Clifford Chance maintains numerous longstanding client relationships with lenders, infrastructure and pension funds as well as companies and development companies, which mirrors the team’s in-depth expertise in the financing of large national and international projects. In June 2021, the practice’s international character was further underlined by Jared Grubb‘s move from the firm’s Istanbul to the Munich office; he is a key contact for the assistance with projects under English law and at the same time continues to support clients and projects in Turkey. The group’s main focus lays on PPP projects as well as on projects in the energy, including renewable energy, and infrastructure sectors, with particular expertise in the financing of projects secured by export credit agencies or governments. This offering is complemented by in-depth asset finance capabilities with a focus on the shipping, rail transport and aviation industries. Florian Mahler heads the Düsseldorf team and – like Christof Häfner – covers project finance and asset finance comprehensively. Project finance and PPP expert Beda Wortmann is also part of the core team, as is counsel Anna Thwaites, who is admitted under English and Australian law.
Project finance in Germany
Other key lawyers:
‘I think the biggest difference is the know-how in general. Because we structure the financing in-house and perform due diligence with our advisors (including the preparation of financing documents) and make these documents available to selected lenders, Clifford Chance’s reputation is helpful to the extent that banks accept this approach and not require separate due diligence by the banks’ legal counsel.’
‘We value the Clifford team’s extensive know-how when it comes to complex issues, as well as their passion for performance and adherence to schedules.’
‘Excellent networking in the industry, very strong track record and global network with sector experts in a wide variety of jurisdictions.’
‘Dr Florian Mahler is very accessible, experienced, has an excellent understanding of his clients’ commercial priorities and is very solution-oriented. ‘
‘The CC team reliably delivers high-quality input and is readily available and accessible. I’ve worked with a variety of colleagues from the team and the quality has always been consistently high.’
‘We appreciate Mr Mahler’s always calm, objective manner and his direct communication style. Things that cannot be enforced at banks are addressed directly. In addition, Mr. Mahler has very good leadership skills which, together with his experience/expertise, bring extremely satisfactory results compared to others.’
‘Extraordinarily broad experience in the area of legal advice on project financing.’
‘The interdisciplinary approach, in which different departments of Clifford Chance are involved in order to get the best possible result for the client. For our project, the interaction between corporate, real estate, finance and energy was particularly noteworthy. The knowledge gained from this was processed in the form of a legal fact book and made available to the banks.’
KfW Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau
IFC International Finance Corporation
DEG Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft
Global Infrastructure Partners
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
Ankara Etlik Hastane Saglik Hizmetleri Isletme Yatirim A.S.
- Advised International Finance Corporation (IFC) on a $165m financing for five new ceramic tile plants in Senegal, Zambia, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Mozambique and for the expansion of a ceramic tile plant in Ghana.
- Advising Encavis AG, the producer of electricity from renewable energies listed in the SDAX, on the refinancing of a 30MW solar park portfolio in Italy. The refinancing was provided by BayernLB as lender.
- Advising lenders on Export Credit Agency (ECA) supported financing of a pan-European subsea power cable, known as an interconnector, between the UK and Denmark.
Through close cooperation with the project and energy M&A teams, Hogan Lovells International LLP is able to take on large international projects and thereby focuses on the energy and infrastructure sectors, although the team recently also assisted with an increasing number of IT infrastructure and telecommunications projects. Under the leadership of Carla Luh, the group's advice spans traditional project financing, ECA-covered financing and project bonds as well as acquisition financing for individual projects and portfolios. In the energy sector, where the practice assists with both conventional as well as renewable energy projects, the team was particularly active in projects related to onshore and offshore wind as well solar plants. The client base comprises banks, sponsors, investors and companies.
‘Carla Luh is a very competent, extremely pragmatic, solution- and deal-oriented lawyer. It’s very comforting that she doesn’t focus on herself and she doesn’t get lost in mock legal arguments either.’
‘Strong competence across a large number of asset classes, which is clearly noticeable in the partners as well as in the counsels and associates. The coordination between the team members and between teams from different legal areas is very fast and solution-oriented. The international orientation of Hogan Lovells combined with the detailed know-how in the local market is a clear advantage in transactions across multiple jurisdictions. The speed is particularly noteworthy.’
‘Working with Hogan Lovells is very pleasant. Their very good knowledge of the industry allows them to accurately analyze contexts and thus represent the client’s interests in the best possible way. This, coupled with their efficiency and speed in providing draft texts, distinguishes the law firm, particularly Carla Luh and her team.’
‘Carla Luh: Working with her is very trustworthy. She is very available and reacts extremely quickly even under the highest pressure. At the same time, she knows how to explain complex topics in a simple and understandable way. In negotiations, her clean argumentation and her quick wit are a real plus. She doesn’t lose sight of the bigger picture, which makes her a first-class lawyer.’
‘The cooperation with Carla Luh and her team is first class. Carla herself leads a great team. She is close to her clients and knows how to take her clients with her and represent them. She is charming and determined at the same time. She knows how to get points across. She does not lose sight of the bigger picture. Professionally and personally, Carla is a first-class lawyer.’
‘Hogan Lovells’ PF team places absolute priority on representing their own client.’
‘Amy Bruland is on Carla Luh’s team. She is a great lawyer who is always available and supports the client with her knowledge and skills. ‘
‘Amy Bruland stands out as a young lawyer with her quick wit, high resilience and efficient way of working. She is always very readily available and has enormously supported the speed and efficiency of the process with her detailed treatment of the topics. ‘
Hamburg Commercial Bank
DZ Bank AG
Northland Power Inc
KfW-IPEX Bank GmbH
- Advising GöTel GmbH on financing the expansion of a fiber optic network with Hamburg Commercial Bank AG../
- Advising Berenberg and Berenberg Green Energy Junior Debts Funds (I and II) on the subordinated debt financing of renewable energy projects in Finland and Spain.
- Advising Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW) and European Investment Bank (EIB) on the financing of four wind farms near Poznan in Poland.
Norton Rose Fulbright advises public sector clients, sponsors and financial institutions on energy and infrastructure projects including PPPs and is also experienced in advising on geothermal and storage projects. In addition to German projects, the team is regularly entrusted with cross-border and international matters, which are handled through cross-location cooperation, while clients also benefit from the close cooperation with the M&A and corporate teams. Dirk Trautmann heads the practice from Munich and also focuses on asset and corporate financing.
Other key lawyers:
Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur (BMVI)
Hamburg Energie GmbH
IST3 Investment Foundation
Ferrostaal Industrial Projects, Engie (France) and Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU)
DVB Bank SE
Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners
Tauber Solar / Sunpower Africa Development
- Advising Société Générale and Erste Bank on the project financing of the Bruck geothermal project in Bavaria.
- Advising Hamburg Commercial Bank on the financing of the Lyngsasa wind farm in southern Sweden.
- Advising the lenders KfW IPEX, European Investment Bank, MEAG, KBC and CSOB on the project financing of the PPP project for the A49 motorway in Hesse, Germany.
White & Case LLP‘s client base, consisting of institutional lenders, sponsors and banks, can rely on the extensive project financing expertise of practice head Florian Degenhardt and his team; the team utilises their relevant skills, including expertise in ECA-covered, EIB and KfW financing as well as other promotional loans, in national and international infrastructure and energy projects. In the energy sector, the team was recently predominantly active in advising on wind and solar projects.
Other key lawyers:
Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank
Deutsche Bank Luxembourg S.A.
KfW IPEX Bank
- Advising MEAG MUNICH ERGO Asset Management GmbH and institutional lenders on the €520m refinancing of offshore wind farm Global Tech I in Germany.
- Advised Deutsche Bank Luxembourg SA on the $3bn export credit agency (ECA)-backed hybrid corporate financing for Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) – a joint venture owned by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Shell, Total and Eni – for the development of the NLNG Train 7 project.
- Advised an international consortium of financiers including German banks such as KfW IPEX, Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, Siemens Bank and export credit insurers (Euler Hermes, EKF and Atradius) on the €2.7bn financing for the construction of 640 MW offshore wind farm Yunlin in Taiwan.
Watson Farley & Williams LLP continues to focus on project and acquisition finance in the energy sector, advising on onshore and offshore wind, solar farm and conventional energy projects. The practice’s second mainstay lays in the asset finance sphere where the team focuses on shipping and ship financing in particular, which is not least due to the group’s relevant bundled expertise at its Hamburg office; here, Clemens Hillmer, who heads the assets and structured finance group, is a key contact. He jointly heads the overall practice with Thomas Hollenhorst, who also leads the project and structured finance group.
‘Competent, pragmatic and pleasant to work with. Has prevailed against various large international law firms.’
‘Florian Kutzbach has excellent expertise and the personality to support in-house teams in the negotiation and documentation of complex transactions. ‘
‘High professional competence in the branch, very good international experience in the subject areas important for banks; high number of available lawyers for fast implementation of transactions. Very high problem-solving skills and very good negotiating skills with involved parties. Furthermore, very fast response times even outside normal business hours. ‘
‘Dr. Clemens Hillmer: Regular contact with our company on current topics, high level of initiative. Fast response times for fee quotes. Very high professional competence .’
KMG Kliniken Gruppe
- Advice to Berenberg on the refinancing of credit funds.
- Advising Nord/LB on the €45.5m bridge financing of a wind farm portfolio in Poland to be developed and built by Danish developer European Energy.
- Advising CIP as borrower on the issuance of a €130m bond placed by Crédit Suisse to MetLife to refinance the acquisition of certain offshore substations.
With Kerstin Block taking on the co-lead of its banking and finance division in early 2021, CMS‘ project finance expertise is now also mirrored on practice head level: Block acts with a focus on the energy (particularly renewable energy such as wind and solar) and digital infrastructure sectors, while the team also assists with leasing financing in the transport sector and transport infrastructure projects. She jointly heads the practice with André Fresh Meier, who advises on project, corporate and real estate financing matters.
Other key lawyers:
Gleiss Lutz is particularly well versed in advising on the financing of transport projects such as airports, motorways and train fleets. Burkhard Jäkel is the key contact for assistance with leasing financing of train fleets, while Helge Kortz frequently advises on of airport financing. Eva Reudelhuber is another key contact who, in addition to infrastructure projects, also handles financing and financial restructuring of solar parks and other energy projects.
Apax Partners Beteiligungsberatung GmbH
Bausch & Lomb
Deutsche Beteiligungs AG
LEONI Kabel GmbH
Robus Capital / Whitebox
SCP Retail Investments S.A.
Steinhoff Europe AG
Wieland Werke AG
- Advice to Alcentra Ltd on the financing and restructuring of Arwe Group.
- Advising Düsseldorf Airport in connection with a €250m loan as part of NRW.BANK’s NRW.Infrastruktur Corona program, an additional syndicated loan financed by several banks and a €100m shareholder loan.
- Advised Lindsay Goldberg and her portfolio company Schur Flexibles on the refinancing of Schur Flexibles through a €440 m unit-tranche/SSRCF financing.