HOUSTON – Reed Smith today announced that leading commodities lawyer Kirsten Polyansky has joined the firm’s expanding Houston office as a partner in the Energy and Natural Resources group.

Related Professionals: Kirsten S. Polyansky Jessica Cortez

Polyansky comes to Reed Smith from Haynes and Boone, where she served as co-chair of the global commodities team. Her practice combines years of working with physical commodities in the support of trading and marketing operations along with highly bespoke structured financing arrangements related to inventory monetization.

Polyansky has led many large-scale refinery inventory monetization transactions over her career, including deals for a private equity firm surrounding its acquisition of refining, distribution and retail assets located in Hawaii, and another for one of the fastest growing independent marketers of fuel and petroleum products in connection with its acquisition of refining and downstream assets in Canada, including more than 125 gas stations.

In just the last five years as outside counsel, Polyansky has built a unique and thriving practice known for successfully crafting creative commodity inventory monetization and intermediation structures, particularly involving crude oil and refined products. Most recently, she served as monetization counsel to a leading financial markets and commodities bank, which helped the largest U.S. refinery operation on the East Coast emerge from bankruptcy, in part via a new $900 million intermediation facility. Polyansky has also worked to “monetize” numerous kinds of assets and commodity types, which often require a bespoke, outside-the-box approach.

Also joining Reed Smith’s Houston office today as counsel is Jessica Cortez, who was also with Haynes and Boone briefly after serving for many years as managing counsel to one of the world’s leading global natural resources companies.

“Kirsten has an impeccable reputation for complex, high-value transactions,” said Energy & Natural Resources global chair, Prajakt Samant in London. “She and Jessica bring significant in-depth experience in the sophisticated aspects of commodities finance, as well as fresh, unique perspectives on in-house operations in the midstream and downstream spaces.”