Project finance in France

Clifford Chance

Paris is one of Clifford Chance’s main worldwide projects hubs. The impressive practice offers a deep bench of experienced partners and counsels who are well versed in acting for all types of stakeholders; sponsors, developers, lenders and governmental and other public entities. In France, the firm is one of the-go-to-practices for large infrastructure projects and currently involved in major transport, airport, telecoms and energy projects, including many landmark offshore projects. On the international scene, the practice is particularly active in Africa and notably advising on port and airport projects as well as on many solar projects and a biomass power plant project in Côte d'Ivoire, the largest of its kind in Africa. Several landmark hydropower projects in Cameroon and Madagascar and strategic oil and gas projects are also included in the caseload. In addition to its strong focus on Africa, the team also handles work in other regions, including Europe and Asia. Anthony GiustiniNikolaï EatwellDelphine Siino CourtinRichard Tomlinson and Daniel Zerbib as well as public law experts David Préat and Gauthier Martin rank among the country's first-class practitioners. Also recommended are counsels Milica Zatezalo-Falatar and Corinne Duvnjak .

Practice head(s):

Anthony Giustini; Nikolaï Eatwell; Delphine Siino Courtin; Richard Tomlinson; Daniel Zerbib; David Préat; Gauthier Martin

Other key lawyers:

Milica Zatezalo-Falatar; Corinne Duvnjak

Testimonials

‘The team has the industry knowledge and the right mix of people to secure the best standards on a project for the client.’

‘Nikolaï Eatwell has fantastic international project finance know-how and an amazing ability to provide the best advice for any given issue. He is focused on problemsolving and on efficient management of the process. He handles complex negotiations in an outstanding way. Counsel Milica Zatezalo-Falatar is a fantastic lawyer with significant industry knowledge and excellent communication skills.’

‘Anthony Giustini is exceptional and one of the top project finance lawyers globally. Counsel Sohini Karpuryastha is up-and-coming.’

‘The team is always available.’

‘Delphine Siino Courtin is an excellent negotiator who knows how to convey difficult messages. She is pugnacious and always knows how to find solutions.’

‘Very good team, responsive, expert.’

‘Professional, adaptable, in-depth knowledge of subject, always puts clients first, politically savvy, ability to remain professional in complicated circumstances.’

‘Trust has been built and a highly positive working relationship, knowing that we can fully rely on the advice being provided.’

Key clients

African Development Bank (ADB)

Asian Development Bank

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

DEG

EBRD

EIB

FMO

IFC

Inter-American Development Bank

Inter-American Investment Corporation

MIGA

OeEB

OPIC

Proparco

The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF)

The Korea Development Bank

Agence Française de Développement (AFD)

Africa Finance Corporation

Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund

OFID

Ethiopian Electric Power

French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy

Ministry of Water Irrigation and Energy, Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Bpifrance

Hermes

K-sure

SACE

UK Export Finance

BNP Paribas

CACIB

CDC

Natixis

Société Générale

Barclays

HSBC

Macquarie

Santander

Standard Chartered bank

Türkiye Garanti Bankasi A.Ş.

UniCredit

MUFG

Bouygues

EDF

Eiffage

EN

Work highlights

  • Advising EBRD IFC and OeEB on a solid waste to energy PPP project in Belgrade, Serbia.
  • Advised AfDB and EAIF on the financing of the multi-purpose port terminal at Owendo, Gabon.
  • Advising Eolien Maritime France (the joint venture between EDF Renouvelables and Enbridge) and the project company on the financing of an offshore wind farm off the coast of Fécamp, with an installed capacity of 497 MW (71 SGRE turbines of 7 MW).

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. has a well-rounded practice which assists sponsors, lenders, international agencies and governmental entities with the development and financing of projects in France and overseas. Domestically, the firm has a well established PPP practice, often retained to advise on large public infrastructure projects such as landmark transport projects, including tunnel and metro infrastructure. Public law expert Thomas Courtel and finance partner Laetitia Lemercier are the key contacts. Abroad, the firm is extensively advising oninfrastructure and renewable energy projects in francophone Africa. It is notably involved in smart city projects in Ivory Coast and Benin. The practice also handles key projects in various other parts of the world, for example for key client The International Finance Corporation whom the practice assists with the development and renovation of several airports around the globe. Marie Bouvet-Guiramand, John CrothersVictor Grandguillaume, Nicolas Jean and Stéphane Vernay are the key names for international work.

Practice head(s):

Marie Bouvet-Guiramand; Thomas Courtel; John Crothers; Victor Grandguillaume; Nicolas Jean; Laetitia Lemercier; Stéphane Vernay

Testimonials

Great team.’

‘Thomas Courtel is among the best public law lawyers in France. Laetitia Lemercier is an excellent lawyer (especially in banking law) who remains attentive to find the best solutions for her clients.’

‘Excellent team, very professional with the ability to integrate complementary expertise when necessary with great efficiency.’

‘Laetitia Lemercier is very professional, precise and available with a great ability to adapt the service requested in order to make transactions successful.’

‘Excellent availability, excellent customer support, very good execution.’

‘The team is extremely professional and available. They can respond within very short deadlines and added a lot of value on PPP projects in Africa.’

‘The partners and associates of the firm don’t overcomplicate things and constantly listen to our concerns. They do not hesitate to discuss issues in order to bring solutions and to preserve and safeguard our interests.’

Key clients

EDF

Total Renewables

Organisation de la Communauté Economique des Etats des Pays des Grands Lacs (CEPGL) pour l’Energie des Pays des Grands Lacs (EGL)

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)

Meridiam and FGIS

The Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Government of Barbados

Government of Senegal (CETUD)

Government of the Republic of Botswana

ARELIA and sponsors: Bouygues, DIF and Abedeen

Rivage Investments and Caisse d’Epargne Midi Pyrénées

Ariane group

Lenders supporting Eiffarie and APRR

French State

Eiffage

Vinci, EDF, Renault and Demeter

Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations

SNEDAI group

Petroci Holdings

Société Ivoirienne de Raffinage (SIR)

AGENCE UNIVERSELLE DU SERVICE UNIVERSEL DES TELECOMMUNICATIONS – TIC (ANSUT)

Work highlights

  • Assisting EDF with the engineering and procurement of six EPR nuclear reactors in India, Jaitapur.
  • Advised ARELIA (project company) on the structuring and implementation of the refinancing of the Paris court partnership agreement.  
  • Advising EGL and contracting states represented by EGL (Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda) on the development of a 147MWh hydropower plant on the Ruzizi River.

Linklaters

Linklaters' impressive first-class practice is entrusted by governmental entities, sponsors and lenders undertaking prominent infrastructure projects in France and in Africa. In France, the team is advising on several landmark renewables wind offshore projects as well as on major port, airport and road projects. In Africa, the practice acts on the financing and refinancing of port and renewables energy projects. It also regularly undertakes greenfield and brownfield energy renewables energy work across Europe and is advising lenders on a $12bn Amur gas-to-chemicals complex project in Russia. Practice head Bertrand Andriani, the highly regarded François April, Stephen Le Vesconte, 2020's newly promoted partner Darko Adamovic and public law expert Pierre Guillot are the key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Bertrand Andriani

Other key lawyers:

François April; Stephen Le Vesconte; Darko Adamovic; Pierre Guillot

Testimonials

‘Stephen Le Vesconte understands our issues quickly and can propose a solution adapted to the situation. His team is well informed and provides quality output even under extreme time pressure.’

‘It is always a pleasure to work with Stephen Le Vesconte. He has excellent communication skills and combined with his legal knowledge he finds the solutions in a deadlock situation. He also protects our interest in negotiations very well, so it is a reassuring to have him on our side.’

‘The lawyers are always available, motivated by transactions, whatever their level of experience. In addition, the firm has extensive and excellent knowledge of the European market and hybrid and risky products.’

‘Darko Adamovic and Bertrand Andriani are for me two excellent professionals enjoying an excellent reputation and a keen sense of negotiation coupled with an excellent position on the French, African and European markets for project financing and structured financing.’

‘Stephen Le Vesconte is very reasonable and possesses a very practical approach and a very calm demeanor, traits that were critical to resolving many issues. Stephen was a calm and non-aggressive voice of reason.’

Key clients

Boralex

Blackrock

Ténergie

Macquarie

Octopus Investments

Engie

Arise

Neoen

Emerging Africa Infrastructure (EIAF)

China Development Bank

Arise Mauritania SA

International Finance Corporation

Proparco

AFD

KomunalKredit

Société Générale

EDF Renewables SA

Altice

OMERS

Allianz

AXA IM

Mirova Natixis Environnement & Infrastructures

IRU investments

AXA

MEAG

RIVAGE

Caisse d’Epargne

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

InfraVia Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised the three underwriters (BNP Paribas, MUFG and Société Générale) on the €2bn financing of the Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm, the first offshore wind project to reach financial close in the French market.
  • Advised China Development Bank as arranger and lender on the $629m financing of the Lekki Port project in Nigeria.
  • Advised the lenders, Société Générale and KomunalKredit, on an innovative hybrid project, mixing both corporate and project financing made available to Allego to enable it to grow its business in the EV charging sector in Europe.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP’s first-class practice combines top public law and project finance expertise, an offer sought after by lenders and sponsors to assist with France’s largest infrastructure projects. The team is notably advising on several ongoing high-profile projects, notably in the train sector, as well as on the creation of a new road tunnel in Marseille. Internationally, matters come from especially from Europe and Africa, but also from other parts of the world. Several port projects and the extension of the Sofia airport in Bulgaria recently kept the practice busy. Practice head Amir Jahanguiri and Michaël Armandou are the key financing contacts, while Thierry Laloum manages the public law practice. Associate Antoine Bouzanquet makes a strong impression.

Practice head(s):

Amir Jahanguiri

Other key lawyers:

Michaël Armandou; Thierry Laloum

Testimonials

‘Very strong experience in project finance and PPP templates. Very strong technical skills. Very strong commercial and clients management skills.’

‘Very strong technical skills and business acumen. Ability to manage complex processes and situations and to drive the various parties involved to successful closing of transactions. The partners Amir Jahanguiri and Thierry Laloum have outstanding experience in their field of expertise and outstanding skills to manage complex processes and the various parties involved across the finish line.’

‘Excellent listening, adaptation to the complexity of projects.’

‘Very strong involvement, good humor, efficiency.’

‘Ability to provide really tailor-made solutions and work very collaboratively.’

‘Excellent capabilities, in particular of Amir Jahanguiri who has been in the field forever.’

‘Very good practice of project financing. The very close proximity of the public law teams to the project financing team is an undeniable asset. Their ability to deliver projects is undeniable.’

‘Amir Jahanguiri and Michael Armandou are undoubtedly among the top lawyers who know the European project finance infrastructure market the best.’

‘Amir Jahanguiri is the best project finance lawyer alive.’

‘Amir Jahanguiri is a top class lawyer, especially in complicated situations.’

‘Excellent teams with extensive background in project finance; capacity of apprehending the specifics and peculiarities of each and every project and situation and accordingly customise related contractual setups;  exceptional capacity in assisting the client with difficult negotiations while keeping legal interests of the client on the safe side.’

‘Outstanding experience in the field of financing infrastructure, both on the sponsors and lenders side. They are problemsolving-oriented, provide reliable advise and smart ideas and are as hardworking as you can get.’

‘Amir Janhanguir and Michael Armandou are both best-in-class infrastructure finance practitioners in the global infrastructure finance market. Antoine Bouzanquet is one of the best associates I have worked with.’

Key clients

Meridiam

CMA CGM

ERAMET

Bouygues Construction

Bouygues Telecom

Vinci Concessions

Rönesans

Atlantia (Autostrade per l’Italia)

Sojitz Corporation

Agence Spéciale Tanger Méditerranée

Government of Djibouti

ArcelorMittal

Veolia

European Investment Bank

Eiffage

Direct Energie

STOA

Société Générale

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria

Allianz

Aviva

Samsung

Talanx

LBPAM

MEAG

Generali

The French State

SNCF Réseau

Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations

Caixa Bank

CEPAC

La Banque Postale

Marubeni

Alstom

Gulermak

Hydrogène de France

Nareva

Work highlights

  • Advised Bouygues Telecom on two major fibre projects totaling €2.5bn in capital expenditure: Project Astérix and Project Saint-Malo.
  • Advised CMA Terminals on the sub-concession of container terminal operations of the Lekki Deep Sea Port in Nigeria.
  • Advised the lenders to the consortium formed by RATP Dev and Keolis (Hello Paris) on the financing of the project for the operation of the rail link between Paris-Est station and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (the CDG Express Project).

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP has the necessary resources to deal with all types of work. The firm acts for lenders, sponsors and developers undertaking projects in France and overseas. Domestically, the practice has been advising on major transport, telecoms, housing and port infrastructure projects. Recently, it was also busy with refinancing, M&A, partnership and other brownfield transactions, notably in the telecoms sectors. The energy sector also accounts for a large amount of work, with the group advising on renewables offshore projects in France, a major onshore wind project in Sweden and on a highly strategic partnership relating to a large power project in India. The team is composed of projects practice head Driss Bererhi, banking and finance head Adrian Mellor, Alexandre Ancel, who manages the energy practice, and Romaric Lazerges, who is in charge of the public law practice. Christine Poyer-Rufenacht left the firm in 2020 to found PRA Avocat.

Practice head(s):

Driss Bererhi; Adrian Mellor; Alexandre Ancel; Romaric Lazerges

Key clients

CASIL Europe

Infravia

Natixis

BNP Paribas

Société Générale

Banco Santander

Predica

Engie

Altitude Infrastructure

DIF Indrastructure

Covage

Bolloré Group

Domo Chemicals

JP Morgan

African Development Bank

IFC

BMCE

Work highlights

  • Advising CASIL Europe on the disposal of its stake in Toulouse-Blagnac airport, representing a 49.99% ownership, to Eiffage.
  • Assisting InfraVia Capital Partners on the financing (hybrid: bonds and loan) of the acquisition of a majority stake in a joint venture with Iliad, whose purpose is to accelerate the deployment of 26m fibre to the home access networks.
  • Assisting the mandated lead arranger on the holdco financing for the acquisition by Mirova and MEAG from Ardian of a participation in Indigo Group, the global leader of car parking and individual mobility services.

Asafo & Co.

Asafo & Co. is a top firm for African energy projects. The Paris-based practice, which benefits from a unique network of offices on the continent with offices in Kenya, Morocco, Ivory Coast and South Africa, combines common and civil law expertise. It focuses on assisting African states, international financial institutions, companies and sponsors with the development and financing of all types of energy projects. It is involved in several of Africa’s largest hydroelectric and gas fired power projects as well in as many large renewables, gas-powered and biomass projects. The firm is also handling several highly significant mandates in the mining sector as well as some work outside of energy, for example in the hospitality sector. Practice co-heads Pascal Agboyibor and Simon Ratledge are highly recognised. Sébastien Gaudu and Bob Bastos are other key contacts

Practice head(s):

Simon Ratledge; Pascal Agboyibor

Other key lawyers:

Sébastien Gaudu; Bob Bastos

Testimonials

‘The team at Asafo have proven to not only have the necessary technical expertise, but they are also critical thinkers daring enough to explore unfamiliar approaches to resolving issues while anticipating issues and possible solutions in advance. Their willingness to exercise flexibility while maintaining a high level of professionalism can not go unrecognised.’

‘The team is very diverse with a presence in Europe and Africa with the teams being very well coordinated so the client never feels a lapse in communication or deficiency in service delivery no matter who is handling the matter. The individuals I have worked with were available, approachable, attentive and went to great lengths to present with great clarity every solution offered with an openness to hearing my opinion and integrating that in the final solution as much as possible. Working with the team left me deeply satisfied. I am very grateful to Simon Ratledge and Olivia Crouzat.’               

Key clients

Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

La Générale des Carrières et des Mines S.A. (Gécamines)

Ministry of Mines and Geology of the Republic of Guinea

AZITO Energie S.A.

Globeleq

IPS West Africa

MGI Energy

EDF

Limak Africa S.A.

Opec Fund for International Development (OFID)

Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF)

African Development Bank

Attijariwafa Bank Europe

European Investment Bank (EIB)

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

Eksport Kredit Fonden (EKF)

Work highlights

  • Advising Azito Energie S.A. and the sponsors (Globeleq and IPS) on the 250MW expansion of the gas-fired Azito independent power plant in Côte d’Ivoire (Azito Phase IV).
  • Advised EDF as sponsor on the concession agreement for the Biovéa project, a 2×23 MW biomass power project to be located on the Ivory Coast, in partnership with Biokala SA (subsidiary to SIFCA the country’s leading agro-industrial company) and Meridiam SAS.
  • Advising the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the development of the Inga 3 hydroelectric project, which consists of the construction of an 11,000 MW hydroelectric power plant on the Congo River.

Ashurst LLP

Ashurst LLP runs a highly dynamic practice covering a wide range of matters thanks to its combined UK and French law expertise. The team, which assists leading French and international lenders and sponsors, is very active in financing and developing projects in francophone and anglophone Africa, but also manages major instructions in France, other European countries and in Latin America. The practice covers all types of infrastructure project work, including port, airport and road infrastructure, the construction of new hospitals and schools, and large-scale oil and gas, mining and electricity projects. It is notably assisting Engie with a series of landmark domestic and overseas projects. Project finance partners Tom Longmuir and Mark Barges are particularly recommended. Other key names in the practice include public law experts Michel Lequien  and Jacques Dabreteau, as well as Vincent Trévisani, who is a reference for energy projects, and Yann Alix who also chairs the firm’s African group.

Practice head(s):

Mark Barges; Tom Longmuir; Yann Alix; Michel Lequien; Vincent Trevisani

Testimonials

‘The Ashurst team provides practical advice to clients rather than following a text book or other theoretical approach.’

‘Ashurst strives to build relationships beyond just the work. The partners are very accessible and prompt to respond to questions. In particular, Mark Barges and Michel Lequien are exceptional lawyers.’

‘Michel Lequien’s team is serious and extremely professional. The team is a real strong support in structuring deliverable, achievable and above all realistic deals.’

‘Michel Lequien is always available and offers many solutions from the start of projects. This is crucial. Mark Barges brings all his know-how and his knowledge of the financial market to the structuring of projects.’

‘Great team including lawyers with good knowledge of project finance. The invoicing is very reasonable for the quality of the service provided, which underlines the real efficiency of the lawyers. It is a pleasure to work with this team which we can trust.’

‘Pierre Roux is experienced, calm and technical. Mark Barges is commercial, pragmatic and has excellent technical skills in project contracts. Kévin Boyero is a senior associate whose contribution is invaluable in the management and monitoring of transactions. He is dynamic, responsive, rigorous and organised.’

‘Tom Longmuir is to be commended for his clear and unwavering commitment to his clients. What stood out for me was his hands-on approach to the deal and his wise advice which included sharing his vast experience and anticipating the positions which would be acceptable for us to take.’

Key clients

Nareva Holding

ENGIE

Indian Oil

Ennel Green Power

ONEE

Vaalco

Arise P&L

Afrexim Bank

TAQA North Africa

ADP

Vinci

wpd Offshore

Omnes Capital

Predica

Work highlights

  • Advised global investment bank Deutsche Bank on the €142m development financing of a portfolio of priority hospital projects in the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire.
  • Advising the consortium formed by Nareva Holding and ENGIE on its bid in the tender initiated by the Tunisian Government and STEG for the development of five solar concession projects in Tunisia (as part of the 500 MW PV solar concessions tender).
  • Advised wpd on the development and financing of a 500MW offshore wind farm off the coast of Fécamp.

De Pardieu Brocas Maffei

De Pardieu Brocas Maffei is one of the banks’ preferred advisers for mid- to large-scale French infrastructure projects. Headed by Jean-Renaud Cazali, the practice handles work spanning a wide range of areas, including telecoms, public building and sport facilities. It is frequently involved alongside banks and energy operators on project work in the renewables energy area. Recently, the practice also advised on the refinancing of large projects, including the new home of the Tribunal de grande instance de Paris. Senior associate Antoine Payen also provides strong support.

Practice head(s):

Jean-Renaud Cazali

Other key lawyers:

Antoine Payen

Testimonials

‘Beyond a very high level expertise proven in financing, we noticed that the firm has a culture of dealmakers with a balanced approach between all parties and a search for understanding and adaptation to the business context of the deal.’

‘Antoine Payen (senior associate of Jean-Renaud Cazali) demonstrates great determination in representing the client’s interests and real listening skills.’

Key clients

BORALEX

LA BANQUE POSTALE

NATIXIS

EIFFAGE

NEOEN

BEI

CAISSE DES DEPOTS ET CONSIGNATIONS

SPIE BATIGNOLLES

EDF RENOUVELABLES

GREEN YELLOW

SUEZ

VAUBAN INFRASTRUCTURE PARTNERS

DEUTSCHE PFANDBRIEFBANK (PBB)

KFW IPEX-BANK

ALBIOMA

INNOVENT

SOCIETE GENERALE

EIFFEL

CEPAC

CAISSE D’EPARGNE HAUTS DE FRANCE

VINCI

LANDESBANK SAAR

AUXIFIP

CREDIT AGRICOLE CORPORATE AND INVESTMENT BANK

BNP PARIBAS

PAPREC

DIF INFRASTRUCTURES

Work highlights

  • Advising Boralex on the refinancing of almost of all its wind farm operations in France, for a total of $1.7bn.
  • Advising KFW Ipex-Bank on the refinancing of the PPP agreement completed by the French State for the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Paris.
  • Advising BEI and CDC on the refinancing of the PPP Global System for Mobile communications – Railways (GSM-R) concluded between SNCF Réseau and SYNERAIL.

Dentons

Dentons is involved in several of France's largest infrastructure projects, with a particularly busy caseload of work for public sector entities on landmark rail and transport projects. In addition, the practice also advises on smaller projects in France, particulary in the education sector, and is active in one of France’s landmark renewable energy projects. Finally, the team also assists with infrastructure and energy projects abroad, such as assisting Inframed with a solar and wind power plants project in Jordan. Public law expert Marc Fornacciari and project finance specialist Jean-Marc Allix co-head the practice. Of counsel Dorothée Griveaux, a public law expert, is also noted. In June 2020, Nicholas George joined the team from Orrick Rambaud Martel. Leïla Hubeaut left for August Debouzy in January 2021.

Practice head(s):

Marc Fornacciari; Jean-Marc Allix

Other key lawyers:

Dorothée Griveaux; Nicholas George

Testimonials

‘Relevant analyses which allow clients to make informed decisions, and to put all the assets on their side.’

‘Marc Fornacciari is strongly involved with his clients, and is able to carry out very detailed analyses which allow good decision making. Dorothée Griveaux has a strong capacity for work and in-depth analysis. She knows how to seek out and find unexplored, but robust paths to effectively meet the specific expectations of her clients.’

Key clients

RATP Dév. + Keolis

Suez

Aktivco

Vinci Group

Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC)

EOLFI

BMR Energy Ldt

Meridiam

Work highlights

  • Advised the Ministry of Transportation on the award of a concession contract regarding the RCEA road, which is part of the European Route E62 connecting the French city of Nantes to Genoa.
  • Advising a consortium composed of Keolis and RATP Dev on the financing of the operation of the train (CDG Express) between Paris and the Charles-de-Gaulle Airport.
  • Advising the French Transport Authority for the Paris Region (STIF) on the award of one or more concession contract(s) for the operation of four new automatic metro lines of the ‘Grand Paris Express’ (GPE).

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has a strong project offering, combining civil and common law expertise and including project, finance and public law expertise. The practice, which acts for sponsors and lenders, is involved in major French, European and African infrastructure and energy projects. It is notably advising on several significant greenfield and brownfield transport and renewables projects in France in addition to handling major renewables projects in Portugal. In Africa, the team has been assisting lenders with new hospital projects in Ivory Coast, and acted on significant hydroelectric and renewables projects. Key names include Eric Fiszelson, who heads the firm’s EMEA group, banking and finance partners Régis OréalLouis de Longeaux and Rachel Campbell, public law expert Christophe Lefort and of counsel Mathias Dantin , an infrastructure and energy expert.

Practice head(s):

Eric Fiszelson; Régis Oréal; Christophe Lefort

Other key lawyers:

Louis de Longeaux; Rachel Campbell; Mathias Dantin

Key clients

Akuo Energy

Agence Française de Développement

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi

BNP Paribas Group

BPCE/Natixis Group

Bpifrance

Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations

Crédit Agricole Group

DIF Infrastructure

Indonesia Eximbank

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

La Banque Postale

Marguerite Adviser

Marubeni

Meridiam Infrastructure Partners

Neoen

Nexity

Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale (Nord/LB)

Proparco

Samsung Life Insurance

Société Générale

Work highlights

  • Advising Proparco, IFC and EIB on the financing of two greenfield solar photovoltaic generation units with a power capacity of 80MWp in Touba and Kahone in Senegal.
  • Assisting Cellnex Telecom with its strategic agreement with Bouygues Telecom for the roll-out, marketing, and operation of a 31,500-kilometre fibre optic network throughout France.
  • Advising ENGIE and EDPR on the creation of a co-controlled 50/50 joint venture in fixed and floating offshore wind.

Orrick Rambaud Martel

Orrick Rambaud Martel combines excellent French and African project abilities. In France, the team advises sponsors and lenders on large road, building and rail infrastructure projects. It is notably assisted the winning consortium with the awarding of the Olympic Village construction project in Paris. The team is also heavily involved in energy projects as adviser to the French state on several offshore projects. In Africa, the practice acts for sponsors, lenders and state entities on various airport, road, power, hydroelectric and solar projects. It is notably advising Eranove on several projects. Project partner Yves Lepage, the expert public law duo composed of senior counsel Noël Chahid-Nouraï and Geoffroy Berthon, who made partner in 2020, finance partner Carine Mou Si Yan and corporate partner Patrick Tardivy are the key contacts. Of counsel Foucaud Jaulin is also involved. Jean-Luc Champy went to White & Case LLP and Nicholas George to Dentons in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Yves Lepage; Carine Mou Si Yan; Patrick Tardivy

Other key lawyers:

Noël Chahid-Nouraï; Geoffroy Berthon; Foucaud Jaulin

Testimonials

‘Orrick Rambaud Martel has long experience in project financing in many sectors. The team is responsive, professional, agile and expert.’

‘Yves Lepage and Foucaud Jeulin are very attentive, proactive and very responsive.’

‘The team has rich experience in complex international operations. Their professional capacities no longer need to be demonstrated, their ability to always offer pragmatic advice in all situations as well as their human qualities make them a real asset in difficult negotiations.’

‘Orrick Rambaud Martel’s team is solid and capable of dealing with varied and complex environments, particularly in Africa.’

‘Geoffroy Berthon is a young talented partner. An excellent technician, he is able to deliver sound advice. He is available and attentive.’

‘Efficient and effective team, fair and quick in its assessments and responses, measured and able to keep in mind the challenges of a project to preserve its fundamentals and its accessories.’

‘Geoffroy Berthon is a first-rate lawyer: his involvement, his understanding of projects, the accuracy of his interventions in negotiations, his understanding of the situation and the excellence of his writing are major assets for a project.’

Key clients

3i Group Plc

The French Government

Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC)

Republic of Mali

Société Générale

Colas

Africa50

Fayat

Voltalia

Aéroports de Paris

ENEO

Eranove Group

Icade Promotion

La Banque des Territoires

Eurofiber

TERÉGA

Work highlights

  • Advising the French Government (Ministry for an Ecological and Solidary Transition) on the next offshore wind farm tenders that were scheduled to be launched in late 2020.
  • Advising Eranove on the €125m development and financing of the Kékéli Efficient Power tri-fuel power plant in Lomé, Togo.
  • Advising a consortium led by Colas on the tender for the financing, construction and the maintenance of a €500m new highway project in France – the Route Centre Europe Atlantique (RCEA).

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP strengthened its practice significantly with the hiring, at the beginning of 2020, of a top team of six lawyers joining from  Orrick Rambaud Martel, led by finance partner Amaury de Feydeau and public law partner Jean-Luc Champy. The new additions strongly enhanced the firm’s offering for domestic projects, as it was already well recognised for its international capabilities, particularly in Africa through existing partners Paule Biensan, the practice head, and public law expert François-Guilhem Vaissier. The newly combined team now offers a comprehensive practice, able to advise lenders and sponsors alike on large domestic and international infrastructure and energy projects. In France, the team is currently advising on a high number of the largest greenfield and brownfield projects, including in the telecoms, renewables energy, road and airport infrastructure projects. Abroad, the practice is mainly involved in large-scale African cogeneration hydroelectric and renewables projects.

Practice head(s):

Paule Biensan

Other key lawyers:

Amaury de Feydeau; Jean-Luc Champy; François-Guilhem Vaissier

Testimonials

A close-knit team that communicates well internally which allows for a fluid relationship with each member of the team.’

‘Jean Luc Champy is remarkable both for his advice and litigation skills. He is efficient and goes straight to the goal.’

Key clients

Bouygues

VINCI

Eiffage

Eranove

Société Générale

BNP Paribas

Crédit Agricole CIB

Santander

Banca Imi

Work highlights

  • Advised SYNERAIL on the refinancing of the Global System for Mobile Communication – Railways (GSM-R).
  • Advised Omnes Capital, the majority shareholder of the consortium led by Bouygues, on the award of the 2024 Olympic Games Aquatic Centre Concession in Paris.
  • Advised Atinkou and its shareholder Eranove on the financing, design, construction and operation of 390MW Power Plant in Côte d’Ivoire.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Practice head(s):

Barthélemy Faye; Andrew Bernstein; Jean-Pierre Vignaud

Key clients

The Republic of Chad

Société des Hydrocarbures du Tchad (SHT)

The Republic of Congo

Société des Pétroles du Congo (SNPC)

Envol Immobilier Group

The Republic of Côte d’Ivoire

The Republic of Benin

The Republic of Senegal

Petrosen

Port of Dakar Company

APIX (Agence Nationale des Grands Travaux)

Quadran International

Work highlights

  • Advising Petrosen and the Republic of Senegal on various project finance works, including the agreements for the development and financing of the Sangomar oil field and the Grand Tortue Ahmeyim Project.
  • Advising the Port of Dakar SA, Republic of Senegal, on negotiations with DP WORLD regarding the development, financing and construction of the new international port of Dakar to be located at Ndayane, Senegal.
  • Advising the Republic of Benin, alongside Rothschild & Co. as financial adviser, on its international debt borrowing strategy and related loans to finance various projects.

DLA Piper

Practice head(s):

Jérôme Pentecoste; Eric Villateau

Key clients

COVAGE

Société Générale

Caisse des dépôts et consignations

Conquest Asset Management

3i Group

ENGIE

Vauban Infrastructure (ex-Mirova)

URBASER

Bouygues

Thales

Sodexo

Dalkia

IDEX

Département de la meuse

Eiffage Concessions

Altitude Infrastructure

Work highlights

  • Advising and assisting the URBASER Group on the award and financing of several concessions for household waste treatment units.
  • Advising the Ministry of Transport on the procurement procedure of a PPP for the storage and recovery of end-of-life vehicles.

DS Avocats

 

Practice head(s):

Stéphane Gasne; Nathalie Sultan

Key clients

China Nuclear Power Engineering

EXTERIMMO

TDF

Région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

Berkeley Energy

PPP Unit of Uganda

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy

Sonatrel

Région Réunion

Work highlights

  • Advising the CNPE consortium, made up of CNPE, Framatome and four Chinese contractors, on the Iter nuclear fusion project.
  • Advising Exterimmo (a ‘Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations’ subsidiary), the majority shareholder of the beneficiary consortium, on the negotiation and conclusion of the Public Private Partnership contract with the Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur regarding the design, construction, financing, maintenance, major maintenance and renewal for 35 years of the new Marché d’intérêt national of the city of Nice.
  • Advising Berkeley Energy on the acquisition of the Tozzi Green portfolio of hydro power plants in Madagascar.

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP

Practice head(s):

Bruno Cantier; Ludovic Babin; Olivier Fille-Lambie

Testimonials

‘The team is made up of talents who have a real agility to juggle between the different types of law, civil and common, and different sectors. One of the strengths of this team is to not only do project finance, but any type of structured financing.’

‘Olivier Fille-Lambie is the reference partner.  Counsel Ariane Berthoud is also an excellent lawyer.’

Key clients

A consortium led by Engie and Meridam

African Finance Corporation

Colas Projects and Mirova

Bardot Group

West African Development Bank – WADB

Société Générale Ghana

Aéroports de Paris S.A.

Themis Energy

InControl

Work highlights

  • Advised a consortium led by Engie and Meridam on the financing of two solar PV plants in Senegal being developed under the IFC’s Scaling Solar programme.
  • Advised the African Finance Corporation on its $310m project financing for Nouakchott port, Mauritania.
  • Advised the sponsors (i.e. Colas Projects and Mirova) on the partnership contract between the Communauté d’Agglomération du Centre Littoral and Ibys, a consortium of Colas Projects, Ribal Travaux Publics and Mirova (now Vauban Infrastructure Partners), on the financing, design, construction, maintenance and renewal of the infrastructure of two Buses Rapid Transit lines.

Jones Day

Practice head(s):

Sophie Chevallier; Nicolas Brice; Frédéric Gros; Rémy Fekete; Philippe Delelis

Testimonials

‘Large and efficient team.’

‘Exceptional availability of all members of the team; exceptional mastery of the technical legal subjects; and always up to date with the latest standards.’

‘Available, efficient, smart.’

Key clients

Agence Française de Développement (AFD)

Auxifip

Bpifrance Financement

Deutsche Pfandbriefbank

ENGIE AXIMA

La Banque Postale

Vauban Infrastructure Partners

Société Générale

Vinci Construction

Work highlights

  • Advising Deutsche Pfandbriefbank on the €12.5m project financing for the modernisation of a tranche of the waste treatment plant in Orléans Métropole.
  • Advising Société Générale on the €25m project financing of the modernisation of a waste treatment plant operated by Veolia in Bordeaux Métropole, and on the €23m project financing of the modernisation and operation of a waste treatment plant in Portes-les-Valence.  
  • Assisting the governmental agency with the privatisation of the company Aéroports de Paris (ADP) which runs the Parisian airports (Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle, Orly and eleven other airports in the Ile-de-France Region).

Mayer Brown

Practice head(s):

Alban Dorin; Olivier Mélédo

Testimonials

Technically sharp and very responsive.’

‘Mayer Brown, and in particular the project finance team led by Alban Dorin, francophone African financing transactions particularly well. One of the key strengths is the availability of the team, which is easy to work with and provides straight to the point advice. Compared to other firms, the firm is more agile.’

‘I would recommend Alban Dorin at Mayer Brown who stands out in particular for project finance transactions in the OHADA region. He combines excellent technical skills with a good understanding of the economics of the transaction.’

‘The Mayer Brown team has strong expertise in topics related to the energy sector, particularly in Africa. The work always meets our expectations. The firm distinguished itself by its availability and its responsiveness is never lacking.’

‘Olivier Mélédo is an excellent partner who is always available to answer our requests. He does not content himself with purely legal work: he never hesitates to share relevant information or contacts to support our development.’

Key clients

Africa Finance Corporation

Africa Legal Support Facility

Jera

Millennium Challenge Corporation/Government of Benin

The Presidency of the Republic of Benin

Work highlights

  • Advising Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) on the acquisition of circa 45% of Nouvelle Gabon Mining (NGM), a company holding two major manganese concessions in Gabon and subsequent acquisitions.
  • Advising Africa Legal Support Facility and the Government of Gambia on the expansion of the port of Banjul.
  • Advising the Presidency of the Republic of Benin on the auction, award, design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of a 120 MW dual fuel/HFO and gas-fired power plant in Maria Gleta.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Practice head(s):

Anne Lapierre

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Practice head(s):

Lachlan Poustie

Other key lawyers:

Pierre-Nicolas Ferrand

Key clients

IFC – International Finance Corporate

EIB – European Investment Bank

Proparco

OFID – Fund for International Development

Standard Bank

DBSA- Development Bank of Southern Africa

AfDB – African Development Bank

EAIF – Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund

DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft

Engie

Taylor Wessing

Practice head(s):

Eric Charvillat; Sophie Pignon

Testimonials

‘The team focused exactly on the key points for us. The same goes for negotiation, with a commercial approach corresponding 100% to our expectations. The partner has always been 100% available to us. Very pleasant personalities.’

‘We worked with Sophie Pignon who has a sincere approach to situations. She has great finesse in analysing situations and her client’s expectations. She also has a very good network. Working with her is extremely pleasant.’

Key clients

Altitude Infrastructure

Vauban Infrastructure Partners

Keolis

Département du Nord

NGE and Altitude Infrastructure

Orange

Covage

Voies naviguables de France

Aéroports de Côte d’Azur

Quaero

RiverRock

Région Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur

Centre Pompidou

Mitrelli

Edeis Concessions

Marlink

Work highlights

  • Advising the client on five different transactions for the award of a public service delegation relating to the financing, design, construction, operation and marketing of a high-speed communication network.
  • Advising Mirova (BTP Impact Local, CIF II, FIDEPPP 2 and MCIF) on the acquisition by Mirova of a stake in Axione and of its partial financing.
  • Advising Société Générale on the financing of the special purpose company Covage Calvados, holder of a high-speed communication network (THD) concession contract in the Department of Calvados.