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Mayer Brown

1221 AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS, NEW YORK, NY 10020-1001, USA
Tel:
Work +1 212 506 2500
Fax:
Fax +1 212 262 1910
Email:
Web:
www.mayerbrown.com

Christopher Erckert

Tel:
Work +1 212 506 2162
Email:
Mayer Brown

Work Department

Finance

Position

Christopher has built an active practice representing sponsors and financial institutions in corporate financings, project financings, and other financing and restructuring transactions. Christopher also has significant experience in representing buyers, sellers, and financing parties in acquisition and divestiture transactions.

Christopher’s experience includes a broad range of financing structures, including those provided by commercial banks, multilateral agencies, export and other official creditors, and capital markets. Christopher’s practice includes a particular emphasis on energy and infrastructure-related work – having advised on the financing, development, and restructuring of more than 10,000 MW of conventional and renewable power generation and groundbreaking transactions in water and transport sectors. His experience within the power sector includes generation, transmission and distribution, and he frequently provides counsel on a broad array of other infrastructure and industrial matters, including rigs, LNG facilities, gas pipelines, water treatment facilities, toll roads, port infrastructure, and manufacturing facilities.

Education

Columbia University, JD 1989, Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar; Editor, Journal of Environmental Law; Oglethorpe University, BA, magna cum laude 1986


Latin America: International firms

Banking and finance

Within: Banking and finance

Mayer Brown’s breadth of product range and geographic coverage has served it well during a volatile period in the Latin America banking and finance sector. Despite fewer syndicated deals in the market, the firm has found bilateral loans a relatively fruitful segment of the market. Its expanding presence in Mexico City has brought an uptick in lending transactions in the newly liberalised hydrocarbons sector, including financings involving a capital markets component and drillship sector loans. Real estate deals in Mexico and Central America are another strength of the practice. Clients include Goldman Sachs, Banco Santander, Citibank, Mizuho Bank, Scotiabank, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse and OPIC. The practice advised IFC and the OPEC Fund for International Development on the restructuring of major Latin American shipping group Ultrapetrol, which included the sale of approximately $65m of term loan financings, and also represented a syndicate of banks in the amendment and extension of a $1.5bn credit facility for Freeport-McMoRan subsidiary, Sociedad Minera Cerro Verde. Other matters included advising Mizuho Bank as lead arranger on a $193m syndicated loan to Panama-based multilateral lender Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior (Bladex). Chicago-based co-head of the Latin America practice and co-head of the firm’s global banking and finance practice, Douglas Doetsch is a ‘big player’ who is ‘extremely smart’, ‘pragmatic’ and is ‘always working to look for solutions’. New York partner David Duffee is co-head of the firm’s global lending practice and has a high degree of focus on Latin America, with a strong record in syndicated lending and acquisition finance. A ‘great lawyer’ who is ‘always mindful of the interest of the client’, New York and Washington DC partner Christopher Erckert couples ‘vast experience and market knowledge’ with a ‘practical approach to facilitate an efficient execution’; he demonstrates a ‘client-oriented approach’ and ‘unparalleled understanding of Latin America and structured finance transactions’. Other notable figures include Washington DC’s Gabriela Sakamoto, who advises a range of lenders, including banks, MLAs and export credit agencies (ECAs); Mexico City partner Ariel Ramos, who has broad financing experience in the jurisdiction, most notably in relation to projects; and Eduardo Lima at Brazilian associate firm Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown who is highlighted for his versatility and has extensive experience in restructurings and refinancings. Chicago-based senior figure Debora de Hoyos is also highly regarded.

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Projects and energy

Within: Leading lawyers

Christopher Erckert - Mayer Brown

Within: Projects and energy

Mayer Brown continues to cement its position in projects and energy in Latin America. The firm’s now well-established Mexico City office has further enabled it to build market share in energy and infrastructure, particularly in relation to the liberalisation of Mexico’s hydrocarbons sector, and the firm’s notable Houston office is also actively involved with the Mexico market. Its Chicago, New York and Washington DC offices provide further connections to key lenders, including commercial banks, MLAs and development finance institutions (DFIs), and a number of sponsors and borrowers. The firm has a significant market share of high profile renewable energy projects in Latin America and has attracted a consistent pipeline of infrastructure project engagements. In addition to mainstream project finance, the firm is also at the forefront of project and infrastructure bonds. Clients include Panama Canal Authority, Invenergy, Banco de Credito del Peru, Credit Suisse, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Celeo Redes, Grupo Odinsa and Empresas. The firm is praised for its ‘market and legal knowledge, efficient work, proactivity and value for money’. It advised Celeo Redes Operación Chile on the $600m issuance of US dollar and Chilean peso-denominated notes to finance electricity transmission projects; this was the first portfolio project bond in Chile. It also advised Invenergy on the acquisition, development and financing of the Energía del Pacífico Project, a greenfield LNG-to-power project in El Salvado. Other matters include representing the noteholders (private investors) in the private placement of $136m in investment-grade rated project bonds issued by Invenergy to finance the operation of its 70MW Campo Palomoas wind energy project in Uruguay. New York and Washington DC-based Christopher Erckert is the most celebrated partner in the team, having a solid record in mainstream project finance and project bonds, including in the infrastructure and renewable energy sectors. Ariel Ramos is a key name in Mexico City, while Houston-located Francisco Mendez (who previously spent 20 years at ExxonMobil as an in-house lawyer for Latin America), is at the heart of the Mexico energy reform-related work. Spending much of his time in the country, Mendez was involved in the formation of the Mexican Hydrocarbons Association and is highly regarded in the upstream oil and gas sector. Also in Houston, Jose Valera and Pablo Ferrante are prominent in upstream oil and gas, power and renewables transactions in Mexico and elsewhere, while Edward Lima at Brazilian affiliate firm Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown is another pivotal practitioner. Chicago-based Barry Machlin has a great deal of experience in Latin America energy, infrastructure and mining projects, while Gabriela Sakamoto in Washington DC is an emerging talent.

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