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Allen & Overy LLP is ‘a leader in the finance space and has a strong presence in emerging markets deals’. Lorraine Bayliss advised the lenders, including Bank of China, on the $1.6bn financing of a pipeline from Azerbaijan to Turkey. Michael Castle advised telecoms infrastructure company Eaton Towers on the financing of its expansion into African countries including Ghana. Sanjeev Dhuna advised Kenyan and international banks on a $350m financing for Kenya Pipeline Company. Also recommended are Philip Bowden and Greg Brown, for banking matters; Sachin Davé, Philip Smith and Jamie Durham, for capital markets work; Tim Arnheim and Andrew Castle, for projects; and Atif Hanif, for Middle East deals.

Baker McKenzie LLPhas vast experience in emerging markets and stands out for its excellent global coverage’. ‘Accurate and knowledgeable’ oil and gas expert Neil Donoghue advised Sonangol on its $10bn Sonaref refinery project. Marc Fèvre acted for Morocco’s state-owned power and water utility on an 850MW wind farm PPP. Ian Jack, Roy Pearce and debt specialist Adam Farlow regularly advise Ukraine’s Metinvest. Other key figures in the firm’s extremely deep bench include Sebastien Marcelin-Rice; the ‘reliable and thoughtfulSimon Porter and US-qualified Edward Bibko, who stand out for capital markets work; bank lending expert Nick Tostivin; and project finance specialist Calvin Walker.

Clifford Chance LLP has ‘one of London’s leading practices’ and is ‘highly knowledgeable in power and infrastructure’. The firm’s extensive team of emerging markets specialists includes ‘commercial, hardworking’ global capital markets head Adrian Cartwright; banking partners Leonard Cleland and Russell Wells; Africa group co-head Jeremy Connick; and China specialist John Dawson. David Dunnigan acts for lead arrangers on sovereign debt deals, including the Gabonese republic’s $500m bond. John Connolly advised lead managers including Citigroup on Emirates Airlines’ $913m sukuk. Habib Motani advised lead arrangers including Goldman Sachs on complex derivatives aspects of SOCAR Turkey’s $13bn financing.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is ‘excellent across the board in the energy space and can adjust to the dynamics of different jurisdictions’. Africa practice head Martin Kavanagh ‘never fails to deliver; his proactive and solution-oriented approach works particularly well in Africa’. He advised the government of Nepal on a $7bn hyrdopower project to supply electricity to India and China. Andrew Roberts advised lead managers including JPMorgan on the Republic of Namibia’s $750m notes offering. Also recommended are capital markets partner Amy Geddes, global energy co-chair John Balsdon, project finance specialist Matthew Job, and Ian Yeo, for leveraged finance deals.

Linklaters LLP is ‘world class, with a deep bench that provides excellent service’. Its leading lights include banking specialists Mirthe van Kesteren and Toby Grimstone, US securities experts Cecil Quillen and Patrick Sheil, and CIS group co-head and ‘excellent transactional lawyerDaniel Tyrer. The firm also has a strong Africa capability headed by Andrew Jones, who is noted for his ‘exceptional expertise’, as well as CEE expertise through Dominic Sanders. Utilities and transport specialist Ian Andrews, ‘outstandingly knowledgeable’ mining specialist Charles Jacobs, and the ‘very client-oriented’ Matthew Keats, who stands out for energy and infrastructure deals, are also recommended. Van Kesteren advised European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on a dollar-denominated convertible loan to Kazakhstan’s Air Astana.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP is ‘known for emerging markets mega-deals and for its knowledge of important sectors such as energy and telecoms’. Practice head Phillip Fletcher acted alongside John Dewar and Clive Ransome for the lenders, including Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund, on the $5bn financing of the PetroRabigh project expansion. Dewar’s other highlights included a $1.7bn financing for O3b Networks’ satellite project to improve communications infrastructure in Africa. The firm hired project finance partners Matthew Hagopian and Manzer Ijaz from Linklaters LLP and invested heavily in recruiting associates with experience in Turkey, the Middle East and Africa.

Norton Rose Fulbright is ‘a top-tier firm for emerging markets work’. Martin McCann excels in infrastructure, mining and commodities finance, and advised lenders and export credit agencies (ECAs) on a $1.5bn greenfield port in Nigeria. Charles Whitney specialises in mega-projects involving ECA and bank finance, and advised International Finance Corporation (IFC) on the 800MW Kirikkale power station in Turkey. Madhavi Gosavi acted for an African sovereign borrower in a multibillion-dollar receivables backed financing. Also recommended are structured finance partner Daniel Metcalfe, mining specialists Raj Karia and Matthew Hardwick, and projects expert Christopher Brown.

For some, White & Case LLP is ‘the best in the City; few firms come close when it comes to African deals’. For debt transactions, Melissa Butler is ‘exactly the partner you want on emerging market deals’ and Stuart Matty is ‘superb’. They are advising banks including Deutsche Bank on sovereign issuances by Ghana and the Republic of Angola. Christopher Czarnocki advised Trafigura’s oil business Puma Energy on a $1.25bn term loan and revolving credit facility. Jason Kerr advised lenders including Standard Chartered on the $1.2bn financing of offshore wells in Nigeria. Philip Stopford is also recommended for deals in the Middle East and Africa.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has ‘a very strong team of US-qualified lawyers who are not afraid to get their hand dirty’. Debt specialist Lisa Hearn ‘combines a deep understanding of local legal issues with the drive to move a transaction forward’, and advised VimpelCom on a $1bn credit facility from China Development Bank. Russia specialist Robert Aulsebrook acted for Lukoil on a $1bn project financing to develop the Shah Deniz gas field off the coast of Azerbaijan. In another highlight, Fred Heller advised borrower Omnium Telecom Algérie on two syndicated loans.

Ashurst provides ‘a very high level of service from a very personable team’. Sergei Ostrovsky leads the Russia and CIS practice and advised Honda Motor Europe on sanctions issues. Africa group head Cameron Smith and Joss Dare acted for IFC and the government of Uganda on the procurement of road infrastructure projects in Kampala. India group head Richard Gubbins advised Vedanta Resources on developing assets acquired through its merger with energy company Cairn India. Utilities partner David Wadham advised ACWA Power on the financing of a solar power IPP in Morocco.

DLA Piper is ‘a top global firm with very good knowledge of emerging markets’. Leading energy lawyer Charles Morrison’s highlights included handling African telecoms company Zantel’s $100m working capital facility. Nigel Drew and the team ‘have rich experience in project finance’. Drew advised Maamba Collieries on the $840m financing of the first phase of a 600MW power station in Zambia. Dimitri Papaefstratiou acted for Unión Fenosa and SEGAS on the financing of the Damietta LNG complex in Egypt.

Paul Holland’s team at Dentons has a strong capital markets capability. David Cohen advised the Republic of Ghana on its $1bn notes issue. Other key figures include Matthew Sapte, whose clients include National Bank of Oman; Veronika Koroleva (‘she knows the Russian market and intrinsically understands emerging markets deals’), who is recommended for structured trade and commodity finance along with Celia Gardiner; and Tim Pipe, who joined from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP and handles reserve-based lending. Tom Eldridge joined Mayer Brown International LLP.

At Hogan Lovells International LLP, ‘responsive, clear’ DCM partner Andrew Carey handled defaulted Russian bonds and African financing deals. Also recommended are export finance partners Andrew Taylor (who advised lenders on Uralkali’s $530m pre-export financing) and David Leggott; project finance and infrastructure expert Adrian Walker, who acted for Rio Tinto on a multibillion-dollar mine, road, rail and port development; and private equity specialist Keith Woodhouse. The firm is gaining market recognition for its growing Africa practice.

Mayer Brown International LLPis active all over the world, and has in-depth sector knowledge’. The firm advises lenders such as HSBC, EBRD and Deutsche Bank. Recent highlights for Trevor Wood and Mayank Gupta include non-performing loan portfolio acquisitions in Eastern Europe. Key mining partners include Ian Coles, who advised a lender on a multimillion-dollar project financing in Turkey, and Rachel Speight. Also recommended are debt specialist Bernd Bohr, and infrastructure partner Tom Eldridge, who joined from Dentons. Greg Stonefield moved to King & Wood Mallesons.

Shearman & Sterling LLP is ‘one of the best project finance firms in London and has some of the best brains in the business’. John Inglis and Nicholas Buckworth are ‘at the top of their game; they are insightful and excellent at finding solutions’. They acted alongside Sanja Udovicic and counsel Paul Simpson for the lenders on the financing of a 2,520MW IWPP in Qatar. Inglis is also advising the lenders and ECAs on a 1,320MW power plant in Kazakhstan. Iain Elder is also recommended for energy and infrastructure deals.

Baker Botts (UK) LLP’s emerging markets energy practice is noted for its ‘high level of service and its ability to handle complicated and creative tasks’. Rubin Weston is praised for his work on oil and gas projects and infrastructure financing. ‘Highly skilled professional’ Stuart McIntyre advised Höegh LNG on its $330m floating LNG regasification unit in Indonesia. Robin Mizrahi is a market leader in African power projects. Hamish McArdle is also recommended.

Bracewell (UK) LLP provides clients with ‘world-class energy expertise, from inception to the closing of the deal’. Jason Fox advised EBRD and BNP Paribas on an $80m senior secured reserve-based facility to develop Merlon’s oil and gas assets in Egypt. Olivia Caddy (who is ‘focused and dedicated, with strong execution capabilities’) advised Ophir Energy on the financing of a floating LNG project in Equatorial Guinea.

Capital markets partners David Gottlieb, Simon Ovenden and Raj Panasar are the key figures at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, which has a strong focus on both Russia and India. Ovenden advised the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire on English law aspects of its $1bn Eurobond. Panasar counts bookrunners BNP Paribas, Citigroup and NBK Capital among his clients. Glen Scarcliffe has an active practice for deals in the Middle East and David Billington is recommended for African matters.

Dechert LLP is known for ‘the deep commitment of its lawyers and its in-depth knowhow’. Debt specialist Camille Abousleiman and newly promoted US securities partner Patrick Lyons are ‘impressive individuals with a proven track record’. Abousleiman advised Azerbaijan’s state-owned oil company on a $750m unsecured notes issue, and assisted the Arab Republic of Egypt with its $10bn global MTN programme.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP has ‘an exceptional team’ that is known for its ‘proactive, clear, sensible and intelligent advice’. The ‘extremely brightBruce Johnston advised Natixis on a $750m pre-export financing for CEE mining company EuroChem. Carter Brod acted for Russia’s VTB Bank on tender offers for $3.9bn in bonds. ‘Terrific finance lawyerAmanda Jennings is also recommended.

Peter O’Driscoll heads the emerging markets practice at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP and focuses on capital markets and private equity transactions. Nell Scott advised the issuer of a $500m bond to fund operations in Africa and Latin America. Weyinmi Popo joined from Jones Day and focuses on Africa deals for private equity sponsors. Anthony Riley is recommended for solar projects in the CEE region and Africa.

Reed Smith LLP is ‘a clear leader in emerging market related derivatives and DCM work’. Tamara Box, Roy Montague-Jones (who co-chairs the India group) and the ‘skilled and industrious’ Nick Stainthorpe (who is ‘a go-to lawyer for the investment banking industry’) are highly recommended, as is Ranajoy Basu, who advised the Republic of Kazakhstan on a $10bn MTN programme.

Simmons & Simmons has wide geographical reach from London. John Sayers acted on the financing of wind power projects in Africa; Adam Cooper acted for lenders including IFC and EBRD on the project financing of a bulk liquids terminal in Egypt; and Mark Moody advised lenders on the refinancing of a fleet of Airbus aircraft owned by LatAm Airlines. Omar Al-Ali joined from Linklaters LLP and has outstanding trade and commodity finance expertise.

Trinity International LLP is a prominent fixture in African deals. Simon Norris is known for energy, infrastructure, mining and telecoms deals for lenders and borrowers including Standard Chartered, NedBank and African Development Bank. He advised lenders on a gas IPP in Mozambique, and on a 450MW IPP in Nigeria. Paul Biggs advised Africa Finance Corporation on the $900m Kpone IPP in Gambia.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP has a growing profile in the energy sector. Alexander Keepin, who jointly heads the mining group, advised Ncondezi Energy on an agreement with Shanghai Electric Power Company to develop a coal-fired power plant in Mozambique.

Bird & Bird LLP provides ‘high-quality service and advice’ and plays an active role in financings in the CEE, the CIS and North Africa. The ‘truly impressive, extremely sharp’ Andrew Hallgarth ‘has a wealth of experience and knowledge’ and advised EBRD on the $30m financing of a pharmaceutical sector investment into Jordan and Morocco.

Chadbourne & Parke (London) LLP’s brazil desk is led by Silvia Fazio, and Andrei Baev leads on Russia matters. Fazio advised Banco do Brasil’s UK subsidiary on a $100m collateral sharing agreement.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is ‘a cost-competitive choice for mid-market transactions’, and is best known for investment deals in sub-Saharan Africa. Adrian Mayer ‘has a wealth of emerging markets experience and combines that with excellent business sense’. He advised private equity fund Actis on its exit from a Nigerian asset. John Fletcher is also recommended.

Geoffrey Burgess at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has a broad practice covering Russia, CIS, Africa and India. His highlights included assisting Nereus Capital with solar project developments in India. Capital markets partner James Scoville advised Russia’s Norilsk Nickel on its $1bn Eurobond.

Fieldfisher is ‘strong in every respect, focused on solutions rather than issues and has a practical approach’. Banking partner Matt Hinxman, who joined from Baker Botts (UK) LLP, is advising Russian gas producer Novatek on a €800m financing from a Chinese lender. The ‘user-friendly and commercial’ Philip Abbott and Nodir Sidikov and Arik Aslanyan (who lead on CIS matters) are also recommended.

Latham & Watkins is ‘one of the best for oil and gas project finance’. Debt specialist Lene Malthasen and ‘highly talented derivatives partnerDean Naumowiczhave great depth of experience in emerging markets matters’. Malthasen advised arranging banks on Arab Republic of Egypt’s global MTN programme.

Michelmores LLP is rated for its ‘clarity and understanding of emerging markets issues’. Harry Trick ‘keeps deals sailing forward with the utmost professionalism and courtesy’. Corporate finance specialist Joe Whitfield has ‘extensive experience in Africa’ and advised Finnfund on a $30m debt facility for sustainable forestry development in Tanzania and Uganda.

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Legal Developments in London for Emerging markets

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