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Editorial

Projects and energy – Foreign firms

Index of tables

  1. Projects and energy – Foreign firms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Allen & Overy's practice ranges across project development to project finance, with an impressive balance of sponsor and lender engagements. The team is at the forefront of gas-to-power projects and maintains a burgeoning presence in renewables. The 'market leader' is praised for its 'quick responses, appropriate advice and great commercial outlook'. Though regarded as a lender-oriented firm, the Singapore team has built its standing with sponsors; it advised Vopak, Petronas and Dialog Group on the $2bn Pengerang deepwater oil terminal project on Malaysia’s Johor peninsula. Indonesia, where the firm benefits from its significant local presence through Ginting & Reksodiputro in association with Allen & Overy, is another primary market for the team; it continues to advise a number of export credit agencies (ECAs) and commercial lenders on the marquee project financing of the Jawa-1 gas-fired independent power project in Indonesia. Myanmar, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Vietnam and the Philippines are other key markets and the team is increasingly active in Taiwan's renewable energy sector. Jason Humphreys is a recognised leader in the market; Scott Lovell was promoted to partner in 2018 to reinforce the senior echelon. Barry Irwin is an experienced name in energy and mining projects.

Ashurst LLP has one of the largest projects teams in Singapore and the department was further enhanced by the arrival of project finance specialist Alfred Ng from Shearman & Sterling LLP in 2018. The practice is at the forefront of China's Belt and Road Initiative with Chin Chuan Chen having unrivalled connections to Chinese lenders such as China Development Bank. The team has experienced further growth in upstream oil and gas, gas infrastructure, gas-to-power and renewable energy projects. It has an especially strong record in Indonesia, along with Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Other clients include JBIC, China Construction Bank, Enel Green Power and Total Solar. It advised PT Bank CCB Indonesia on the financing of the Kalbar 1 coal-fired 2x100MW power project in Singkawang, Indonesia. It also represented China Development Bank on the $4.5bn financing of the Jakarta-Bandung high speed rail project in Indonesia. Andrew Digges is an experienced figure in energy and infrastructure projects; Daniel Reinbott and Jon Ornolfsson are leaders in oil and gas.

Clifford Chance continues to make an impression in energy and infrastructure projects. The team mixes big-ticket and lower value engagements in key areas such as renewable energy (including offshore wind power), gas-to-power, airport privatisations and oil and gas pipelines. The practice has built an impressive client following, including private equity and infrastructure funds, a range of ECAs, multilateral agencies (MLAs) and development banks. The broad regional coverage ranges across Singapore, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. The team is jointly led by Nicholas Wong, co-head of the global projects group, and Matthew Buchanan, head of construction in Asia Pacific. Senior associate Bong-Sang Cho is also singled out.

King & Spalding LLP's team has a concentration of energy sector experience, which it frequently applies to projects. Building on its leading presence in oil and gas (including LNG), the practice has elevated its standing in power and renewables over the last few years. It has earned recognition for its work in coal-fired power and LNG-to-power projects, and continues to be at the forefront of hydropower projects thanks to the presence of senior figure Kelly Malone. He and the team advised PNG Power, the state-owned power utility of Papua New Guinea, during the competitive bidding for and award of the right to build, own and operate the Naoro Brown hydropower project. The team also advised Summit Corporation on the procurement of a floating storage and re-gasification unit (FSRU) for its offshore LNG import project in Bangladesh. Lead partner Richard Nelson has an excellent reputation; Merrick White and power specialist Simon Cowled are also singled out.

Latham & Watkins LLP's 'strong project finance practice' is 'the one to go for', according to one client. The practice has an outstanding track record in power, including large-scale geothermal projects, and integrated LNG and gas-fired projects. It has also impressed in LNG liquefaction and petrochemicals projects. The team is at the forefront of Indonesia power deals, is dominant in Pakistan and Bangladesh gas-to-power projects, and has experienced an uptick in engagements from Vietnam and Myanmar. It continues to have a key role in advising the sponsors on the Cirebon 2 expansion project, a 1,000MW coal-fired power plant in West Java, Indonesia. It also advised Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Nippon Export and Investment Insurance and the commercial lenders on the $3.35bn financing for the development of the Tanjung Jati B 5 and 6 coal-fired power project expansion in Java, Indonesia. Stephen McWilliams is a big name in the sector; Andrew Roche is 'very commercial', 'technically very strong' and is 'great in negotiations and managing relationships'. Clarinda Tjia-Dharmadi is also a key name on Indonesia projects.

Though often highlighted for its standing in Indonesia power projects, Milbank is active throughout Southeast and South Asia, including the Philippines, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Vietnam. Petrochemical and mining projects are also key features of the practice. The team has especially strong connections to Asian ECAs and multilateral agencies, and is highly reputed amongst commercial banks and sponsors, including Japanese trading houses. It continues to advise JBIC, NEXI, KEXIM and other lenders on the development, construction and financing of the Cirebon 1,000MW coal-fired plant in Indonesia. It also advised  PT Supreme Energy Muara Laboh, the Indonesian developer of renewable energy projects, on a 220MW geothermal project at Muara Laboh, Indonesia. James Murray, 'one of the smartest guys out there', is recommended for power projects in Indonesia and is frequently supported by special counsel Melissa Lewis. David Zemans is 'a name in the market', particularly for Indonesia projects, and James Orme is a younger generation senior associate making a real impression.

Shearman & Sterling LLP is widely recognised for its prominence in major projects around the region, especially on the sponsor side. Thanks in part to the presence of Bill McCormack, a 'star individual' who 'has been around for a long time' and is 'a well-connected practitioner', the firm has been at the forefront of a series of major power projects. It continues to advise Petronas on the $28bn refinery and petrochemical integrated development (RAPID) project in Malaysia involving a refinery and multiple downstream joint-venture petrochemical projects. It also advised the consortium comprising Pertamina, Marubeni and Sojitz on the 1,600MW Jawa 1 power plant in West Java, Indonesia. Ben Shorten provides additional senior-level project development and project finance expertise; Anthony Patten heads the firm's global oil and gas group. Anna Chung has been promoted to partner.

Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow is a recognised presence in Southeast Asia project development, most notably in Indonesia power projects, where the Singapore office collaborates effectively with Hadiputranto, Hadinoto & Partners, a member firm of Baker McKenzie; the team has an especially large market share of Indonesian renewable energy projects. Moreover, it is at the forefront of the power sector in Vietnam, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. It advised the project company and sponsors on the financing of a gas and oil-fired combined cycle power station in Sirajganj, Bangladesh. Martin David is an experienced hand in projects in the region.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has a major emphasis on power projects, particularly in Indonesia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The team is especially strong in sponsor-side engagements. It acted for Rosneft, the state-owned Russian oil company, on its $19bn joint venture with Pertamina, the Indonesian state-owned oil and gas company, to build an oil refinery in East Java, Indonesia. It was also mandated by an ACO Investments-led consortium to advise on the development and financing of a 300MW solar project in Myanmar. The practice possesses 'exceptional commercial and legal acumen' and the 'depth of team across geographies and sectors is remarkable'. Don Stokes is 'savvy, innovative and commercial', has 'emerging market experience and sensitivity in dealing with challenging counter parties or jurisdictions', having transferred from Vietnam to the Singapore office. Counsel Philip Morgan is also a key name. Gavin MacLaren joined Corrs Chambers Westgarth; Vincent Seah has joined DLA Piper.

Jones Day has assembled a large and versatile team that covers infrastructure PPP projects in Southeast Asia right through to renewable energy projects in South Asia. It advised the lenders on the proposed limited recourse debt financing for Singapore’s fourth desalination plant located in Marina East. James Harris is immensely experienced, most notably in PPP projects across the region. Julien Reidy has a strong track record in energy and transport projects, and Karthik Kumar has made a particular impression in renewable energy projects in South Asia. Bruce Schulberg continues to advise a range of Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs), banks and ECAs on the financing of projects in Southeast Asia. Alex Cull is the key name in oil and gas.

Linklaters' practice covers project development, through to M&A and project finance. The team has a strong focus on power, renewables, petrochemicals and LNG; it is a recognised leader in Taiwan's offshore wind programme and has vast experience in IPPs in Vietnam and elsewhere. Moreover, it advised Glencore Singapore on the restructuring of the Jurong Aromatics Refinery (in receivership) in Singapore. Tessa Davis and senior counsel Tracey Greenaway both have long track records in the LNG sector, and counsel Kevin Crombie is the key figure on the project documentation side. Managing associate Xylia Sim is also singled out.

Mayer Brown has maintained a strong position in IPPs and has seen growth in LNG, mining and renewables projects. The practice attracts a mix of project development and project finance engagements, and is especially active in Myanmar, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia. It advised the lenders  to Sembcorp, in relation to Sembcorp’s mandate to develop and operate the Myingyan 225MW gas-fired IPP; this is Myanmar’s first internationally competitively tendered power project. It also advised China Power International and Hub Power on the development and financing of a 1,320MW coal-fired power project and coal importation facility in Pakistan. Benjamin Thompson is noted for project finance, especially in Myanmar, Nathan Dodd is recognised for project development around the region and counsel Sean Prior has a fine record in Indonesia.

Norton Rose Fulbright has devoted considerable resources to the projects field, enabling it to advise on a rich mix of project development and project finance engagements. The team covers big-ticket high-speed rail projects to large LNG to power matters and is recognised by clients for its expertise in renewable energy projects. Nick Merritt, the global head of infrastructure, mining and commodities, and hugely experienced energy and infrastructure expert Stephen Begley are key names in the team. The department includes a number of project document specialists including EPC and O&M expert Nicky Davies and Laurie Pearson, an acknowledged leader in power purchase agreements (PPAs).

White & Case Pte. Ltd.'s recently expanded Asia Pacific team has propelled the Singapore office to greater prominence. The team has achieved considerable traction in renewable energy and LNG re-gasification projects. It is at the forefront of the Taiwan offshore wind energy sector and is active in Korea and Japan wind power. Steve Payne continues to be part of the core international team advising Saudi Aramco on the development and financing of the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project in Johor, Malaysia. Clients include a range of governments, lenders and sponsors such as International Finance Corporation (IFC), Canadian Solar, Equis Energy and the government of Brunei. Fergus Smith is a leading figure in renewable energy projects and Matthew Osborne is noted for PPP, petrochemicals and renewables projects.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has made an impression in transport infrastructure projects and China's Belt and Road initiative. This builds on the firm's outstanding energy credentials, which include downstream and midstream oil and gas projects. It acts for the Brunei Economic Development Board, the National Environment Agency of Singapore, Petronas and BP. Adrian Cheng is recommended for project and energy finance, and David Clinch is a top energy lawyer.

Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee is praised for its 'excellent international infrastructure and construction-related work across Southeast Asia', with Alex Wong classed as 'extremely knowledgeable' and noted for his 'user-friendly and commercial advice and working tirelessly to help clients achieve their objectives'. Wong led the team that advised the Philippine banks on the Philippine Peso only non-recourse financing for the second 668MW unit of GNPower Dinginin’s coal-fired power plant in Bataan province, the Philippines. He also advised Sarawak Energy on the development and construction of the Baleh hydroelectric power plant in Sarawak, Malaysia. Samantha Campbell is a project development and finance lawyer with a fine record in Vietnam.

Pinsent Masons MPillay's projects practice is in large part driven by China's Belt and Road programme. It has close connections to Chinese contractors and developers but is also active throughout Asia and increasingly in Africa. It advised the Ministry of Industry and Trade (Vietnam) in connection with the financing, construction, operation, maintenance and transfer of the Vung Ang II BOT power project, consisting of a 1200MW coal-fired thermal power facility in Ha Tinh province, Vietnam. It also advised China Road and Bridge Corporation on the Mombasa to Nairobi standard gauge railway project. David Platt and John Yeap 'know their stuff on projects and financing', with the former also praised for his 'industry knowledge' and 'good infrastructure experience'. Iain Laing is another leading figure in infrastructure projects.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has a lean presence in Singapore, where the team works closely with other offices in the international network, most notably in LNG development, coal and mining projects. Michael Joyce and Paul Greening provide senior level expertise in a multitude of sectors, though most notably in LNG projects in Southeast Asia and beyond. Clients include Hopu Investments, Valero Energy Corporation, CKR Resources, and BW Maritime. Jointly with colleagues in Washington DC, the team advised Zoetic Energy on the development of a 100MW project at Ghana’s Akosombo Dam on Lake Volta, including a 20-year power purchase agreement with the electricity company of Ghana.

CMS' global credentials in energy and infrastructure projects are very much in evidence in its Singapore office, where Marc Rathbone and Adrian Wong are considered heavyweight lawyers in oil and gas and power, including renewables. The team has worked on projects throughout Asia Pacific, including in Singapore, the Philippines, India, Malaysia and Taiwan. The department is mainly sponsor and contractor-oriented, having advised the likes of Sarawak Energy, Lys Energy Solutions and Veolia ES Singapore Industrial.

Dentons Rodyk has assembled an impressive senior team of international lawyers, operating across the project development and project finance spheres. The practice has impressed in the offshore oil and gas space and re-gasification sector. Clients include Lukoil Asia Pacific, Pertamina and PT North Hydro Sumatra Energy. It advised Trafigura on the first full mid-scale LNG importation, floating re-gasification, onshore and offshore infrastructure natural gas project in Bangladesh. Kunal Kapoor and Joo Thye Tan are prominent players in the market.

K&L Gates has extensive experience in energy, infrastructure and resources, particularly in upstream oil and gas and LNG projects. The team is building an impressive Chinese client base and advised COSCO Shipping Lines and Lianyungang Port Holdings on their proposed joint investment in a dry port project in the Khorgos - Eastern Gateway special economic zone at the border of China and Kazakhstan. It also represented MRT Corporation on the construction and financing of its Line 3 mass rapid transit system in Kuala Lumpur. Lian Yok Tan leads the team.

Reed Smith LLP has held a strong position in energy and natural resources for some years and the arrival of Bree Miechel has added further project development expertise to the Singapore team. The group provides 'a high-quality and professional legal service in an efficient and effective way' and Miechel is hailed as 'brilliant', 'deeply involved in the project' with 'the highest level of professionalism'.

Squire Patton Boggs remains noted for its record in PPP and water projects. It frequently acts for Singapore agencies such as the Singapore Public Utilities Board, which it recently advised on the Jurong Island desalination plan, its fifth desalination project. The team previously advised the same client on the Marina East desalination plant project, the world’s first dual seawater desalination and river water treatment facility. Ignatius Hwang heads the practice.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP continues to impress in the renewable energy and oil and gas sectors. Clients include MISC Berhad, Golar LNG, Sunseap Group and Sapura Energy. It advised the joint venture between PetroVietnam Technical Service Corporation and Yinson on certain commercial contracts and the project financing for an FPSO for the Ca Rong Do field, offshore Vietnam. It also advised Sunseap Cambodia and the sponsors on the project documents, structuring and financing of Cambodia’s first 10MW utility-scale solar power project in Bavet City, Svay Rieng province. Mehraab Nazir, Andrew Nimmo and Shawn Er are key names to note. Ivan Chia left to join HFW Singapore LLP.


Projects and energy – Local firms

Index of tables

  1. Projects and energy – Local firms
  2. Leading individuals

Allen & Gledhill LLP has worked on a series of iconic deals, including landmark transport infrastructure projects and recent public private partnership (PPP) projects in Singapore. It advised the Land Transport Authority of Singapore on agreements with SBST Transit and SMRT Buses for 11 bus packages under the bus contracting model. The firm is also active in oil and gas projects (including petrochemical projects). Myanmar is an increasingly important jurisdiction for the practice. The firm is primarily focused on the sponsor side, though is increasingly engaged by regional banks. Kok Chee Wai and Kelvin Wong are recommended for project finance and project development respectively.

Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP has broad geographic coverage and handles a mix of contentious and non-contentious front-end work. The team is 'very knowledgeable, gives practical advice and tries to propose solutions to issues that address the concerns of various parties'. Highlights included advising a consortium on its potential bid for the Kuala Lumpur–Singapore High Speed Rail AssetsCo PPP project. Shemane Chan is described as 'simply the best infrastructure lawyer in Singapore', and 'extremely familiar with public infrastructure documents'. Soh Lip San and Larry Lim are also recommended.

WongPartnership LLP handles a mix of contentious and non-contentious matters, with much of the department's work connected to project development in the oil and gas sector and a growing portion of renewables projects (particularly solar). Clients include developers, main contractors and lenders. The team advised on the review and amendment of an agreement relating to the proposed development of a gasification plant and an industrial utilities supply facility on Jurong Island. Tay Peng Cheng is a leader on both the contentious and non-contentious sides. Ian de Vaz is noted for his expertise in utilities projects, including water desalination projects.

Dentons Rodyk is a growing force in projects and energy in the region. On the international side, Kunal Kapoor joined in 2017 from Ashurst LLP to reinforce the firm's oil and gas credentials. He has linked up with established professionals Joo Thye Tan and Jonathan Guwe to provide a rounded service that has attracted clients such as Huadian Natural Gas Singapore, PT Pertamina (Persero), PT North Hydro Sumatra Energy and SMRT Corporation. The team advised PT Pertamina (Persero) on its first joint venture agreement with Rosneft, the Russian state-owned oil company, to jointly develop the new Tuban refining and petrochemical complex in East Java.

Drew & Napier LLC is active in upstream and downstream oil and gas, and has a solid presence in the mining sector. The practice has an even balance of contentious and non-contentious work for clients such as employers, contractors, concessionaires and traders. It has a particularly fine track record acting for Japanese and Korean contractors. It recently advised Reignwood International on the rationalisation of its 70% share in the Opus Group, which has ordered $840m worth of drilling ships and acquired $200m worth of semi-submersible drilling rigs; Reignwood and another creditor have presented winding-up petitions against the holding company of Opus. Jimmy Yim SC and Mahesh Rai are key names on the contentious side, with Julian Kwek having an established track record in transactions.

Bird & Bird ATMD LLP is at the forefront of the convergence between technology and energy, including energy storage, cleantech and renewables. It handles a range of investment and project development work, and is also strong in energy regulatory work; it represents many of the key government agencies in Singapore. Other clients include German and UK developers. Beyond Singapore, the firm has a fine record in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, the Philippines, Australia, and Bangladesh. It recently advised Tigris on an investment and development of a waste water and water treatment project in Quezon province in the Philippines. Joint managing partner Sandra Seah has an extensive background in energy regulations and public projects. Ken Cheung is noted for clean energy and renewables and is 'creative, efficient and competitive on rates'; he is recognised for his expertise in EPC contracts.

Duane Morris & Selvam LLP has a dynamic and varied practice with 'good depth in oil and gas industry issues' and a strong record in gas-fired power and renewables. The firm is also focused on battery energy storage systems and is noted for its experience in Vietnam and Myanmar. Krishna Ramachandra led the team that advised Red Dot Power on a research collaboration agreement with Singapore Power and Energy Market Authority of Singapore relating to a Vanadium Redox-Flow battery energy storage system (ESS) test bed for optimising the efficiency of clean energy. Mark Wong and Leon Yee are also recommended.

Eversheds Harry Elias has a fine record in project development and PPP projects, especially in the infrastructure and special economic zone segments. It advised a range of government agencies, government-linked companies and private sponsors. The team is active in South East Asia projects, including in Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei.  Tan Chau Yee and Justin Chia lead the practice.

Morgan Lewis Stamford LLC handles an impressive mix of front-end development and contentious work. It advised MCC Land and China Jingye as sponsors on the tender for the Marina East Desalination Plant project in Singapore under the government's PPP model. Kelvin Aw has moved to CMS Holborn Asia.


Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

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