25 Feb 2000



Simmons & Simmons' competition and energy law partner Charles Bankes has accepted a two year secondment to Ofgem as General Counsel. This is a new position intended to manage Ofgem's legal service and resources at a time of major reform of the regulatory regime for gas and electricity.

Peter Freeman, Head of Simmons & Simmons' EC and Competition Group said:

"I am delighted that we have been able to help the Director General, Callum McCarthy, in filling this exciting new post. This reflects our excellent relationship with Ofgem and our leading position in the competition and regulatory field. We look forward to Charles' return after two years".

Charles Bankes said:

"I welcome this opportunity to work in an exciting role in the public sector. Few lawyers in private practice have the chance to do this. I look forward to working with colleagues at Ofgem from the inside, as I have for the past few years from the outside".


Notes for editors:

1. Simmons & Simmons is worldclass law firm with offices in London, Paris, Brussels, Düsseldorf, Lisbon, Milan, Rome, Madrid, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Shanghai and New York with over 1,400 staff worldwide. For further information on Simmons & Simmons please visit our website at

2. Ofgem (Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) is the authority regulating gas and electricity. The post of General Counsel is a new position. Under the Utilities Bill currently before Parliament, Ofgem will become the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority.

3. Charles Bankes is a graduate of Queen Mary College, London and became a partner in the EC and Competition Group in 1998. Charles has particular experience in merger control issues and extensive knowledge of the energy sector and utilities regulation generally. He is a regular speaker at utility regulation seminars. Charles is cited as a leading individual in oil and gas in Chambers & Partners 1999/2000.

4. The 25-strong EC and Competition Group at Simmons & Simmons operates from all the firm's European offices and covers the full range of European UK competition and regulatory law matters.

5. The 60-strong Energy Group at Simmons & Simmons operates worldwide and advises on the full range of upstream and downstream energy law matters.

6. Simmons & Simmons recently became the first law firm to launch as a free Internet Service Provider. brings together the best sources of legal knowledge on the Internet and provides the first open online community for lawyers by an international law firm. For more details on elexica, go to

For further information, please contact:
Peter Freeman, partner and head of EC and Competition Group
Charles Bankes, partner, EC and Competition Group
Louise Resnick, Media Relations Manager on 020 7628 2020