YN Leadership

AIEN Director - Board Representative

Luis Miranda

Luís Miranda started his career in 2008 working in Timor-Leste for an international NGO, where he had the opportunity to participate in the closing of camps for displaced persons and provide legal assistance to local populations in administrative formalities. He then worked for an international law firm in Macao (China), mostly dealing with commercial and litigation matters. Luís then moved to France, where he joined Siemens’ legal department in Paris. He was responsible, among other tasks, for advising employees on compliance with a variety of French criminal laws and regulations, assisting in preparing and implementing internal policies on data protection, confidentiality, use of mobile phones, IT and information security, and advising and handling internal employment issues.

In 2012, he joined Miranda & Associados in Lisbon, a leading Portuguese law firm, which heads the Miranda Alliance, an international association of law firms and lawyers with a presence in 18 countries. Luís is currently the Head of Miranda’s Alliance Houston Office. Prior to moving to the United States, Luís gained significant experience advising oil companies and living in West Africa, including in Gabon and Cameroon, where he was based at Miranda’s local offices.

Luís completed his law degree and LL.M. in International Comparative Law at the University of Toulouse (France). He also obtained an LL.M. in Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Law at the University of Houston. He is fully fluent in Portuguese, French, and English and has a good knowledge of Spanish. He is the current chair of the AIEN’s Young Negotiators Committee. In addition, Luís is a member of the Institute for Energy Law’s Young Energy Professionals group (where he was recently chosen to participate on its Inaugural Leadership Class) and of the American Bar Association (where he will be the International Energy and Natural Resources’ Committee Co-Chair in 2019/2020).

Africa Chapter

Otasowie Izekor

Otasowie Izekor is a commercial lawyer with over a decade of professional experience. Specializing in the oil and gas sector, she has negotiated various complex oil & gas contract involving large energy companies, government agencies, and other commercial entities. She is particularly skilled in advising indigenous and international energy companies on a wide variety of matters including Market Entry, Regulatory Compliance, Asset Acquisition & Divestment, Oil & Gas Operations Contracts, Transaction Structuring and Financing.

She started her energy law career with Akuro George & Associate, a boutique litigation firm in the southern parts of Nigeria, where she cut her professional teeth on civil litigation and represented clients before the inferior and superior courts in Nigeria. After a three-year stint in civil litigation, Otasowie commenced her journey as an energy lawyer with ǼLEX Legal Practitioners & Arbitrators, a leading commercial law firm with presence in Nigeria and Ghana where she gained considerable cross-border experience in major oil and gas related transactions and projects across Africa. Moving on from ǼLEX, Otasowie became In-House Counsel to First Exploration and Petroleum Development Company (FIRST E&P), a leading indigenous Independent E&P Company with assets in the Netherlands, Nigeria and Ghana. While at FIRST E&P, Otasowie enhanced her ability to collaborate with cross-functional business teams to execute defined business objectives and achieve mission-critical results while mitigating risk.

Otasowie is currently an Upstream Legal Counsel with Shell Petroleum and Development Company Limited, a subsidiary of Shell PLC. In this role, she continues to provide expert legal advice to the Company’s upstream operations by managing legal and commercial risk exposures.

Otasowie holds a Master of Laws (LL.M) Degree from the University of Lagos State, Nigeria and a Bachelor of Laws (LL. B) from Madonna University, Nigeria. She is fluent in English, Bini and has a working knowledge of German. She is the current Young Negotiator Representative for the Africa Region at AIEN, and is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).

Asia Chapter

Euan Strachan

Euan is an Associate with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, based in Singapore, where he advises clients on a wide variety of corporate transactions with an emphasis on matters in the energy sector. Prior to joining Akin Gump, Euan spent three years in the Sultanate of Oman working with Dentons as a Corporate and Energy lawyer where he advised of international and local clients in the oil & gas market. Euan’s practice covers a wide variety of areas including mergers and acquisitions; joint ventures; farm-outs; contracting and procurement; and project development.

Euan also spent three years working as an in-house Legal Counsel for leading turbine service provider, EthosEnergy, based in Aberdeen, United Kingdom. Prior to embarking on a career in law, he worked at a large gas processing terminal in Scotland.

Euan obtained his law degree from the University of Aberdeen (Scotland). He is a qualified solicitor and notary public in the United Kingdom, as well as a Registered Foreign Lawyer in Singapore.

CIS-FSU Chapter

Elvira Vanieva

Elvira is a Senior Associate at the Moscow office of Herbert Smith Freehills. Elvira is a Russian-qualified corporate lawyer specialising in the energy and natural resources sectors. Her experience includes advising on commercial agreements and cross-border mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures across a variety of industry sectors, with a particular focus on the oil and gas and energy sectors.

Elvira has been co-authoring various overview articles and submissions on Russian energy sector, including HSF's European Energy Review publications and Chambers Energy & Natural Resources. Elvira graduated from the Moscow State Institute for International Relations (MGIMO) with honours.

europe Chapter

Olympe Bory

Olympe is a Senior Associate in Dentons' Energy, Infrastructure and Finance team in London, UK. She is a sectorial specialist with substantial experience advising clients on all aspects of the development and financing of renewable energy and oil and gas projects. Prior to joining Dentons, Olympe spent 12 years working with Baker & McKenzie as a Corporate and Energy lawyer where she advised international and local clients on mergers and acquisitions; re-organisations; farm-outs; and project development.

Olympe completed her LL.B in English Law and French Law at Essex University (Colchester, UK). She also obtained a Licence and a Master 1 – Droits de l’Europe (Major: French and Anglo-American Business Law) at the University of Paris X-Nanterre (Paris, France) and a LL.M in Corporate Law at New York University, School of Law (New York, USA). She is admitted in England and New York. Olympe is fluent in French and English.

MENA Chapter

Yanal Abul Failat

Yanal is a Senior Associate in the Corporate Commercial practice based in Dubai and a core member of Al Tamimi & Company’s Energy and Resources Practice Group. He is a multilingual international lawyer who principally advises oil and gas companies on corporate and advisory matters, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, projects, licensing and regulation, and commercial contracts.

Yanal has cross-border experience in major oil and gas corporate transactions and projects across Europe, the Middle East, Russia, and Southeast Asia, as well as expertise in drafting and negotiating petroleum contracts across the entire supply chain (upstream, midstream, and downstream). He is an English-qualified solicitor with over ten years of experience in London, having worked for a specialist boutique firm acting for tier-1 oil and gas companies and an international firm’s corporate practice in the City of London. He has been practicing law across the MENA and globally since joining Al Tamimi Company in 2022.

Latin America & Caribbean Chapter

Bruno Belchior

Bruno Triani Belchior is partner of Tauil & Chequer in association with Mayer Brow at the Rio de Janeiro office. He is a member of the Corporate & Securities and M&A practice groups and focuses on advising domestic and foreign oil and gas companies in connection with project developments, M&A’s and business transactions in Brazil, Latin America and West Africa. He has extensive experience in dealing with the formation of JVs, project finances, bid processes and related regulatory issues involving host government E&P contracts, as well as in connection with the structuring, documentation, and negotiation of oil and gas/energy transactions that range from host government arrangements, farm-in/farm-out, joint operating agreements, and mergers and acquisitions to the review and negotiation of master services agreements on both operator and oil field services provider sides, and a variety of the most typical agreements in the industry. Currently, Bruno is advising international oil companies with their participation project developments and M&A transactions in Latin America and West Africa, including those involving the Petrobras divestment.

United States Chapter

Ernesto Denache IV

Ernesto focuses his practice on complex domestic and international corporate and transactional matters. Bilingual in English and Spanish, Ernesto regularly works with clients doing business domestically and internationally across a range of industries, with an emphasis in the renewable energy, power, and oil and gas sectors. His areas of focus include mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic alliances, project and infrastructure finance, tax equity, project development, corporate formations and governance, domestic and cross-border business structuring, and general corporate and business law matters. Ernesto has worked with clients from around the world, including the United States, Latin America, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

Ernesto has been recognized as a Texas “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers, and by the Legal 500 for his work in renewable/alternative energy and oil and gas. He has also been included in the list of “Ones to Watch” by Best Lawyers in America.

Washington, D.C. Sub-chapter

Christopher Gladbach

Christopher Gladbach counsels clients in energy M&A, project development, tax equity and project finance transactions.

Chris works with energy clients in structuring complex equity and debt investments, advises both buyers and sellers in the power sector in mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures, and on the development of large-scale energy projects. He assists his clients in mitigating and allocating risk associated with these transactions in conjunction with achieving their primary business and financial objectives.

Chris has extensive experience advising clients pursuing opportunities involving the development and financing of United States Department of Defense (DoD) energy projects. He counsels developers, purchasers, lenders and tax equity investors in government contracts and structuring project development and financing arrangements to account for unique risks.

In addition, Chris represents market-leading private equity funds and institutional investors in power asset transactions, and understands the unique challenges and opportunities that these clients face.

Chris is recognized nationally for his client work in the energy sector. He was awarded the honor of “Rising Star” by the National Law Journal, demonstrating “success on the highest stages” in managing transactions for clients. Chris was also commended by the Financial Times in their Innovative Lawyers Report in the category of “Driving Value” for clients. He has been recognized by the Legal 500 for his work in project finance and has served for three years running on Law360’s Project Finance Editorial Board. Chris also serves on the American Council on Renewable Energy’s (ACORE) Leadership Council.

Chris is a frequent speaker and writer on topics related to M&A, private equity and institutional investments in power assets.