THE FORMER head of Pinsent Masons’ Aberdeen office has joined the firm’s freelance lawyers business Vario to drive its push into the oil and gas sector.

Roger Connon, who remained a partner at Pinsent Masons after he was replaced as Aberdeen managing partner by Katie Williams earlier this year, has now taken the title of head of oil and gas at Vario.

His focus will be on supplying temporary lawyers to companies operating in the sector that may have been forced to cut back their own legal departments in the wake of the oil price slump.

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“The oil and gas industry has always used a large number of consultants either to supplement their in-house teams or to provide specialist advice to meet the specific requirements of the business at a given time,” Mr Connon said.

“Legal services budgets and headcounts have fallen in recent years but the legal work has not reduced, and with new projects coming back online there will be a greater need for highly experienced and flexible lawyers to fill the skills gap.”

He will also be looking to expand Vario’s bank of freelance lawyers by recruiting a team that is interested in a more flexible working model.

“The nine to five, pinstripe-suited lawyer of old is long gone and the legal sector is evolving fast to become a modern, forward-thinking profession offering flexible working options,” Mr Connon said.

Mr Connon joined Pinsent Masons legacy firm McGrigors as part of its 2006 acquisition of Ledingham Chalmers’ oil and gas practice.

He became a partner at Pinsent Masons in 2012 when that firm took over McGrigors.