Projects and energy in Hong Kong

Herbert Smith Freehills

Co-headed from Hong Kong by the ‘responsive and solutions-oriented’ Hilary Lau and Danila Logofet, Herbert Smith Freehills‘s five-partner team is well-versed in handling major energy and infrastructure projects throughout the project lifecycle for a sponsor and investor-focused client base. The team adds value on multijurisdictional, big-ticket projects where clients not only benefit from access to the expertise of projects and energy lawyers throughout the network but also the ability to provide a multi-disciplinary approach by virtue of the firm’s full-service offering. The team has excellent ties with numerous China-based energy companies, including China Power International Holding and China National Petroleum Corporation, and has acted for them on numerous big-ticket mandates, including Lau’s work (alongside the Singapore office) for the former on its acquisition of Zuma Energia, Mexico’s leading independent renewables generator.

Practice head(s):

Hilary Lau; Danila Logofet

Other key lawyers:

Yida Xu 

Testimonials

Hilary Lau is very responsive and solutions-oriented.’

They’ve got a good team with partners, senior associates and associates combination.’

Key clients

China Power International Holding Limited

CNPC

CNOOC

Woodside Energy

Origin Energy Limited

Yinson Holdings Berhad

PT Pertamina Rosneft Pengolahan dan Petrokimia

Arktikmorneftegazrazvedka

Risen Energy

Allegro Funds

Work highlights

  • Advised China Power International Holding Limited on all aspects of its acquisition of Zuma Energia, Mexico’s leading independent renewables generator, which develops, finances and operates a portfolio of more than 800MW of wind and solar power projects.
  • Advised CNPC on its acquisition of a minority participating interest in Arctic LNG 2 project from Novatek.
  • Advised a consortium composed of Woodside (Operator), Cairn, FAR and Petrosen (the Senegal National Oil Company) on its investment into the Sangomar oil and gas project.

Linklaters

Able to leverage significant resources throughout the region, Linklaters‘ three-partner team regularly takes the lead for a range of stakeholders on many of the most prominent regional and intra-Asian energy and infrastructure deals in the market. The team is, however, best known for its lender side project financing capabilities and receives a significant pipeline of work for both international commercial banks and a plethora of China-based lenders. Dual US and PRC-qualified partner Crystal Chen is key to much of this lender work and attracts a fairly balanced mix of instructions from PRC and international banks. Although he also regularly handles energy development and M&A transactions, team head James McLaren excels in advising on lender side mandates, particularly in the context of multilateral financings to facilitate renewable energy projects in the region, including a steady stream of mandates relating to the booming offshore wind market in Taiwan). Stuart Salt recently retired.

Practice head(s):

James McLaren

Other key lawyers:

Crystal Chen; Ying Fu

Testimonials

The team has strength-in-depth and is very commercial. They focus on getting the deal done, and not on irrelevant negotiations.

‘The team is a safe pair of hands and displays excellent technical skills and product knowledge.’

Key clients

China Light and Power

China Southern Grid

Goldwinds

Hong Kong Electric

Huadian

KEPCO and its subsidiaries

KOMIPO

Ørsted

State Grid Corporation of China

China Machinery Engineering Corporation

Wpd

Northland

Swancor

Agricultural Bank of China

Bank of China

China Construction Bank

China Development Bank

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

BP

CNOOC

Dow Chemical

ENI

KNOC

KOGAS

Kufpec

PETRONAS

PTT E&P

POSCO

Rosneft

Sakhalin Energy

Samsung Group

Sinochem

Sinopec

Total

BAML

BNP Paribas

Citigroup

Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank

HSBC

ING Bank

JP Morgan

Morgan Stanley

Royal Bank Scotland

Societe Generale

Standard Chartered

UBS

New Development Bank

IFC

Jingye Group

China MinMetals / MMG

GDF Suez

Glencore

Noble Group

Rio Tinto

Shandong Iron & Steel

WISCO

DP World

Hutchison

International Container Terminal Services Inc.

Jardine Matheson

Macquarie Infra

OTPP

Orix

Atradius

Bpifrance

China Eximbank

EDC

EKF

KEXIM

Ksure

Hermes

JBIC

NEXI

Sinosure

UKEF

Work highlights

  • Advising the common lenders and export credit agencies (ECAs) on the approx. $2bn project financing of the 605MW southeast Greater Changhua offshore wind project.
  • Advising the financing group on the approx. $3bn project financing of the 589 MW Changfang and Xidao OSW project in Taiwan.
  • Advising the Hong Kong Airport Authority on its HKD35bn 5-year term and revolving facilities which will support the costs of the upgrade of the Hong Kong International Airport and construction of a new third runway, the Three Runway System (3RS) Project.

DLA Piper

Spearheaded out of Hong Kong by Matthias Schemuth and also able to effectively mobilise resources throughout the region, DLA Piper is well-positioned to advise a varied array of sponsor, developer and lender clients on regional projects and infrastructure work. The team is particularly adept at assisting Chinese clients on their outbound investments into Southeast Asia, including on conventional and renewable energy projects, often involving multi-sourced financing arrangements. Carolyn Dong is able to provide a compelling mix of skills garnered through her years in-house at both Sinopec and BP, as well as in private practice, for Chinese entities in energy-related outbound investments and Sino-foreign joint ventures. Russell Wilkinson is a new addition to the team who joined from Baker Botts L.L.P. in December 2021; Wilkinson has notable experience of upstream and midstream petroleum projects, power generation and transmission projects.

Practice head(s):

Matthias Schemuth

Testimonials

‘Innovative yet thorough. Use of technology is also quite useful. ’

‘The team is very knowledgeable on trade finance matters. They are also very value for money and is a good sounding board on new structures.’

‘The team is able to draw on a diverse experience pool and help formulate solutions that are win-win.’

‘Accessible, flexible and able to offer balanced advice.’

The team is very responsive and understanding the market of power business very well. The team is equipped with international and local knowledge of project financed-power precedents‘.

‘Matthias Schemuth is very knowledgable but yet always available to discuss issues and willing to think out of the box to come up with suitable compromises. ’

‘Matthias Schemuth is very knowledgeable on trade finance structures, including cross-border regulatory issues.’

Fangda Partners

Benefiting from significant resources in mainland China, the Hong Kong team at Shanghai-headquartered firm Fangda Partners is particularly well-positioned to advise China-based investors seeking to develop infrastructure and power projects as part of the Belt & Road Initiative. Michael Tam has vast experience across a range of energy, infrastructure and power projects throughout Asia and leads an ‘impressive‘ team that also includes Joe Biqing Zhou, a specialist in cross-border M&A, infrastructure and energy outbound investments.

Practice head(s):

Michael Tam

Other key lawyers:

Joe Biqing Zhou

Key clients

Shenzhen Energy Group

China Merchants Group

The Airport Authority Hong Kong

CRRC Corporation Limited

CTHG Fund

Yanchang Petroleum Group (Hong Kong) Co., Ltd.

China Merchants Port Holdings Company Limited

China-Africa Development Fund

International Djibouti Industrial Parks Operation FZCO

Hongkong Electric (Natural Gas) Limited

Veolia

China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd.

CGN Capital Partners Infrastructure Fund III L.P.

State Grid Corporation of China

Taihu Holding and Greenland Group

Beijing Urban Construction Group

HOPU Fund Management Company Limited

Shanghai Electric

Work highlights

  • Advised Shenzhen Energy Group on the development, financing, construction and operation of the 180MW Ramu II Hydropower Plant in Papua New Guinea.
  • Advised a China Merchants Group entity on the redevelopment of a historical port in Djibouti into the East Africa International Special Business Zone.
  • Advised on the financing, construction, development and operation of a deep-water port terminal and related development in Myanmar.

King & Wood Mallesons

Drawing on project finance and infrastructure, construction and dispute resolution expertise across Hong Kong and mainland China, King & Wood Mallesons is well-positioned to advise developers, contractors and financiers throughout the life cycle of a deal from front end project development and construction drafting through to any litigation which may subsequently occur. Projects head Sam Farrands is a ‘seasoned practitioner who knows how projects work’, particularly in the context of PPP mandates. Scott Gardiner has strengthened the office’s renewable energy project financing capability since his relocation to Hong Kong from Australia in 2019.

Practice head(s):

Sam Farrands

Other key lawyers:

Scott Gardiner ; Jessica Zhou

Testimonials

‘A robust team of legal experts with significant local and regional experience, particularly in construction, projects and energy sector. The network of expertise within the region works harmoniously to render value for money services to the client drawing of the strengths across multiple jurisdictions when the need arises.’

‘The level of commitment, transparency and team spirit distinguishes the KWM projects team from its competitors.’

They seek to build a relationship and understand the client’s objectives, rather than simply providing the client with ad hoc advice leaving the client to really think through solutions‘.

Sam Farrands is a seasoned practitioner who knows how projects work and is practical in his approach.’

Key clients

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

CLP Power Hong Kong Limited

Hong Kong–Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park Limited

Watson Farley & Williams

Watson Farley & Williams‘ Hong Kong office forms an integral part of the firm’s projects and infrastructure offering in Asia, which excels in advising stakeholders throughout the life cycle of renewables and conventional power projects. Much of the work in the space has a nexus to Vietnam where it is well-placed to advise by virtue of a strong offering in situ in Hanoi. Splitting her time between the firm’s Hanoi and Hong Kong office, team head Linh Doan has an excellent reputation for handling Asia power and renewables projects.

Practice head(s):

Linh Doan

Other key lawyers:

Marcus Gordon; Michael Folsom

Key clients

Toyo Ink Group Berhad

Ministry of Industry and Trade

Asian Development Bank

Citibank

JAKS Pacific Power Limited

DK Consultants Co., Ltd

Vietnam Electricity (EVN)

Work highlights

  • Advising DK Consultants Co., Ltd on the Hai Lang LNG to Power project.
  • Advising a large syndicate of international and Taiwanese commercial banks, life insurance companies and cover providers on the project financing of the Changfang and Xidao Taiwanese offshore wind projects.
  • Advising the MOIT on the BOT contract for the 750MW Dung Quat II gas fired combined cycle power plant.

Baker Botts L.L.P.

Leveraging its firmwide institutional relationships in the energy space and also benefiting from close ties with many China-based energy companies, Baker Botts L.L.P. handles work for both global and regional investors engaged in upstream, midstream and downstream projects across Asia Pacific. Oil and gas remains in the firm’s DNA and the team is regularly engaged in projects-related work in the region for a myriad of national and independent oil companies, as well as exploration and production companies (E&P). Houston-based Jason Bennett heads up the overarching global projects group.

Practice head(s):

Jason Bennett  (Houston office)

Other key lawyers:

Neil Macdonald

Dechert

Led by Xiao Yong from Hong Kong and also closely integrated with the firm’s Beijing offering, as well as across other key global offices, Dechert‘s sweet spot lies in its ability to effectively act for Chinese energy companies and investment funds on projects involving multiple jurisdictions. It handles a large number of M&A and joint venture structuring mandates within the energy space, reflective of Yong’s corporate credentials as well his vast underlying industry knowledge, particularly on oil and gas matters.

Practice head(s):

Xiao Yong

Other key lawyers:

Nicholas Molan

Key clients

China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec)

Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corporation (SIPC)

Norinco International

CNODC

Lone Star Fund

Work highlights

  • Advised Sinopec on the $11bn development of a joint venture gas chemical complex in the Amur region of Russia.
  • Advised Norinco International as international and Singapore counsel in a series of transactions and government affairs in connection with the development of a coal mining project in Mongolia.
  • Advised Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corporation on its proposed divestment of significant oil assets in Argentina.

Gibson Dunn

Gibson Dunn advises a wide range of stakeholders on project development, finance and M&A mandates in the energy and infrastructure space with a nexus to Southeast Asia. Under the leadership of Patricia Tan Openshaw, the team is regularly involved in many of the Philippines’ most significant infrastructure and energy mandates, which it has particular expertise in.

Practice head(s):

Patricia Tan Openshaw

Other key lawyers:

Cristina Uy-Tioco

Testimonials

‘The team has particular strength handling cross-border legal issues.’

‘Patricia Openshaw is a dynamic lawyer with an understanding of US and Philippine laws.’

Key clients

Manila Electric Company

Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation

Meralco PowerGen Corporation

SMC Mass Rail Transit 7, Inc. fka Universal LRT Corporation (BVI) Limited

San Miguel Holdings Corp.

First Gen Corporation

AC Energy Holdings, Inc.

Republic of the Philippines

Ayala Corp.

Meritz Securities Co., Ltd.

First Pacific Company Limited

Latham & Watkins LLP

Led by US-qualified partner David Blumental, who is a fluent Mandarin speaker, Latham & Watkins LLP combines leading-edge international experience with local expertise, enabling it to provide a compelling offering to Asia-based and international clients across a range of energy and natural resources transactions, including conventional power and renewables projects. The scope of the work handled by Blumenthal runs the gamut from M&A, JVs, project development and private equity, particularly within the upstream oil and gas sector, much of which involves a collaborative approach with practitioners based across the firm’s wide international network.

Practice head(s):

David Blumental

Key clients

CNOOC Limited (and its subsidiaries and affiliates)

ENN Energy Holdings Limited (and its subsidiaries and affiliates)

Gazprom Neft

Guohua Energy Investment Co., Ltd. (a member of China Energy Investment Group)

Harbin Electric International Co., Ltd.

Ocean Minerals LLC

Pertamina

PTT Public Company Limited (and its affiliates, PTT Global LNG Company Limited, PTT Exploration and Production, and PTT Global Chemical)

Repsol S.A.

San Miguel Energy

TOTAL SE

X-Elio Energy, S.L.

Milbank

With a presence across Greater China and in key other regional locations, including Singapore, and also able to draw upon financing expertise from lawyers across its US and London offices, Milbank’ s ‘hardworking’ team is a popular choice among a balanced roster of lenders and sponsors/developers across an array of conventional and renewable energy projects. Hong Kong and US-qualified of counsel Desiree Woo is the main contact from Hong Kong and is particularly noted for her work acting for Chinese clients engaged in projects throughout Southeast Asia.

Practice head(s):

Shepard Liu (Beijing)

Other key lawyers:

Desiree Woo

Testimonials

Legal opinions and advice are thoroughly presented, with ample recommendations of benefit to the client.’

The team is hardworking and easily reachable. They are especially reliable for matters of urgency that need their legal opinion or advice.’

Key clients

GNPower Kauswagan

GNPower Dinginin Ltd. Co.

AC Energy

Aboitiz Power

Power Partners

Shandong Electric Power 3 (SEPCOIII)

HTG Development Group

S. Alam Group

Work highlights

  • Continues to advise GNPower Kauswagan on the EPC and other project development matters linked to the construction and development of the $1.2bn GNPower Kauswagan project.
  • Advising the project company GNPower Dinginin Ltd. Co. and the sponsors, in relation to the development, financing and construction of a $1.7bn supercritical coal-fired power plant project in Bataan Provincein the Philippines.
  • Assisting the sponsors and the project company of the 2x612MW super critical coal-fired power project in Chittagong, Bangladesh.