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United Kingdom > London > Projects, energy and natural resources > Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables) > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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Index of tables

  1. Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables)
  2. Leading individuals

Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘very strong’ team often acts for clients ranging from governments, corporates and manufacturers, and has a particularly strong focus on the Nordic market. Co-head Gareth Price has been leading the group advising Infrastructure UK on all aspects of the financing and development of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset. Conrad Andersen and Parya Badie assisted a five-strong consortium of funders with the €360m acquisition of Adven by AMP Capital and Infracapital. Also recommended are fellow co-head Jeremy Parr and project finance expert Jocelyn Land, who was promoted to partner.

Ashurst fields ‘a top team’ that has broad sector expertise covering solar, wind, thermal, biomass, waste and nuclear, and has an extensive track record on large portfolio financings. Antony Skinner advised Barclays and Denmark’s export credit agency on the £138m financing of the 27.8MW Cramlington biomass plant in Northumberland. Other highlights included advising on the $2bn financing of phases 2 and 3 of the Noor solar plant in Morocco, as well as on Hinkley Point C. David Wadham leads the practice.

CMS fields a team of ‘very strong individuals who are knowledgeable on the law and the market’. Practice head Robert Lane has been advising longstanding client National Grid on the 1,000MW interconnector project between France and the UK. Munir Hassan, who leads the clean energy team, has been advising the Mexican Ministry of Energy (SENER) on its reform of the electricity industry in Mexico. Also recommended are corporate head Charles Currier, who ‘gives practical and commercial advice’, and Pieter Bekker and Nicholas Ross-McCall, who joined from Steptoe & Johnson and Ashurst, respectively.

First-rate in terms of industry knowledge and quality of advice’, Clifford Chance LLP excels in handling capital markets transactions, regulatory matters and energy disputes, with particular expertise in the solar market. The ‘thoughtful and supportive’ James Pay led the team advising sponsor RWE Innogy on all aspects of a £1.5bn 336MW wind farm in Suffolk, including assisting with the project financing, contract negotiations and construction issues. Group head Russell Wells advised a seven-strong consortium of banks as lenders on the $825m financing of the construction and operation of a 300MW coal-fired power plant owned by Maamba Collieries in Zambia. Jeremy Connick and Nicholas Hughes are also recommended.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s ‘outstanding and dedicated’ group provides ‘excellent advice in all practice areas’. The well-regarded Julia Pyke has been advising on a number of landmark projects, including Hinkley Point C and the Tidal Lagoon (Swansea Bay) project. Martin Kavanagh has been advising the Government of Nepal on negotiations with a number of international developers regarding the development of six hydroelectric power projects valued in excess of $7bn. The team was strengthened by the arrivals of Simon Caridia from Linklaters LLP and former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Sir Ed Davey as a consultant. Silke Goldberg is now a partner. Clients also recommend Matthew Job and Mark Newbery, who is now a consultant.

Linklaters LLP’s ‘approachable, professional and proactive’ practice is ‘a market leader on renewables’. Led by Matthew Daffurn and the ‘very informativeJohn Pickett, it has been acting for the sponsor group in the £1.5bn financing of the Dudgeon Offshore wind farm. ‘Incredibly bright’ group head Jeremy Gewirtz and the ‘pragmaticRichard Coar advised Investec, EKF and Rabobank as the lenders on the £190m financing of a greenfield waste wood-fired biomass plant in Essex. Charlotte Morgan is also recommended.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s ‘highly capable’ practice continued to advise IFC on a number of international transactions, including its financing of a 800MW Kirikkale power station in Turkey alongside a group of other senior lenders. The ‘exceptionalRob Marsh advised Octopus Investments on its acquisition and financing of two onshore wind farms from RES. Practice head Richard Hill and Richard Metcalf have been advising the Government of Botswana and the Botswana Power Company on the international tender process regarding a 300MW coal-fired plant. Andrew Hedges is now a senior consultant.

Chadbourne & Parke (London) LLP’s practice is ‘experienced and responsive, with very good knowledge of the market’. The group’s international expertise covers the Middle East, Africa and Central and Southern Europe. ‘Outstanding’ co-head Agnieszka Klich led the team acting for ACWA Power on the $180m development, financing, construction and operation of the 120MW Khalladi wind farm in Morocco. Project finance expert Ben Donovan advised the Itezhi Tezhi Power joint venture between ZESCO and Tata on the $150m development and financing of a 120MW hydropower project in Zambia. The team was bolstered by the arrivals of Andrei Baev and Ursula Owczarkowski from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP and DLA Piper, respectively.

DLA Piper provides ‘an outstanding level of service’ to clients ranging from governments, state-owned companies and investment funds, and is particularly renowned for its track record in Africa. ‘No-nonsense deal maker’ Natasha Luther-Jones advised BTMU on the financing of two Scottish wind farms owned by Velocita. The ‘very knowledgeable and experienced’ Nigel Drew, who heads the practice, advised Maamba Collieries on the development of a 600MW coal-fired station in Zambia. Clients also recommend the ‘business-oriented’ Dimitri Papaefstratiou.

Shearman & Sterling LLP’s ‘well-respected’ practice is considered ‘a go-to for complex transactions in emerging markets’. Highly regarded group head John Inglis has been leading the team advising a consortium of lenders on the $5bn 1,320MW Balkhash coal-fired thermal power plant in Kazakhstan. Clients also recommend the ‘brilliantSanja Udovicic and ‘exemplaryNicholas Buckworth. Other clients include IFC, ACWA Power and Engie.

At Simmons & Simmons, Steven McNab is leading the team assisting NextEnergy Solar Fund with the £290m acquisition and development of a number of solar assets in the UK. Iain Duncan advised Mainstream Renewable Power on its $1.9bn joint venture with Actis to deliver between 700 and 900MW of wind and solar projects across Africa by 2018. The practice is headed by Patrick Wallace, who is noted for his ‘high level of expertise’.

Slaughter and May’s department handles the full range of energy matters, including M&A, financing, project development and energy disputes. Tim Pharoah led the team advising Dong Energy on its acquisition of the SMart Wind joint venture established between Mainstream Renewable Power and Siemens to develop offshore wind projects in the Hornsea Zone near Yorkshire. Steven Galbraith and Hywel Davies jointly lead the practice. Other clients include Centrica, Drax and Infinis.

The ‘exceptional’ group at White & Case LLP acts for a broad range of clients, including project developers, private equity firms, state-owned entities and financial institutions. The well-regarded Kirsti Massie, Caroline Miller Smith and Ellis Baker have been advising Star Capital Partners and Eurotunnel as the sponsors on a number of issues regarding the $500m interconnector project between France and the UK, including construction, financing and UK and EU regulations. Practice head Jason Kerr and David Baker are also recommended.

Headed by Hugh Stewart, Baker McKenzie LLP has a strong international offering. Neil Donoghue, who leads on nuclear matters, has been advising Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) on the financing and development of a $30bn nuclear power plant in the UAE. On the renewables and alternative energy side, Marc Fèvre has been assisting Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) with the $72m financing of a 16.5MW sugar cane waste biomass facility in South Africa. Other clients include Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund and EDF.

Led by the ‘well-connected and professionalTracy London, Bracewell (UK) LLP’s ‘excellent’ team has been advising a consortium comprised of Saudi Oger and Arabia Group on the development and financing of one of four 50MW solar power plants in Jordan. Co-head Julian Nichol has been advising Shams Ma’an as the project company on all aspects of its $400m solar photovoltaic project in Jordan. Other clients include Ophir Energy, BG Group and Alcazar Energy.

Always timely and knowledgeable’, Dentons’ ‘excellent’ practice has particular expertise in solar projects, and has been handling a growing number of offshore and onshore wind matters. The highly regarded Charles July advised Enbridge International on its $372m acquisition of a 24.9% stake in E.ON’s 400MW Rampion wind farm off the Sussex coast. Key names include Christopher McGee-Osborne and renewables expert Lucille De Silva. Tom Eldridge joined Mayer Brown International LLP and Alistair Black joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.

An excellent niche construction and energy firm’, Fenwick Elliott LLP’s clients include contractors, institutional investors, governments and consultants. The ‘extremely astuteJatinder Garcha has been advising VolkerFitzpatrick on the development of a waste-to-energy facility in Essex. Clients also recommend the ‘eloquentNicholas Gould, who has ‘excellent advocacy skills’, and Simon Tolson, who heads the team.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP advises on the full spectrum of power matters, including regulatory issues, M&A, financings and disputes. Alex Carver, who heads the group, acts for sponsors and government authorities. The team includes project development and finance specialist Tim Pick and litigation expert Paul Bowden.

At Hogan Lovells International LLP, Andrew Briggs led the team advising Alstom on a number of big-ticket mandates, including the €12.4bn sale of its power and grid business to General Electric (GE) and the establishment of a number of joint ventures with GE in the electricity grid, renewable and nuclear sectors. Briggs and Andrew Gallagher have been advising EIB as the senior lender on the £172m Westermost Rough offshore wind farm joint venture between DONG Energy, Marubeni Corporation and Green Investment Bank. Adrian Walker heads the team.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP acts for a range of clients including private equity and hedge funds, financial institutions and sponsors and developers. Co-head John Dewar and Stuart Harray led the team advising EIG Global Energy Partners on the £423m sale of its joint venture with Centrica to a consortium of funds managed by BlackRock and the UK Green Investment Bank Offshore Wind Fund. Phillip Fletcher also leads the team.

King & Wood Mallesons acts for a wide range of domestic and international clients, and has particular strength advising investors and infrastructure funds in the renewable energy sector. The ‘technically excellent and very approachableRinku Bhadoria assisted a consortium led by Macquarie with the refinancing of a portfolio of power projects comprising the Severn power plants, Baglan Bay and Sutton Bridge. Practice head James Douglass and Ian Wood continue to advise key client China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) on a number of European renewable projects, including its acquisition of a 45MW onshore wind farm in Wales. Neil Upton has retired.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘pragmatic and experienced’ team was strengthened by the arrival of Gareth Phillips and his team from Watson Farley & Williams LLP. Infrastructure and energy finance expert Apicksha Patel advised Energy Works as the project company on the £200m financing of a waste-to-energy facility in Hull, which included assisting with structuring the financing route and negotiating fuel supply terms. Paul Rice and Stephen Tobin are also recommended. John Gilbert is now at K&L Gates LLP.

Trinity International LLP fields a team of ‘expert project finance lawyers’, which primarily advises on emerging markets transactions. Highlights included advising Access Uganda Solar Limited as the developer on a landmark 10MW solar project, which will be one of the largest solar plants in sub-Saharan Africa outside of South Africa. Key figures include newly promoted partner Jennifer Gladstone and Paul Biggs.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP’s ‘very good’ team has been advising Lightsource, M&G Investments and AMP Capital as the senior funders on the £247m financing of a portfolio of 33 solar farms owned by Lightsource. Henry Stewart led on that matter and has ‘good business acumen’. Practice head Evan Stergoulis assisted PNE Wind with the £100m sale of its UK wind farm project pipeline to Brookfield Asset Management. Andy Savage joined from Norton Rose Fulbright.

Bird & Bird LLP is noted for its ‘very good business awareness and excellent level of knowledge’, particularly within the solar sector. Practice head Matt Bonass led the team advising Bluefield Partners on a number of transactions, including its acquisition of Trina Solar’s 49.9MW solar farm in Norfolk, as well as disputes regarding the performance of solar panels on a number of farms. Clients also recommend Elizabeth Reid and the ‘outstanding’ Michael Rudd.

Clyde & Co LLP’s expertise spans a broad range of sectors, including nuclear and renewables, and the practice particularly stands out for construction-related issues. Robert Franklin has been leading the team advising DEG, FMO and Proparco on the financing of a 40MW solar photovoltaic plant in Kenya. The practice is headed by ‘strong negotiator’ Clare Hatcher and was strengthened by Richard Power and Stelios Coutsavlis’s arrival from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP and Squire Patton Boggs, respectively.

Following its merger with Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co., Gowling WLG’s department is now headed by Derek Goodban, who is experienced in handling market transformation programmes, such as smart metering, as well as advising on regulatory frameworks. David Ponsford advised Grid Essence on the £68m sale and subsequent £40m refinancing of a portfolio of eight solar photovoltaic parks to Capital Stage. Other clients include the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Development Bank of Southern Africa.

At Hunton & Williams, Kirk Lovrić is experienced in assisting a broad range of clients with projects in emerging markets, including governments, lenders and private investors. The team includes Ryan Ketchum.

Clean energy specialistsLux Nova Partners has a ‘high level of commercial awareness’ in the domestic market. ‘Very approachable’ co-head Tom Bainbridge advised Shamsuna Power Company as the developer on all aspects of its 10MW solar photovoltaic project in Jordan, including power purchase agreements, grid connection, equity investment and project finance. The ‘highly recommended’ Louisa Cilenti also leads the practice.

Macfarlanes LLP is noted for its ‘good industry knowledge’, which encompasses domestic and international transactions. The practice has an extensive track record in South African IPPs; ‘detail-oriented’ team head Scott Brodsky has been advising Sumitomo Corporation as the contractor on the construction of a 100MW gas-fired plant in Mozambique. Howard Corney is also recommended.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLPis strong across all renewable areas’, and is noted for its focus on transactions in the US and Africa. Anthony Riley led the team advising the NextEnergy Solar Fund on its acquisition of a portfolio of three solar projects from Hanwha Q Cells. The practice is jointly led by Alexander Janes and Matthew Williams, who joined from Hogan Lovells International LLP in 2015 along with John Deacon, Edward Humphries and Elisabeth Blunsdon.

Dominic FitzPatrick leads the team at Taylor Wessing LLP, which has been advising Conergy on the construction, development, acquisition and sale of a portfolio of solar projects with a combined capacity in excess of 150MW to a number of sellers. Other clients include Kenda Capital, Altaaqa Alternative Solutions and Tamar Energy.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP is noted for its expertise in power projects in the Middle East. Robert Beiley advised General Energy Solutions on the large-scale deployment of residential rooftop photovoltaic installations in the public sector, which is valued at £40m. The practice is jointly led by Tom Wigley and Christopher Paul, who specialises in energy schemes and procurement.

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