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Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Industry focus: energy
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Who Represents Who

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Ashurst worked on some of the largest M&A and project finance energy deals in Italy in 2016, thereby focusing both on renewables and oil and gas. The practice advised First Reserve on the sale of its Italian solar photovoltaic assets of SunReserve to Tages Helios, an infrastructure fund managed by Tages Capital established to invest in the Italian photovoltaic sector, and assisted independent private investment company Ardian with its acquisition of the remaining stake in TRE Solar (35%) from Tozzi Green. Practice heads Carloandrea Meacci and Franco Vigliano are recommended, as is counsel Elena Giuffrè.

BonelliErede’s expertise in the energy sector is ‘well above the market standard’ and includes M&A, project finance, antitrust, debt capital markets transactions, tax and litigation. The practice advised Novapower on setting up a competitive bid for the sale of its solar portfolio, and assisted Terna with the project financing for the creation of a 213km-long, 500 kV power line in Uruguay. Mario Roli heads the practice and Catia Tomasetti and managing associate Gabriele Malgeri are also strongly recommended. Giuseppe Manzo made partner.

DLA Piper handles corporate, finance, tax, regulatory, litigation, real estate, environmental, white-collar crime and labour matters in the energy sector. Recent highlights include acting as adviser for the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), a project for the transportation of Caspian Sea natural gas from Greece via Albania and the Adriatic Sea to Italy and further on to Western Europe, and advising ERG, Total Marketing Services and TotalERG on the sale of their entire oil and gas downstream business through a competitive bidding procedure. Francesco Novelli is a ‘fantastic professional’, while Giulio Maroncelli, Germana Cassar and Giovanni Ragnoni Bosco Lucarelli are recommended for M&A, administrative law and project financing respectively.

Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners fields an ‘excellent’ energy practice: recent highlights include advising Macquarie Infrastructure & Real Assets and Swiss Life on its acquisition of Società Gasdotti from infrastructure fund Eiser, and assisting Azienda Solare Italiana (ASI) with a second bond issuance and bank financing to refinance part of ASI’s solar portfolio. Ottaviano Sanseverino and the ‘strongly knowledgeable’ Francesco Puntillo are highly recommended.

Legance - Avvocati Associati belongs to ‘the top’ of Italian energy practices and recently advised several financial institutions, including Banca IMI, Cassa depositi e prestiti, Banca Europea per gli Investimenti, Intesa Sanpaolo, Natixis and UniCredit, as lender’s counsel on the financing of the merchant line of a new France-Italy power interconnector with an aggregate capacity of 1.200MW. Monica Colombera and Filippo Ruffato are the names to note.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe’s wide energy expertise was recently particularly sought after in renewable M&A and portfolio deals, private equity investments, and the refinancing of existing renewable energy portfolios as well as new solar and wind projects under incentive schemes in Italy and Spain. The practice assisted IDCM and Foresight Group as arrangers with a €40m bond issued by TS Energy, an Italian company controlled by the Zhongli Talesun Solar Group specialized in renewable energy investments. Carlo Montella, Cristina Martorana and of counsel Andrea Gentili are highly recommended.

Clifford Chance advised Italy’s first infrastructure fund F2i on an agreement with renewable company Veronagest regarding F2i Second Fund’s acquisition of one of Italy’s main wind portfolios, and assisted a pool of banks and mandated lead arrangers, including Banca IMI, BNP Paribas - Italian Branch, Intesa Sanpaolo, Natixis - Milan Branch and UniCredit, with the €162m financing of the 9Ren portfolio. Umberto Penco Salvi is the key contact.

Linklaters focuses on energy-related acquisitions, restructurings, export credits, bonds and portfolio refinancing as well as post-closing issues. The practice advised Intesa Sanpaolo/BancaIMI and SACE on the applicability of sanctions and related authorisations in connection to the multi-sourced $25bn project financing of the Yamal LNG project in Russia, and assisted F2i with the financing of its proposed bid for the acquisition of Portuguese gas distribution company EDP. Senior counsel Tessa Lee is the name to note.

Macchi di Cellere Gangemi’s areas of expertise include renewables, natural gas, electricity, water and waste regulatory, as well as energy efficiency law. Practice head Claudio Visco advised Veronagest, Idronord and QIS on the sale of electric energy producer Sol.In.Build, a company owning a 17MW solar portfolio in Sicily, to NextPower II Italia. Assisting Hydrochem with the renewal of a hydro concession is another key highlight.

McDermott Will & Emery Studio Legale Associato focuses on renewables and is ‘extremely experienced’ in the photovoltaic sector. The team advised eFM on a proposal for the financing of an energy efficiency project in the Province of Rome, and assisted BayernLB with the refinancing of a portfolio of Italian photovoltaic plants owned by CIC Renewable Energies. ‘Brilliant legal mind’ Carsten Steinhauer is recommended.

Norton Rose Fulbright offers ‘extremely high-quality’ services in energy project financing, grid connection, joint ventures, M&A, emission reduction projects, PPPs, public procurement and regulatory matters in both the oil and gas and renewables sector. Recent highlights include advising Sonnedix as borrower on the €197m refinancing of a 27 solar parks portfolio in Italy. Arturo Sferruzza is the key contact.

Paul Hastings LLP’s ‘outstanding’ energy practice assisted Interconnector Italia with the acquisition of a special purpose vehicle from Terna which will develop a 190km-long merchant line of DC extra-high voltage underground cable between Italy and France, and advised UK-based independent equity fund manager Eiser on the sale of Società Gasdotti to Macquarie and SwissLife. Lorenzo Parola is ‘a star’ in the sector, the ‘amazing’ corporate and commercial specialist Bruno Cova is also strongly recommended and newly promoted partner Francesca Morra is ‘super knowledgeable and extremely effective’.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP’s ‘impressively professional’ team recently assisted Capital Stage, Germany’s largest independent solar park operator, with the acquisition of four Italian solar parks from a leading European industrial group. Practice head Eugenio Tranchino and ‘outstanding’ project finance partner Pierpaolo Mastromarini are recommended.

CMS assisted TotalErg with all aspects of its downstream business, including commercial contracts and public tender procedures, and successfully represented petrol and petroleum refinery Raffineria di Roma in an extraordinary appeal to the President of the Republic against doubling the port tariffs applied to goods entering and exiting the Civitavecchia-Fiumicino ports. Pietro Cavasola is the key contact.

Chiomenti Studio Legale assisted FRI-EL Green Power with its partial voluntary tender offer for shares issued by Alerion Green Power, and advised EF Solare Italia on a purchase agreement with Solar Resources, which is part of Etrion, to acquire the entire corporate capital of Etrion and Helios, including 17 photovoltaic plants in Italy. Practice head Carola Antonini is recommended and administrative law specialist Filippo Brunetti is another name to note.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP advised Italian natural gas infrastructure company Snam on the separation of its gas distribution activities through a complex corporate transaction, including a partial and proportional de-merger of Italgas among other matters. Enel and A2A are other notable clients. Roberto Bonsignore and the ‘excellent’, Rome-based Ferdinando Emanuele are the key contacts for corporate matters and litigation, respectively.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP is well known for its advice to foreign oil and gas businesses and governments as well as for representing states and government-owned oil and gas entities in the Italian market. Libya’s National Oil Company and Ghana’s National Petroleum Corporation are key clients. The practice also assisted renewables giant Enel Green Power with its development plan throughout Northern Africa, with specific focus on Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia and Kenya. Galileo Pozzoli and Daniela Sabelli are recommended.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer assisted Acciai Speciali Terni with a judicial proceeding before the TAR Milano regarding the annulment of the Italian Energy Authority’s resolution concerning incentives to energy-intensive users. A2A and E.ON are other notable clients. Antitrust specialist Tommaso Salonico heads the practice.

Hogan Lovells Studio Legale’s client portfolio includes Kuwait Petroleum, Mitsubishi Corporation and Esso Italiana: the ‘highly qualified and professional’ practice assisted the latter, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, on M&A, commercial, regulatory and environmental aspects of the controlled auction of its remaining 1,176 business units in Italy. Lea Dunlop is the main contact.

Nctm Studio Legale advised several Snam Group companies on general corporate and governance issues as well as on gas transportation regulatory matters. Italgas and Gruppo ERG Renew are other key clients. The ‘very talented’ Eugenio Siragusa is highly recommended.

Osborne Clarke specialises in the water and waste sectors and advises particularly often on hydric companies’ governance rules and investment in cogeneration plants; the group is also well versed in assisting with traditional oil and gas industry contracts. The client base includes independent fund management company DIF and water supplier Acque Bresciane. Riccardo Roversi and Giovanni Penzo are the names to note.

Pavia e Ansaldo advised Finanziaria Internazionale Investments on the acquisition and financing of a 6MW solar project in Lombardy, Italy, and assisted a number of Italian energy companies with the development, building, exercise and maintenance of five photovoltaic plants in the municipality of Montalto di Castro, in the Lazio region. Carlo Del Conte and Rome-based Claudio Cera are the names to note.

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