International law firm Reed Smith has appointed Jonathan Solomon to its partnership to work in the energy and natural resources division.

Solomon joins from Dentons, where he was senior partner, and he tells GTR that he will continue to focus on structured trade finance, commodity finance and emerging market finance.

Solomon will be based in London but will work with clients in commodity-related businesses both in established markets and emerging markets, in which he specialises.

His specialism in emerging markets will prove particularly important to Reed Smith, which opened an office in Singapore in October 2012.

“Singapore continues to be an area where these institutions and traders will be concentrating so it makes sense for law firms that are interested in the market to be establishing a base there,” Solomon tells GTR.

He adds that Singapore has seen an increased presence from commodity institutions in particular, which will require financing advice.

The commodity markets have been under pressure in recent months and this has placed a certain amount of pressure on commodity markets but Solomon believes that this is improving.

“It seems to me that there is more confidence in terms of investment and companies allocating resources to investing,” he says.

However, he adds: “We are not out of the woods yet and it won’t be an overnight process but I think that banks are looking at opportunities more favourably and corporations and traders are also looking at opportunities.”

This, combined with the beginnings of an uptick in global activity, will mean that the current pressure on commodity markets, and related financing, should decline going into 2014.

Reed Smith has been expanding its energy and natural resources division and has made several appointments in the last two years, including Claude Brown (structured finance and derivatives partner from Clifford Chance) and Rashpaul Bahia (energy and commodities derivatives partner from McDermott Will & Emery).

“Our energy and resources clients and our financial industry clients are increasingly involved in a variety of financings (both as borrowers and as lenders) across every part of the commodities sector. There is a significant overlap in the products being used in the energy and natural resources and the financial services sectors. Jonathan’s arrival further enhances our offering in these areas,” says Kyri Evagora, Reed Smith partner and co-head of the energy and natural resources division.