The corporate team at UK Law firm Shoosmiths has advised Extreme E in securing additional funding as founder Alejandro Agag’s ambition of launching a race series featuring electric off-road Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) becomes a reality.
This is motorsport with a broader purpose. Although Extreme E is a competitive platform for accelerating the development of electric vehicles, it is much more than just futuristic electric SUVs racing in remote corners of the globe. Its mission statement stresses electrification, environment and equality.
The series, set to get under way in Al Ula, Saudi Arabia from 20-21 March 2021, will visit territories - arctic, desert, rainforest, glacier and coastal - which have been affected by climate change, such as Greenland and Brazil's Amazon region. It will also focus on diversity in motorsport, requiring teams to field one male and one female driver for races. Supporting and partnering with organisations working to restore the degraded environments in which they race is a key aim of Extreme E, using the publicity generated to highlight the plight of those precious ecosystems and the people who live there.
The Extreme E Series has already attracted teams owned by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg as well as Michael Andretti and Chip Ganassi. Teams will drive the all-electric Odyssey 21 E-SUV, first seen at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Earlier this year a prototype vehicle took part in one of the stages of the 2020 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia. Extreme E races will be shown live across the BBC, as well as internationally on other major networks, including on Fox Sports, which already broadcasts Formula E (the single seater electric motorsport championship also founded by Alejandro Agag).
Shoosmiths has advised Extreme E from start-up 18 months ago, through a series of investments including by Formula E. Extreme E work closely with partner Alison Gilson, who leads the corporate team in Scotland, supported on this recent investment by legal director Stuart Murray and associate Eliza Stubing. Formula E was advised by DLA.
James Taylor, Chief Legal Officer at Extreme E, said: “Alison and her team have been our go-to advisors on the corporate side of Extreme E since the beginning. They again worked tirelessly to get the Formula E investment over the line and we are hugely appreciative of the expertise and energy that they brought to the deal”.
Alison said: “It’s exciting to see what Extreme E have planned and to share in their ambitions and their broader purpose of highlighting environmental issues, climate change and promoting equality. We are delighted to work alongside them as their legal advisers and we can’t wait to see what they can achieve when the series starts.”