BOSTON (January 9, 2023) – Womble Bond Dickinson announced today that Paul G. Afonso has joined the firm as a partner in the Corporate & Securities Group. Afonso brings over 30 years of experience to the Boston office and the firm’s global energy practice with the intersection of policy, politics, and the law. Afonso will also serve as Chairman of Womble Bond Dickinson Government and Public Affairs (WBD Strategies), the firm’s Boston lobbying affiliate.
Afonso joins Womble after serving as Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, and Corporate Secretary at the American Petroleum Institute (API). Prior to that role, Afonso was a partner at Brown Rudnick, where he served as Co-Leader of the firm’s Energy and Government Law & Strategies groups. In those positions, he led a successful, integrated practice, which included the representation of major energy, renewable, and infrastructure entities and lobbying the state and federal government on behalf of clients, including energy, pharmaceuticals, and gaming entities.
“With his international practice and deep ties in the Commonwealth, we are pleased to welcome Paul to Womble. His addition is important to the growth of our Boston office and the firm’s Energy Sector and Government Relations practice near and far.”
“With his international practice and deep ties in the Commonwealth, we are pleased to welcome Paul to Womble,” said Betty Temple, CEO and Chair of Womble Bond Dickinson (US). “His addition is important to the growth of our Boston office and the firm’s Energy Sector and Government Relations practice near and far.”
“Paul adds new depth to the firm’s Energy sector, an area of strategic growth over the past few years, and creates an important link between our Boston and Houston offices that dovetails with Paul’s historic experience and recent position with API and work with leading oil and gas companies,” said Jeffrey S. Whittle, Houston Office Managing Partner and Global Head of Womble’s Energy and Natural Resources Sector. “He will be instrumental in expanding our practice in renewable energy development, energy transition, ESG, and regulatory and transactional work.”
Before entering private practice, Afonso served as both a state and municipal regulator. He was Chairman (2003-2006) and General Counsel (1999-2003) of the Massachusetts Public Utilities Commission, overseeing the electric, gas, water, and telecommunications industries. He also served as Chairman of the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board and the Boston Water and Sewer Commission.
Afonso is best known for being a trusted legal and strategic advisor to C-suite and management teams at energy and energy technology companies around the globe ranging from his most recent work at API to electric and gas distribution companies, transmission and generation developers, as well as emerging and renewable technology companies. As part of Womble’s international energy practice, Afonso will focus on innovative technology developments in the energy sector, as well as policy and the regulatory approvals necessary for states and the federal government to achieve significant decarbonization goals. As Chair of WBD Strategies, Afonso will also lead a talented group of government affairs professionals that work in some of the most important and regulated sectors in the Commonwealth, including energy, healthcare and transportation.
"Paul adds new depth to the firm’s Energy sector, an area of strategic growth over the past few years, and creates an important link between our Boston and Houston offices that dovetails with Paul’s historic experience and recent position with API and work with leading oil and gas companies. He will be instrumental in expanding our practice in renewable energy development, energy transition, ESG, and regulatory and transactional work.”
“Womble’s highly respected energy, regulatory, and government affairs practices maintain a sense of urgency, dedication, and legal excellence in the service of their clients, aligning with my approach to client engagement. The firm’s expansive geographic footprint represents an excellent opportunity to assist national clients with local matters in the jurisdictions that the firm services,” said Afonso. “My clients will also benefit from Womble’s case management and e-discovery capabilities and the firm’s transactional and regulatory practices, including its environmental, regulatory, and litigation capabilities in the oil and gas sectors.”
Afonso joins a team at Womble in Boston he knows well, including Partners Jed M. Nosal, Gordon Penman, Angel Taveras, Caitlin McDowell, Sarah Wilk, and Greg Sampson; Senior Counsel Jesse Reyes; and WBD Strategies Executive Vice President Marty Nastasia and Senior Vice President Colleen McGlynn. All of whom were former colleagues and part of Paul’s successful practice at Brown Rudnick for nearly a decade.
Afonso received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and his B.S. in finance from the Boston College Carroll School of Management. Born in the Azores, Portugal, Paul is fluent in Portuguese and actively involved in the Portuguese community. He resides in Boston with his wife Mary Lou and his two daughters Caroline and Bridgette.