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Project Finance 2017: Analysis

The latest edition of Who’s Who Legal: Project Finance is a comprehensive guide to the leading lawyers in the field worldwide comprising over 600 practitioners from 282 firms across 83 jurisdictions.

Below, we highlight the most highly regarded individuals in our research this year. 

EMEA

Thought Leaders
1. Bimal Desai Allen & Overy, Dubai
2. Russell Wells Clifford Chance, London
3. Clive Ransome Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, London
4. Alan Rae Smith Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, London
5. Hakan Yazıcı Yazici Legal, Istanbul
6. Charles-Antoine Leunen Linklaters, Brussels
7. Tim Pick Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, London
8. Gareth Price Allen & Overy, London

ALLEN & OVERY leads the research in EMEA with an impressive 22 listings across six jurisdictions.
Dubai-based Bimal Desai is considered a thought leader in the field of project finance and draws international praise for his world-class practice.
The “terrific” Ian Ingram-Johnson remains a firm favourite among clients who include governments, lenders, sponsors and industry players. His practice spans a wide variety of sectors, from power, oil and gas to telecoms and transport.
Duncan Macnab is recognised for his particular expertise in the energy sector, and is well versed in handling projects throughout the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Asia.
In London, global head of the firm’s projects group Gareth Price is recognised as a specialist in energy projects. His first-rate practice focuses on the entire projects process from acquisition and funding through to development.
Tim Scales is a big name in the market for Africa-related projects, an area in which he demonstrates substantial experience. According to one source, “He is well respected by his peers and clients alike and has a deep knowledge of the project finance sector.”
Mark Walker is known for his excellent projects and energy work and is frequently engaged in handling thermal power, gas and renewable projects on an international scale.

At CLIFFORD CHANCE, 21 practitioners across 10 countries are highlighted for their leading work in the project finance space.
Thought leader Russell Wells is “immensely knowledgeable and practical” and stands out for his work in emerging markets. One respondent comments: “I have worked with Russell on a number of transactions and he is exceptional – an absolute joy to work with.”
Jeremy Connick “is outstanding in this area” and wins praise for his work across the energy and natural resources, power and infrastructure sectors. According to one peer, “Jeremy is a real can-do lawyer and is very well respected by his clients.”
In the UAE, Robin Abraham is the firm’s managing partner for the Middle East. His expertise extends across a wide array of financings from Islamic financing to secured and unsecured lending.
José Guardo in Spain is “an excellent lawyer” known for his impressive work advising corporations and multilaterals on international projects, with a specific focus on Latin America.
Paris-based Anthony Giustini is “a top practitioner” and stands out for his fantastic work on Africa-related projects.

LINKLATERS achieves 16 nominations in this edition across EMEA, showcasing its extensive regional presence.
Charles-Antoine Leunen is widely respected by peers, who commend his “complete knowledge” and “great expertise” when it comes to project finance matters.  
In London, head of the global project finance practice Bruce White enjoys a great reputation among peers and clients alike, and is particularly praised for his brilliant work in the PPP space.
The “excellent” Jeremy Gewirtz is “a standout name in the market” according to sources. He possesses over 15 years’ experience in the field, focusing his practice on the energy and utilities sectors.
Sarosh Mewawalla in the UAE is an expert when it comes to multi-sourced financings and has experience handling projects across EMEA and Asia.

WHITE & CASE receives 11 listings this year.
The “eminent” Philip Stopford is “a big name” in the project finance sphere. He is praised for his “high-quality work” handling large-scale projects in both developed and emerging markets.
Jason Kerr leads the firm’s regional energy, infrastructure, project and asset finance group, and is recognised by international sources for his top-tier practice.
Peter Finlay also draw high praise in this edition and is well known for his work in the energy and infrastructure sectors.

Alan Rae Smith at FRESHFIELDS BRUCKHAUS DERINGER is one of the leading project finance lawyers in the region and is internationally renowned for his expertise in the area.
Tim Pick is “a top-notch operator”, according to respondents who attest to his strong expertise when it comes to the financing and development of energy and infrastructure projects.

At MILBANK TWEED HADLEY & MCCLOY, Clive Ransome is “an incredibly experienced practitioner” known for his practical and reasoned approach to complex large-scale projects.
Matthew Hagopian is also highlighted for his excellent work in the project finance space.

In London, John Inglis at SHEARMAN & STERLING delivers effective and strategic counsel to clients including sponsors, multilaterals and Islamic institutions on a wide array of financings across the energy and power sectors.
Managing partner Nicholas Buckworth boasts over 30 years of experience counselling lenders, financial institutions and sponsors on a wide array of project financing matters. He is recognised in the market for his impressive work in relation to energy projects in Africa.

At YAZICI LEGAL in Istanbul, Hakan Yazıcı impresses with his strong expertise handling structured and project financings, and is praised by peers for “his great client-facing manner.”

WINSTON & STRAWN’s Shibeer Ahmed heads the firm’s Islamic finance group and is regarded as a project finance specialist throughout the Middle East.

At MAYER BROWN, Ian Coles leads the firm’s Africa and mining practice groups, and is well regarded by interviewees for his “highly commercial approach”.


North America

Thought Leaders
1. Robert Kartheiser Paul Hastings, New York
2. Jonathan Rod Latham & Watkins, New York
3. Arthur Scavone White & Case, New York
4. Phillip Fletcher Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, Washington DC
5. Kent Rowey Allen & Overy, New York
6. Daniel Bartfeld Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, New York

International powerhouse LATHAM & WATKINS boasts the pre-eminent project finance team in North America, achieving an impressive 10 listings.  
The “excellent” Jonathan Rod features prominently in our research this year. He chairs the firm’s project development and finance group and is considered by sources as “the main go-to-guy” in the region.
Warren Lilien is a firm favourite among clients including private equity sponsors and financial institutions, who praise him for his effective counsel in relation to power project financings.
David Gordon is a well-recognised figure in the market, and continues to impress peers with his “tremendous” understanding of US project finance law.
Amy Maloney stands out among peers for her brilliant representation of various financial institutions, sponsors and developers in relation to energy and infrastructure projects.
In Los Angeles, managing partner Jeffrey Greenberg is “a fantastic lawyer” and is known for his strong financial expertise. One respondent effuses: “He is one of the premier project finance lawyers in the world.”

MILBANK TWEED HADLEY & MCCLOY also performs well this year with eight lawyers highlighted for their leading project finance practices.
Phillip Fletcher is “one of the best lawyers out there” according to peers, who recognise him as a true expert when it comes to multi-sourced financings.
Daniel Bartfeld leads the firm’s global project, energy and infrastructure finance group. He boasts an international practice and has experience handling project financings throughout the US and Latin America.
Jonathan Green is well versed in handling a range of international and domestic projects from PPPs to greenfield and transport projects. 
William Bice is a well-known name in the US market and is commended for his work handling a wide array of energy and infrastructure projects.

Eight practitioners at ORRICK HERRINGTON & SUTCLIFFE are nominated this year for their outstanding projects work. 
David Spielberg possesses over 30 years of experience in the field and focuses his practice on all areas of the projects process from financing and acquisition through to development and construction. 
Thomas Glascock is frequently engaged in managing the financing of energy and infrastructure projects, including solar, wind, fossil fuel-fired and biomass projects.
New York-based Tara Higgins enjoys a great reputation in the market as “an absolutely fantastic practitioner”. She co-leads the global power practice and regularly handles projects on an international level across Africa, Asia, Europe and South America.
In Texas, the “terrific” Blake Winburne gains recognition for his superb transactional practice and is regarded as an expert when it comes to midstream and downstream energy projects.

CHADBOURNE & PARKE achieves seven nominations across the US, illustrating its strong domestic presence.  
Co-head of the project finance group Rohit Chaudhry impresses peers and clients alike with “his practical approach to handling any tricky issues that arise”.
Todd Alexander is “a very well-known name in the market” according to sources, who praise his first-class work acting on behalf of both developers and lenders in relation to energy projects.
Kenneth Hansen is also recognised for his invaluable experience handling both domestic and international energy projects.

At WHITE & CASE, seven practitioners stand out for their excellent work in the space.
Thought leader Arthur Scavone leads the firm’s global energy, infrastructure and project finance group. He is “very well respected” among peers, who regard him as “a top name” in the US market.
Troy Alexander draws widespread praise from international sources who highlight his exceptional work on major high-value projects.
Jason Webber specialises in energy-related projects and is well equipped to manage associated infrastructure, petrochemical and natural resources projects.

BLAKE CASSELS & GRAYDON boasts the foremost project finance practice in the Canadian market with six lawyers commended for their practices.
Simon Finch is a well-recognised figure in the market, noted particularly for his top-tier work on mining projects advising clients on acquisition financings, sponsor leverage buyouts and tender-offer financings.
Michael Harquail is also noted for his expertise in the area and his vast experience across a range of sectors including agriculture, energy, mining and transportation.

Fellow Canadian firm MCCARTHY TÉTRAULT also performs well domestically with five listings.
David Lever is “an excellent project finance lawyer” according to sources who hold him in very high regard. He leads the firm’s infrastructure group and regularly handles related project financings and developments.
Stephen Furlan is a firm favourite among clients, particularly lenders who he counsels on project financing transactions in the power and infrastructure sectors.


Rest of the World 

Thought Leaders
1. Phillip Cornwell Allens, Sydney
2. Jamieson Logie Sullivan & Cromwell, Hong Kong
3. Brendan Quinn White & Case, Melbourne
4. Aled Davies Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, Tokyo
5. Stuart Salt Linklaters, Hong Kong
6. Santiago Carregal Marval O’Farrell & Mairal, Buenos Aires

Latin American powerhouse PHILIPPI PRIETOCARRIZOSA FERRERO DU & URIA achieves a sensational six listings in this edition and stands out as the region’s leading project finance group.
Andrés Sanfuentes is noted for his exceptional projects and infrastructure practice and wins praise from sources for his strong financial nous.
Marcelo Armas is a top name in the Latin American market when it comes to energy and infrastructure projects, and is recognised for his impressive related capital markets work.

Brazilian outfit MACHADO MEYER SENDACZ E OPICE ADVOGADOS also performs well this year with five nominations.
José Virgílio Lopes Enei is “probably the most recognised projects lawyer in the Brazilian market” according to respondents. He is highly sought after by clients, one of whom effuses, “He is very bright and clearly understands the way our company thinks.”
Jose Ribeiro do Prado co-heads the firm’s infrastructure and project finance group and is commended by peers for his strong work in relation to regulated sectors.

At MARVAL O’FARRELL & MAIRAL, Santiago Carregal is a leading name in the Brazilian projects space, and is highlighted for his impressive finance law practice.  

At ALLENS, Phillip Cornwell is “a superstar of the project finance space in Australia.” He stands out for his invaluable experience, which includes handling large-scale infrastructure, power and resources projects across Asia-Pacific.

Brendan Quinn at WHITE & CASE is “a top Australian project finance lawyer” known for his extensive international practice. He is well equipped to handle project financings across a range of sectors including oil and gas, power, renewables and infrastructure.

MILBANK TWEED HADLEY & MCCLOY’s Aled Davies is a leading name in the Japanese market and wins praise for his excellent work handling major energy and infrastructure projects on an international level.

Stuart Salt at LINKLATERS in Hong Kong is “very well renowned” in the project finance market. His top-notch practice encompasses joint ventures, M&A and structured financings in relation to energy and infrastructure projects.

SULLIVAN & CROMWELL’s Jamieson Logie heads the firm’s Asia-Pacific projects group. He is regarded among peers as a “very experienced” and “commercially-minded” practitioner. 

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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