "He has provided his Permanent Secretary with a full list of his interests, including details of his brother’s employment, which will be published in the List of Ministers’ Interests. Appropriate safeguards are being put in place to avoid any conflicts of interest."

Click Green/Mail Online/BBC News