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DLA Piper LLP (US)

Vanessa Wilson

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DLA Piper LLP (US)

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Vanessa Wilson focuses on advising project sponsors and developers, private equity investors, commercial banks and institutional lenders and investors in the development, financing, sale or purchase of independent energy projects, including utility-scale solar projects, wind farms, energy storage facilities, biomass projects and gas-fired and coal-fired power generation facilities, natural gas pipelines, methane-capture projects and other energy-based transactions. She has played a significant role in projects located in California, New York, Louisiana, Texas, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Canada.


Vanessa has more than 15 years of experience representing sponsors and developers in connection with project financings, including traditional construction and term loans, 144A offerings and tax equity investments. She also has extensive experience negotiating agreements for the sale or purchase of energy assets and companies. She regularly manages the diligence review of proposed targets and portfolios in connection with such transactions. Vanessa has also spent significant time structuring joint ventures for the development of energy assets.


JD, Tulane Law School; BA, University of New Orleans

United States: Finance

Project finance

Within: Project finance

DLA Piper LLP (US) significantly expanded its project finance practice in 2016 with the recruitment of Timothy Moran, Philip Corsello and Vanessa Wilson from Sidley Austin LLP; Gregory Smith from Allen & Overy LLP; and Charles Carroll, who joined from Terra-Gen Power. The ‘highly experienced’, New York-based Joseph Tato leads the ‘excellent’ team, which is active on the lender and the sponsor side and has been especially busy with conventional power, renewables and water projects. Developing countries in Africa and Latin America are a specialism of the practice: Smith, an expert in emerging markets, acted for the Export-Import Bank of the United States and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration on their financing of Energía Eólica de Honduras’ Cerro de Hula wind project in Honduras. On the sponsor side, the Miami-based John Murphy advised Concesionaria Vial del Pacifico as concessionaire, and Corficolombiana and Iridium as sponsors, on the financing of Colombia’s $1.2bn, 50km Conexión Pacifico 1 highway PPP project. Ghana and Argentina are other active jurisdictions for the team, which has also handled domestic mandates including Moran’s advice to Exelon Generation on the $250m tax equity financing of Oklahoma’s 198MW Bluestem wind project.

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United States: Industry focus

Energy transactions: conventional power

Within: Energy transactions: conventional power

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s team is headed from New York by Joseph Tato and Andrianne Payson. The practice expanded significantly in 2016, welcoming, among others, project finance experts Gregory Smith from Allen & Overy LLP and Timothy Moran, Philip Corsello and Vanessa Wilson from Sidley Austin LLP; Smith, Moran and Wilson are based in Washington DC, Corsello in New York. The practice is most active in project acquisitions and finance; clients include Exelon Generation.

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Energy: renewable/alternative

Within: Energy: renewable/alternative

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s practice is led by New York’s Joseph Tato and Timothy Moran; Moran joined from Sidley Austin LLP with fellow project finance experts Philip Corsello (New York) and Vanessa Wilson. The department also handles M&A and PPAs, and has regulatory capabilities: Andrea Chambers joined from Ballard Spahr LLP in August 2016. Gregory Smith is recommended for project finance in emerging markets. Named lawyers are based in Washington DC except where indicated otherwise.

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Legal Developments by:
DLA Piper LLP (US)

  • Sentencing guidelines for corporate manslaughter

    In February 2010 the Sentencing Guidelines Council (the SGC) issued definitive guidelines to courts on imposing appropriate sentences for corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences causing death. The SGC states that fines imposed on companies found guilty of corporate manslaughter should not fall below £500,000, while fines in respect of health and safety offences that are a significant cause of death should be at least £100,000. Crucially, the SGC declined to provide for a fixed link between the imposed fine and the turnover or profitability of the offending company.

    - DLA Piper UK LLP

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