High flying SW energy lawyer wins trio of awards

A leading South West energy lawyer, whose dedication to the energy sector has seen her train in high altitude rescues for wind turbines, has won a trio of industry awards.

Over the last three weeks Sonya Bedford, partner and head of the energy team at Stephens Scown LLP has been named Community Energy Champion at the Community Energy Awards, Energy Champion at the Energy Institute Awards and Environmental Champion at the Devon Environmental Business Initiative Awards.

The Energy Institute is the professional body for the energy industry. It has over 23,000 individual members and 350 corporate members. The judging panel for its awards included senior experts from Shell, National Grid and the British Safety Council. The awards attracted 125 entrants from 29 different countries.

Sonya has built up one of the biggest energy teams in the South West. She was responsible for assisting in a large number of innovative projects in order to ensure the continued deployment of renewable energy including the first grid consortium in the UK, local supply initiatives and grid sharing. In her spare time she sits on the board of five community energy groups including Exeter Community Energy, South Dartmoor Community Energy and Bath and West Community Energy and is studying for an MSC in renewable energy.

Robert Camp, Stephens Scown’s managing partner said: “This recognition is so well deserved. Sonya’s knowledge and passion for the energy sector are second to none. She is so dedicated she has even gone so far as to have training in high altitude rescue of maintenance personnel from wind turbines!”

Commenting on the awards, Sonya said: “I’m so lucky that I have a job that I feel passionately about. The energy market is in a state of flux, but there are great opportunities for individuals and communities to make choices that could help to save them money, as well as reduce our impact on the environment. I’m going to continue to champion and support the energy projects that are making a difference in our communities.”

The energy team at Stephens Scown was recently recognised by independent guides to the legal profession Chambers UK and Legal 500. Legal 500 comments that it is a “very responsive” team with “very strong knowledge of and connectedness with the renewable industry”.

Stephens Scown is a sponsor of Regen’s paper on the role of local supply in the energy market, which was launched at the Renewable Futures event in Bath at the end of November. The paper focusses on whether local balancing of generation and demand can result in cheaper power to local people and a better price for the local energy generator. The free local supply paper, is available at www.stephens-scown.co.uk.

Stephens Scown has over 290 staff, including more than 50 partners, across its offices in Exeter, Truro and St Austell.