Project Finance 2018: Analysis

This year’s research shines a spotlight on 313 eminent lawyers in the EMEA region, 135 in the US and Canada, and a further 194 lawyers from jurisdictions including Australia, Argentina and Brazil. In total, 647 lawyers have been highlighted. Due to the cross-border nature of project finance work, the expertise of many of the lawyers listed here has a wide geographical remit and their practices feature significant elements of international work.

 

EMEA

Thought Leaders
1. Russell Wells Clifford Chance LLP, London
2. Charles-Antoine Leunen Linklaters LLP, Brussels
3. Jeremy Connick Clifford Chance LLP, London
4. Bimal Desai Allen & Overy, Dubai
5. Clive Ransome Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP, London
6. Martin Kavanagh Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, London
7. Rony Vermeersch Stibbe, Brussels
8. Marc Vermylen Loyens & Loeff, Brussels
The Thought Leaders are those individuals who received the highest number of nominations from peers, corporate counsel and other market sources this year. Our research has identified them as being truly outstanding practitioners and the very best in their field.
 

Leading Firms

Who's Who Legal does not list law firms, only individual lawyers. The leading firms are those in each region whose listed practitioners received the most total nominations in our research. 
 

Clifford Chance

This global law firm achieves an impressive 24 listings in the region, including two of this year’s Thought Leaders. It has a strong presence across Europe and a well-established Middle Eastern practice.
Russell Wells is an expert in energy and infrastructure projects who tops the UK market in this year’s research. Peers say, “He is commercial, technically brilliant and one of the best all-rounders in the city.”
The “excellent” Jeremy Connick is a leading lawyer for power generation projects. He draws praise as “a very commercial lawyer” and impresses peers with his transactional expertise and in-depth understanding of European and African markets. 
Anthony Giustini “is one of the best lawyers I’ve come across”, says one market commentator. He is highly experienced in Africa-related matters and is highlighted for his vast knowledge across the full gamut of oil and gas, petrochemical and mining projects.

Allen & Overy

With 25 listed lawyers, the firm achieves more listings than any other in this year’s research. It is a strong player in the UK and Dubai markets, where it achieves nine and six listings respectively. 
In Dubai, Bimal Desai is well-known for his broad international knowledge and commercial insights. He is a go-to lawyer for energy and infrastructure projects around the world and is very strong in finance deals.
Gareth Price leads the project finance practice worldwide and is highly recommended for his commercial approach to project development in the energy sector.
Ian Ingram-Johnson is a prominent figure in the UAE, known for his expert advice to sponsors and lenders in the energy, telecommunications and infrastructure sectors.

Linklaters

This year's research features 15 excellent practitioners in EMEA. The London office has an impressive depth of expertise and is home to six recognised lawyers. The firm also achieves listings in Paris, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Russia and Dubai.
Charles-Antoine Leunen is a leading lawyer for project finance work in Belgium. Peers hold him in high esteem as “an outstanding practitioner” for his broad banking and finance practice and specialist expertise in the infrastructure sector.
In London, Jeremy Gewirtz stands out as “an excellent and very impressive practitioner”. He performs well in energy sector projects and has a superb reputation among peers for his work in high-profile financings.
Energy and infrastructure specialist Fiona Hobbs “is a force to be reckoned with” say peers, who add, “She is fabulous to work with.”

Herbert Smith Freehills

Seven highly regarded practitioners from five of the firm’s worldwide network of 26 offices are featured.
Martin Kavanagh leads the energy and natural resources finance practice and is widely endorsed for his pragmatic and commercial advice. He has expertise in project development and financing around the globe, particularly in emerging markets. Peers say, “He is an outstanding lawyer. He is one of the most diplomatic in the business but never a walkover.”
Stéphane Brabant is a distinguished practitioner with a wealth of experience in relation to emerging markets. He impresses market commentators with his strong practice in Africa and vast expertise in the mining, energy and infrastructure sectors.

Latham & Watkins

A strong player in the regional market, with six listings this year.  
Mikhail Turetsky is described as “the best professional” in the Russian market by peers, who commend his vast knowledge and experience in a range of financial structures.
In London, the “excellent” Craig Nethercott enjoys a superb reputation for his project finance expertise. He co-leads the firm’s Islamic finance practice and is very strong in Middle Eastern transactions.

Other Leading Individuals

We highlight individuals at other firms who also scored very highly in our research.
 

Belarus

In Minsk, Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners’ managing partner Dennis Turovets is celebrated as “a highly experienced project finance lawyer” by peers, who add: “He has an excellent reputation both in Belarus and internationally.”

Belgium

Rony Vermeersch at Stibbe impresses market commentators with his contractual and project development expertise in the engineering and construction sector. He has broad financial knowledge and “a very well-established practice advising authorities on PPP”.

Wouter Ghijsels is described as “an excellent project finance and PPP lawyer” and draws praise for his commercial and client-focused advice.

Marc Vermylen heads the banking and finance practice at Loyens & Loeff and is a well-known player in the Belgian market. He draws praise from peers and clients alike for his significant experience in project and asset financing. Clients say he is “excellent” in the renewable energy space.

DLA Piper’s Johan Mouraux boasts extensive knowledge of the infrastructure and renewable energy industries. He is a trusted adviser to large financial sector clients who say, “He is excellent in financing matters.”

England

Clive Ransome at Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy is a revered oil and gas specialist. He is a go-to adviser to major banks and borrowers and is regularly engaged to advise on complex cross-border projects. He has broad expertise in Africa and the Middle East, and peers speak highly of his work in the space.

Israel

Gornitzky & Co’s Itay Geffen has an excellent transactional practice. Peers describe him as "a very knowledgeable and experienced" lawyer and commend his vast expertise in infrastructure projects in Israel.

Turkey

YazıcıLegal’s named partner Hakan Yazıcı is a highly regarded lawyer in the Turkish market. He receives international endorsements for his impressive financial expertise and excellent work on projects for major corporates and banks.

United Arab Emirates

Shibeer Ahmed leads Winston & Strawn’s banking practice in the region. He is a well-known name thanks to his experience advising financial institutions and companies in major financing transactions.

North America

Thought Leaders
1. Robert Kartheiser Paul Hastings LLP, New York
2. Jonathan R Rod Latham & Watkins LLP, New York
3. Jeffrey B Greenberg Latham & Watkins LLP, Los Angeles
4. Gregory Tan Shearman & Sterling LLP, New York
5. Cynthia Urda Kassis Shearman & Sterling LLP, New York
6. Sergio J Galvis Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, New York
7. Daniel D Bartfeld Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP, New York
8. Christopher L Mann Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, New York

Leading Firms

Latham & Watkins

The full-service international law firm that achieves 10 listings in this edition. Its New York office performs well and is home to five recognised individuals. Five further listings are achieved by the Washington DC, Los Angeles and San Diego offices.
Jonathan Rod is one of the most highly nominated US-based practitioners in this year’s research. He co-chairs the project finance group and is widely endorsed as one of the very best practitioners for US financing matters, particularly in the energy sector.  
Jeffrey Greenberg is renowned for his expert negotiation skills in project finance arrangements in the power and infrastructure sectors. He is a go-to adviser for major financial institutions, private equity and commercial clients owing to his prestigious reputation as “a very strong and experienced project finance lawyer”.
Of counsel lawyer John Sachs is highly regarded for his experience counselling on the infrastructure project finance across Asia, Latin America and Africa. He is a trusted adviser to major utility companies, governments and lenders and is highlighted for his deep expertise in the power sector. 
Warren Lilien is an esteemed project finance lawyer and enjoys an excellent reputation among peers and financial and private equity clients.
David Gordon receives wide-ranging endorsements for his strong finance practice and top-quality advice to banks and financial institutions.

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe

An excellent project finance offering that achieves 11 listings across four of its US offices.
Blake Winburne has a strong project finance practice and is unanimously endorsed as “an excellent lawyer” in the downstream and midstream energy market. He is well-versed in advising multinational clients on major projects.
Mark Weitzel is an “experienced and focused” transactional lawyer who clients trust to “get the deals done”. He leads the firm’s energy and infrastructure practice and enjoys an excellent reputation for his work in the space.
Tara Higgins “does excellent US work” for lenders and investors operating in the energy and transport sectors. She has a strong international practice and has been engaged in projects spanning Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
Clients say Thomas Glascock “is extremely knowledgeable on project finance transactions across the board”, and note his “deep market knowledge and understanding of the complexities of debt and tax equity transactions”. He is particularly knowledgeable in the energy sector and is highly regarded for his work in relation to wind and solar power projects.

Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy

This international commercial firm sees nine lawyers from its New York, Los Angeles and Washington offices listed here. It performs particularly well in the New York market, where it achieves six listings.
Peers highlight Jonathan Green as “excellent for Latin American projects” and commend his strong US practice in sophisticated financing matters in the energy and infrastructure industries.
Global practice leader Daniel Bartfeld’s experience spans energy, oil and gas, renewables, and infrastructure projects in jurisdictions around the globe. He boasts broad financing knowledge and “a thriving practice in Latin America”.
In New York, the “excellent” William Bice is a seasoned player in the energy and mining industry. Sources are impressed by his broad expertise across finance and derivative related matters and highlight his prowess in major US projects.  
Phillip Fletcher is highly recommended for his sophisticated financial advice in relation to large-scale energy, power and infrastructure projects around the world.

White & Case

A major player in the international marketplace that achieves seven listings in the US.
Edward Neaher Jr draws praise from peers and clients alike for his superb expertise in the field. According to one peer, “He is one of the most skilled attorneys I have every worked with. He is an expert in all aspects of a complex project financing.” He is also highlighted as “a fair and highly effective negotiator".
The “excellent” Arthur Scavone leads the project finance practice at the firm. He enjoys a superb reputation for his experience in US power sector, where his expertise spans a range of projects and financial structures.
Troy Alexander is a knowledgeable authority on complex project finance structures. He is a trusted adviser to sponsors and lenders in relation to multibillion dollar projects.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Seven highly regarded practitioners are listed in this edition.
Todd Alexander’s expertise encompasses energy projects in developed and emerging markets around the world and his particularly highlighted for his work in renewables. He is regularly engaged by developers and lenders to advise on sophisticated negotiations and financing matters.
Keith Martin is a highly experienced transactional lawyer who enjoys an excellent reputation in the US market. He is “great to work with” on major projects and “is very experienced in equity tax financings”. 
Peter Fitzgerald draws praise as “a very personable and experienced" lawyer who is known for his detailed and pragmatic advice in cross-border project financings. 

Shearman & Sterling

Five US-based lawyers at this premier firm are highlighted here.
Gregory Tan is endorsed as “a very active and talented lawyer” with fantastic knowledge of Latin American projects. He is an expert in project development and structured finance and is a go-to adviser to major financial institutions, funds, and companies acting in the energy and infrastructure space.
Thought Leader Cynthia Urda Kassis leads the mining practice at the firm and is very well known for her project work. She is a trusted adviser to large corporations, financial institutions and banks and is described as “a very prominent lawyer for work in Latin America”.
Robert Freedman draws praise for his strong energy practice, particularly in US-based oil and gas and infrastructure projects. One peer comments, “He is very experienced and great to work with.” 

Sullivan & Cromwell

The firm achieves four listings from its New York headquarters.
Sergio Galvis is held in high esteem as a “standout” project finance lawyer in New York. He has experience in projects spanning Asian and European markets, and peers speak especially highly of his work in Latin America.
Christopher Mann boasts deep knowledge of the natural resources and infrastructure industry, coupled with in-depth financial knowledge. He receives wide-ranging endorsements from peers around the world who commend his excellent work in the space.
Werner Ahlers is a highly regarded lawyer in the Americas and has a strong practice in relation to Latin American energy projects. Market commentators recommend him for his expansive knowledge of asset-backed financing matters. 
Inosi Nyatta acts for large financial institutions and corporations in relation to project financings around the world and is held in high esteem for her excellent experience in cross-border deals. 

Baker Botts

The firm boasts a strong banking and finance practice. Three esteemed lawyers from the its US offices are listed here.
Martin Toulouse’s expertise spans US and Latin American markets, and he boasts a deep knowledge of oil and gas, mining and power generation projects.
Stuart Solsky is a big name in the energy industry and comes highly regarded for his financial experience relating to LNG, petrochemical and midstream and downstream projects.
In Washington, Mark Spivak is a prominent figure who is known for his excellent work for sponsors and private equity funds in the power industry.

Other Leading Individuals

Canada

McCarthy Tétrault’s David Lever is a leading project finance lawyer in Canada, with vast expertise in major infrastructure projects. Based in Toronto, he has worked on matters across Canada and is also highly experienced in relation to US projects.

At Osler Hoskin & Harcourt in Toronto, practice leader Chris Bennett “absolutely knows his stuff” and enjoys a superb reputation for his superb expertise in project finance and PPPs.

USA

Paul Hastings’ Robert Kartheiser boasts broad experience in the energy and mining sectors. Peers speak highly of his experience in emerging markets and commend his work in Latin America. He is one of the most highly nominated practitioners in this year’s research, known for his “very practical approach” to project financing and development.  

At Bracewell, Alan Rafte advises investors, financial institutions and energy companies on some of the most complex project financing matters in the market. He is known as “a very experienced” transactional lawyer who is “focused on getting deals done”.

Tomer Pinkusiewicz is a prominent name in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s New York office. He specialises in energy and infrastructure projects and enjoys “an excellent reputation” for his transactional experience, encompassing project financing and project bond matters.

Ivan Mattei is the go-to project finance lawyer at Debevoise & Plimpton. He leads the practice at the firm and draws praise for his “excellent US work” in infrastructure and energy projects.

Allen & Overy’s New York office is home to Kent Rowey, "a big name for US infrastructure projects", who is regularly engaged by a range of clients for major international financings. 

Rest of the World

Thought Leaders
1. Stephen P McWilliams Latham & Watkins LLP, Singapore
2. Brendan Quinn White & Case, Melbourne
3. José Virgílio Lopes Enei Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados, São Paulo
4. Santiago Carregal Marval O'Farrell & Mairal, Buenos Aires

Leading Firms

Latham & Watkins

This global powerhouse has a strong presence in Asia and achieves five listings from its Singapore and Tokyo offices.
Singapore-based Stephen McWilliams is a leading name in the Asia-Pacific region. He is regularly engaged by lenders and sponsors alike, who value his extensive experience in major projects. Peers speak highly of his top-quality counsel on financing matters in the energy and infrastructure sectors.
Joseph Bevash is a major player in Japan who is often involved in cutting-edge landmark projects in the region. He advises lenders, banks and developers around the world and draws praise for his commercial approach to complex cross-border issues.

Claro y Cia

This leading Chilean law firm has a strong banking and finance practice and sees three esteemed practitioners from its Santiago office listed here. 
Rodrigo Ochagavía is a highly regarded lawyer in the Chilean market and draws praise for his extensive financial and transactional knowledge. He enjoys a superb reputation among international peers, who commend his expertise in energy-sector projects.
José Luis Ambrosy is a seasoned project finance lawyer with vast experience handling complex international transactions. He comes highly recommended by peers and clients alike, who “would always recommend him for his work as a project finance lawyer”.
José María Eyzaguirre B is widely endorsed for his experience in cross-border financing transactions. Peers say he is very commercially focused and commend his high-quality work for international lenders.

Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados

In São Paulo, four lawyers from the firm’s prestigious projects practice is listed here.
Practice co-head José Virgílio Lopes Enei is “very visible and well respected” in the market. He receives wide-spread recognition as one of the leading lawyers in Brazil and peers highlight his outstanding expertise in regulated sectors.
Fellow practice lead Jose Ribeiro do Prado Jr “always pays great attention to detail” in complex financial transactions. He enjoys an excellent reputation among peers, who describe him as “a calming presence” in high-stakes situations. 

White & Case

With three listed lawyers in Australia and a further two in Singapore and Tokyo, the firm is a strong player in the Asia-Pacific region.
Brendan Quinn is “a true project finance lawyer” who occupies a prominent position at the top end of the Australian market. His practice spans numerous jurisdictions around the world, and he is recognised as one of the leading lawyers in Australia for his impressive expertise in energy and infrastructure projects.
Josh Sgro impresses peers with his commercial advice on project finance and development transactions. He is a big name in the infrastructure market, where he is often engaged in cross-border road, port, distribution network and pipeline projects. 

Clifford Chance

A strong regional player with five listed lawyers in Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney.
Richard Gordon is highly regarded as one of the leading project finance lawyers in Australia. He is recommended for his strong transactional practice, acting for both lenders and borrowers, and does excellent work in the infrastructure sector.
In Singapore, Nicholas Wong enjoys a superb reputation among international sources. He has global expertise in the energy, mining and transport sectors and represents sponsors, banks and financial institutions.

Marval O'Farrell & Mairal

This Argentinan firm is home to a leading project finance practice. Its Buenos Aires office sees four highly regarded project finance lawyers highlighted in this year’s guide. 
Santiago Carregal leads the firm’s banking and finance practice and is a prominent figure in the Argentinian market. Peers highlight him as an excellent transactional lawyer and he handles related finance matters effectively.
Seasoned project finance lawyer Roberto Silva Jr is regularly called upon by major international banks and international lenders to advise on complex deals and financial structuring matters.

Brigard & Urrutia Abogados

An eminent Colombian law firm with a strong regional presence. It sees four excellent lawyers listed in this section.
With over three decades of experience, managing partner Carlos Umaña Trujillo is a star lawyer at the firm, known for his wide-ranging financial knowledge and specialist expertise in the infrastructure and natural resource industries.
Peers say Manuel Fernando Quinche is “a top name” in the Columbian market for his work advising lenders, borrowers and financial institutions in major project finance transactions. He is highly experienced in the infrastructure and energy sectors and Has worked on a number of multibillion-dollar projects.

Other Leading Individuals

Australia

Adam Stapledon leads Allen & Overy’s projects practice in Sydney and is recognised for his outstanding expertise in project and acquisition finance. He stands out for his expert counsel in energy and resource projects spanning the Asia-Pacific region.

Phillip Cornwell is senior counsel in Allens’ Sydney office and possesses over 30 years’ experience. He is a well-known adviser on complex financing matters.

Brazil

At Mattos Filho Veiga Filho Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados, Pablo Sorj advises large corporate and financial sector clients in cross-border project financing. He is experienced in high-value projects in the energy and infrastructure sector and enjoys a superb reputation as “a great communicator”.

Stephen Hood of Davis Polk & Wardwell is renowned for his intricate knowledge of project financing in Latin America. He represents major corporate and financial clients in projects involving secured loans and bond financing.

Singapore

Bill McCormack is a leading light in Shearman & Sterling’s Asia practice. He impresses with his vast knowledge of project finance matters in the region, gained over two decades in the field, and significant experience in the energy and infrastructure sectors.

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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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