Firms To Watch: Projects and energy: International firms and joint ventures

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP fields specialised expertise in the nuclear sector and, led by managing partner George Borovas, advises governments, lenders and sponsors on the development of civilian nuclear power programs and the financing and construction of nuclear power plants, while Sean Conaty‘s practice focuses on international project development and finance in the energy sector.

Projects and energy: International firms and joint ventures in Japan

Allen & Overy Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo Horitsu Jimusho

Allen & Overy Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo Horitsu Jimusho‘s projects and energy team is prominent in project development and project financing across energy and resources, and the associated infrastructure sectors. The team has experience in green and sustainable energy, LNG, petrochemicals, mining and minerals projects. Practice co-head Matthias Voss brings his expertise in hydrogen, decarbonisation and energy transition to the group. He leads the team alongside Scott Neilson, who counts project sponsors, project companies and financiers among his clients, particularly within the sustainability and energy transition sectors. The team acts on both the sponsors’ and lenders’ side, often involved in market firsts; the group advised the lender on the first large-scale wind farm project in Uzbekistan and the project sponsors for Nigeria’s first deep seaport. Xue Wang focuses her practice on energy transition and green energy projects and the team often assists clients with ESG objectives. Hitomi Komachi, an expert in energy, natural resources and infrastructure projects, was promoted to partner in May 2023.

Practice head(s):

Matthias Voss; Scott Neilson


Other key lawyers:

Xue Wang; Hitomi Komachi; Akira Takashi


Testimonials

‘Expertise, connections with other law firms. ’

‘Scott Neilson is outstanding.’

‘Allen and Overy provides excellent service with sufficient commercial knowledge and understanding for gas projects.’

Key clients

Japan Bank for International Cooperation


Japan International Cooperation Agency


JERA Co., Inc.


Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation


Asia Development Bank


Bank of China


Ichthys LNG Pty


Work highlights


  • Advised on the major refinancing of several credit facilities in connection with the project financing of the integrated Ichthys LNG Project in Australia.
  • Advised JBIC in relation to its financing to TSKB, the Industrial Development Bank of Turkey as part of JBIC’s GREEN (Global action for Reconciling Economic growth and Environmental Preservation) operations to fund various renewable energy projects and energy efficiency projects in Turkey.
  • Advised JERA on the financing by JBIC, MUFG and SMBC with respect to its acquisition of an interest in the Barossa/Caldita Gas Field in Australia and the additional financing by MUFG and SMBC to fund project costs related thereto.

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Shinichiro Kitamura leads Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)’s projects and energy team, whose size and international reach means it can provide both on-the-ground support to foreign clients investing in Japan and advice to Japanese clients looking to invest outside of the country. The practice is at the cutting edge of the energy transition, and assists clients in increasingly prominent areas within the sector such as solar and wind power. Ean Mac Pherson is the co-head of the firm’s renewable and clean energy group and works with international offshore wind developers on their projects in the Japanese market, as well as with Japanese clients investing in mining and oil and gas projects outside of Japan. Mac Pherson leads the group alongside Naoaki Eguchi, who is also a key figure in the PFI/PPP field. The LNG practice is another key focus area for the team; Samir Desai has over 25 years’ experience in the development and financing of oil and gas projects, including LNG. Jon Ornolfsson joined the team from Morrison Foerster in January 2023, and leads the energy, mining and infrastructure work, bringing his experience in project development and financing within the power, chemical and other energy-related infrastructure sectors. Senior associate Hojung Jun is experienced in the development and construction of industrial plants, as well as in infrastructure and mining projects.

Practice head(s):

Shinichiro Kitamura


Other key lawyers:

Ean Mac Pherson; Naoaki Eguchi; Samir Desai; Jon Ornolfsson; Hojung Jun


Testimonials

‘Ean MacPherson has been an excellent supporter of our company in establishing our clean energy business in Japan. He has been very committed and attentive to our team’s needs.’

‘Kobayashi has deep knowledge and experience on energy and infrastructure field and can give us extensive service for our company.’

‘The team is knowledgeable about the market, changes in regulations / law, as well as being strong subject matter experts in their own right in offshore wind development.

Key clients

EDP Renewables


Japan Energy Capital G.K.


Pacifico Energy K.K.


Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.


Toyota Tsusho Corporation


Work highlights


  • Advising AirTrunk, a hyperscale data centre specialist on all aspects of the development and landmark green loan financing of its second data centre in Japan (TOK2), a 110+MW facility strategically located in western Tokyo.
  • Advising EDP Renewables on the Japan aspects of its acquisition of a majority ownership stake in Asia-Pacific renewable energy developer, Sunseap.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills is at the forefront of developments within the energy sector; the projects and energy team offers advice on investments into the hydrogen chain and battery metals and assists clients with the energy transition. The mining of battery metals has been a particular growth area for the team recently and practice head Andrew Blacoe brings a wealth of experience advising Japanese clients on their investments into mining and metals. As head not only of the energy, infrastructure and mining practice, but also of corporate for North Asia, Blacoe’s expertise spans both the conventional power and renewable energy sectors and beyond. The team continues to advise on significant LNG mandates and a range of renewable energy projects, such as offshore wind farms, as well as on M&A and project development within the sector. The group advises a range of Japanese clients on their outbound investments and has long-term relationships with Japanese trading houses, energy companies and banks. Lachlan Clancy, who is recommended for energy transition projects and transactions, joined from King & Spalding LLP‘s Singapore office in September 2023.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Blacoe


Other key lawyers:

Lachlan Clancy


Testimonials

‘Andrew Blacoe is really knowledgeable, not only about his own sector (natural resources, utilities), but also about Japanese clients as well as broad area of laws that could affect them. He can pull all the best resources together as one team dedicated to each client. They are not hesitant to co-work with other law firms as a part of their team when they believe that it is the best for the client.’

‘Their quality of work is great, advice is practical, the lawyers are friendly and easy to work with. Fees are reasonable and the partners are approachable.’

‘Good international collaboration, good team spirit.’

Key clients

INPEX Corporation


Mitsui & Co., Ltd.


Sumitomo Metal Mining


Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC)


First Gen Corporation


Marubeni Corporation


Work highlights


  • Advised Marubeni Corporation as a member of the consortium which won its bid for seabed leasing to develop a large floating offshore wind project.
  • Advised Mitsui & Co., Ltd. on its agreement with Aker Horizons ASA to acquire a 27.5% equity stake in Aker’s subsidiary Mainstream Renewable Power for approximately $624m.
  • Advised Marubeni Corporation on its proposed development of the Ishikari Bay offshore wind farm project, off the coast of Ishikari city in Hokkaido, Japan.

King & Spalding

King & Spalding fields an experienced projects and energy team made up of industry experts. Practice head John McClenahan is at the forefront of projects and energy developments, leading the group’s involvement in growing areas within the industry, such as green hydrogen projects. The team covers a broad range of sectors on a multi-jurisdictional level; Mark Davies works on off-shore and on-shore wind and solar projects in Japan and Asia more widely; and senior counsel Michael Arruda has been advising international oil and gas companies for over 40 years. The team is involved in innovative transactions within the natural gas space, including blue ammonia projects, and Aaron Lee has played a key role in the consolidation of the group’s mining practice. Daisuke Shimodaira acts as lead associate on a number of the team’s transactions, drawing on his experience in international project finance within the energy sector. Senior associate Jonathan Wang also plays an active role in the group, representing both sponsors and lenders in the offshore oil and gas and power generation industries. Lachlan Clancy left the firm in September 2023.

Practice head(s):

John McClenahan


Other key lawyers:

Mark Davies; Michael Arruda; Aaron Lee; Daisuke Shimodaira; Jonathan Wang; Michael Meade


Testimonials

‘The team is highly cooperative and very supportive. The entire team is bilingual to help negotiate and draft the contracts in English and Japanese. Their expertise in projects and energy in Japan is highly valued as it helps us to find innovative solutions swiftly. Complete transparency in billing and flexibility in timing.’

‘Mark Davies and Daisuke Shimodaira understand the business values of each business line and hence they provided customized and innovative solutions for various different scenarios at different stages of negotiation.’

‘Very commercially savvy, can see the bigger picture.’

‘John McClenehan is an excellent negotiator, understands key deal drivers and can adapt. Mark Davies is extremely knowledgeable, commercially savvy, has a can-do approach and is also innovative.’

‘The K&S team worked seamlessly across the workstreams, providing high-quality advice. Clear that they are sector experts – they drew on their experience to come up with practical solutions and could anticipate issues before they materialized – this helped make the overall process smoother and more efficient.’

‘Strong technical ability and sector knowledge, coupled with practical and easy to understand advice (written and verbal) that can be actioned. Always contactable with a fast turn-around. Aaron Lee and Jonathan Wang stand out.’

‘K&S has offered excellent service based on the latest practice in each sector. K&S’s experience and knowledge of renewable power sector is highly rich, which helps clients to consider them as one of the most appropriate advisers to handle complex projects.’

‘Mark Davis is a great lawyer with amazing skills and experience. He is very keen on our needs and how we approach for projects.’

Key clients

Mitsui & Co. Ltd


MODEC Inc.


Korea Electric Power Company


Posco International Corporation


Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC)


Marubeni


Shell


Work highlights


Latham & Watkins Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise

LNG projects are a key focus of the energy practice at Latham & Watkins Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise, and the team acts for both sponsors and lenders on a number of LNG mandates. Stephen McWiliams leads the Asia project development and finance group from Tokyo. The team advises domestic and international clients on projects across the Asia Pacific region, from lenders and borrowers to developers, acquirers and state-related entities; Richard Chul Kim counts Japanese, Korean and other international sponsors, lenders and government agencies among his clients. Hiroki Kobayashi brings his expertise in the oil and gas and power industries, and the team also advises on matters across the petrochemicals, infrastructure and renewables sectors. Michael Yoshii retired from the firm.

Practice head(s):

Stephen McWilliams


Other key lawyers:

Hiroki Kobayashi; Richard Chul Kim; Richard Fleming


Key clients

Asian Development Bank (ADB)


INPEX Corporation


Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)


JERA Co., Inc.


Marubeni Corporation


Mitsubishi Materials Corporation


Mizuho Bank


Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI)


San Miguel Corporation


Tokyo Gas


Work highlights


Linklaters

Prominent in the offshore wind space, Linklaters‘ projects and energy team continues to be a go-to practice for a host of prominent clients. John Maxwell is head of the firm’s Asia energy and infrastructure team, advising an impressive roster of sponsor, borrower and financier clients. The team advises on international investment into Japan and from Japan into Asia, and is active assisting lenders and sponsors in new energy investments, including oil and gas, power and renewable energy projects. Hirofumi Taba brings extensive international experience of the energy and infrastructure market, advising clients looking to invest in Japan. Ilia Ditiatev joined the team from the London office in 2023.

Practice head(s):

John Maxwell; Hirofumi Taba; Ilia Ditiatev


Testimonials

‘The team supported us to structure a scheme enabling us to provide funds to the project while securing compliance to international legislation. This is a concrete example of the firm being creative to fulfill client needs from a legal perspective.’

‘John Maxwell and Hirofumi Taba in Tokyo are outstanding lawyers who have a hands-on working style, deeply engage with clients, utilizing their abundant knowledge.’

‘Great, very professional team with full coverage in all areas of the law.’

Key clients

Asian Development Bank (ADB)


Daiwa Energy & Infrastructure


Envision


Chugoku Electric Power Co Inc


Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)


Kansai Electric Power Co Inc


Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI)


Northland Power


Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC)


Marubeni Corporation


Macquarie Capital


MUFG Bank Ltd (MUFG)


Mitsui & Co., Ltd.


Mizuho Bank


Ørsted


Tokyo Gas


Work highlights


  • Advising the sponsors including Northland Power and Mitsui on the project financing of the Hai Long offshore wind project in Taiwan.
  • Advised the commercial banks (LL Paris) and JBIC (LL Tokyo and Paris) on JBIC’s first offshore wind project financing in France.
  • Advised Actis on the launching of the $500m Japan-focused renewables platform, Nozomi Energy.

Milbank

Aled Davies heads Milbank’s project, energy and infrastructure finance team, as well as the banking and finance practice, acting for Japanese financial institutions and development finance institutions on significant project finance mandates. Andrew Pendleton also counts a number of ECAs among his clients. The group is active across the power production and transmission, minerals and transportation sectors and particularly prominent in the oil and gas industry, where it is involved in both upstream oil and gas exploration and LNG projects. Justen Fleming brings particular expertise in the LNG sector and is involved in a number of LNG project financings. The team also counts battery chain projects as a particular area of recent growth, with an increasing number of mandates from international clients.

Practice head(s):

Aled Davies


Other key lawyers:

Andrew Pendleton; Justen Fleming; Anthony Scott


Testimonials

‘Excellent service and strong sector knowledge and experience.’

‘Justen Fleming was great to work with. He has strong commercial awareness and the ability to walk you through complex legal structures.’

‘The Tokyo projects and energy practice is headed by  Aled Davies, who is a legendary lawyer in the Tokyo market. In addition to their legal expertise, what makes this team unique is strong negotiation capabilities. The team always guides and leads its clients to a successful negotiation outcome.

‘Aled Davies is a legendary partner in the market against whom every peer benchmarks themselves. He stands out from peers in every aspect.’

‘What makes Milbank unique compared to others is that the firm takes care about developing and nurturing junior lawyers. They work closely to each other, sharing top-tier legal knowledge and complementing each other. This working style is quite unique compared to other firms.’

Key clients

Japan Bank for International Cooperation


The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ


Nippon Export and Investment Insurance


Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation


Total S.A


Export-Import Bank of China (“CEXIM”)


Mizuho Bank, Ltd.


BNPP (BNP Paribas)


Société Générale


AfDB


BPI France


EDC (Export Development Canada)


EIB (European Investment Bank)


Export-Import Bank of China


Industrial and Commercial Bank of China


Korea Eximbank


Equinor


Yinson Boronia Production B.V.


Sumitomo Corporation


Marubeni Corporation


Work highlights


  • Advised a lender group of ECAs and international financial institutions on financing the development of a high voltage direct current subsea transmission system in the United Arab Emirates issued by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC.
  • Representing the sponsors, including Total, Exxon Mobil and Santos, and certain companies representing the State of Papua New Guinea in the financing of the development of an LNG plant and associated infrastructure for the production of gas and condensate.
  • Advising the lenders and agents in connection with the post-restructuring phase of the project financing for the $8.8bn Ambatovy nickel and cobalt mine in Madagascar.

White & Case LLP - White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association)

Paul Harrison leads the projects and energy team at White & Case LLP - White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association), advising on projects across the sector, from oil, gas and petrochemical projects to renewable energy projects and the energy transition. The team’s full-spectrum approach means that it is well positioned to advise on both inbound projects and overseas investment and counts lenders and sponsors among its clients; the group advises ECAs, commercial banks and private equity providers, as well as financial institutions, developers and Japanese utilities and trading companies. Kristian Bradshaw brings extensive project development expertise and senior associate Michael Richter focuses on construction and financing in the energy sector. As well as conventional power projects, such as LNG and nuclear matters, the practice is active in key developing areas, including hydrogen projects, sustainable aviation fuel and carbon capture. The addition of Masahiro Tanabe from Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) in February 2023 has further strengthened the team’s expertise in battery storage projects, another recent growth area for the practice. Julien Bocobza joined the team from Norton Rose Fulbright in June 2022, bringing international experience in renewable energy and infrastructure projects. Alexander Woody left the firm in June 2022.

Practice head(s):

Paul Harrison


Other key lawyers:

Julien Bocobza; Kristian Bradshaw; Michael Richter; Joey Chan; Masahiro Tanabe


Testimonials

‘What makes W&C JPN (Tokyo Office) practice unique is that you have both ENG and JPN Law highly trained, specialised and devoted team of lawyers. Also, they always put the clients front and center above other considerations and ensure at all costs that for every matter, relevant resources are applied and available at all times, and if needed, kept on standby. Also, the team comes from a diverse set of origins, so it’s a good blend when it comes to an end-product (legal service output). In terms of innovations, the networking sessions they set-up (i.e., energy sector market players) regularly are a brilliant idea.’

‘The main partner that works for my organisation is Paul Harrison. In terms of key outstanding qualities, the main would be his synthetic nature and his custom to address immediately the potential major risks and red flags of any particular document, contract, discussion etc. so the client is always well aware of the different angles to be considered before moving ahead with any major decision. On a subsequent basis, he may move for assessment of more detailed and secondary matters. Also, he is extremely talented in devising the least-resistance solutions based on his understanding and background of the parties involved and the precedent applicable transactions. This saves a lot of resources later on as potential solution avenues are put forward for consideration.’

Key clients

Électricité de France (EDF)


EIG Global Energy Partners


Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)


JERA


Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO)


Kyushu Electric Power Co.


NEXI


Saudi Aramco


Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC)


Canadian Solar


Work highlights


  • Advised Kyushu Electric Power Co., Korea Electric Power Corporation and EDF on the financing of a $3.8bn high-voltage, direct current subsea transmission system in the United Arab Emirates, alongside local sponsors.
  • Advised EIG on its $2.15bn acquisition, through its MidOcean Energy platform, of the interests held by Tokyo Gas in four Australian LNG Projects.
  • Advising EIG in its joint $11.9bn bid with Brookfield Asset Management, through its MidOcean Energy platform, for Origin Energy Limited by Scheme of Arrangement.

Clifford Chance

The ‘exceptional‘ projects and energy team at Clifford Chance advises clients across both inbound and outbound projects. Practice co-head Yusuke Abe focuses on inbound investments, bringing a particular expertise in renewables and infrastructure projects, while outbound matters are primarily handled by ‘responsive and experienced‘ co-head Hans Menski, who specialises in the development and financing of power and energy, infrastructure and oil and gas projects. The group noted the continued push into the offshore wind space, as well as access to critical minerals becoming a growing trend within the sector. The practice sports a full-service development and finance offering, from advice on corporate, commercial and regulatory matters to arbitration and dispute resolution: Natsuko Sugihara and Michihiro Nishi have a particular focus on domestic and cross-border M&A matters and private equity transactions. Bolstered by the integrated regional and global projects team, the group advises Japanese and foreign investors and sponsors, as well as international financial institutions, commercial banks and government entities. The group also has a strong team of counsel, including Masafumi Shikakura and Suguru Kimura. Akihiko Takamatsu left the firm in March 2023.

Practice head(s):

Yusuke Abe; Hans Menski


Other key lawyers:

Natsuko Sugihara; Michihiro Nishi; Masafumi Shikakura; Suguru Kimura


Testimonials

‘Exceptional team, great knowledge of the renewable industry.’

‘Individuals are efficient with high-quality responses. Response times are not delayed, and time is also taken  to understand matters better.’

‘Good and precise service.’

‘Hans Menski’s team is very experienced, responsive, knowledgeable, and professional. Despite all the challenges and difficulties, Hans’ team is able to give quick response and give sensible suggestions.’

‘For very complicated matters, the team is able to promptly give analysis of the market practice, the potential risks and available mitigants as well as the consequences, so as to help lenders make a reasonable judgement and decision. ’

‘Hans Menski as team leader is responsive and experienced. He is on top of everything for this project and able to explain and elaborate his rationale in a very concise and logical way. He is actively involved in this project from end to end.’

‘The Clifford Chance Projects team is one of the best on the English law side of the equation. They have strong relationships with the banks and other lender-side counsel.’

‘Yusuke Abe is a very smart and very strong finance lawyer, and provides very practical advice. We find that he is able to provide a realistic picture of the status of negotiations. When he is running the transaction, he organizes the team well and makes sure that the milestones are met. He gets to the heart of the matter very quickly and does not waste time.’

Key clients

Vena Energy


Japan Bank for International Cooperation


Actis


Nippon Export and Investment Insurance


The Export-Import Bank of Korea


Asian Development Bank


Mitsui & Co., Ltd.


Mitsubishi Corporation


Marubeni Corporation


Work highlights


  • Advised Actis on the acquisition and refinancing of 100% of the interests in the project company developing, owning and operating a 220MW dual-fuel power plant in Bangladesh.
  • Advised a syndicate of 8 international commercial banks in relation to the $2.17bn Atradius covered facility for San Miguel Corporation to finance the land development works to be undertaken by Boskalis for the Phase 1 development of the New Manila International Airport in Bulacan province, the Philippines.
  • Advised Vena Energy on the issuance of a green project bond to global investment group CDPQ.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Advising Japan-based clients on outbound energy and infrastructure projects is a particular strength of the team at Norton Rose Fulbright. The projects and energy practice provides a full-service offering, extending beyond project development and finance to include advice on corporate and M&A matters and dispute resolution. George Gibson, head of the firm’s Tokyo office, leads the team; his broad experience across a range of sectors sees the group advise on power, water, oil and gas, petrochemicals and nuclear projects. Paul Coggins focuses his practice on the international shipping and offshore sectors and has led the team on a number of LNG vessel matters. The firm has an extensive and varied client base, including ECAs, international banks and sponsors, and counsel Andrew Clarke advises Japanese corporate clients and utilities. The addition of Akihiko Takamatsu in February 2023 from Clifford Chance has strengthened the team’s advice inbound energy and infrastructure projects, with particular expertise in solar PV and renewable energy projects.

Practice head(s):

George Gibson


Other key lawyers:

Paul Coggins; Akihiko Takamatsu; Andrew Clarke


Testimonials

‘NRF has strong capability in new energy matters such as green and blue ammonia projects.’

‘The team is spread out to various cities in Australia and Japan, but using the online systems there is a good communication among the team members including ourselves.’

‘They are able to create a team with the appropriate expertise for each transaction throughout their global network. They also put legaltech into great use, efficiently managing large volume document review and transaction progress.’

‘Norton Rose are professional as to the legal matters and know well about the Japanese clients’ internal decision making process that helps us in negotiating with the counterpart because Norton Rose takes the timing of our internal decision making process into account.’

‘Andrew Clarke, has excellent communication skills that enable the clients to consult with him frankly. Also, he approaches the counterpart frequently with a relaxed manner to listen to the counterpart’s real concerns that make the negotiation efficient.’

‘George Gibson is an excellent coordinator, overseeing the entire team and regularly follows up for feedback to improve performance.’

‘Norton Rose Fulbright has an excellent network system between its offices. They always collaborate well with offices in other jurisdictions and the teamwork makes the project management efficient and good quality.’

‘George Gibson, always takes care of his team’s performance and manages them very well. Also, he knows when to respect commercial decisions and preferences so our management relies on his advice.’

Work highlights


  • Advising Chuden on a potential investment in OMC Power Private Limited through a subscription for new shares for 25% of the equity on a post-issuance basis.
  • Advising Shizen Energy on the $480bn investment by CDPQ in connection with accelerating the energy transition in Japan and key international markets, including development of solar power, wind power, hydroelectric power, and biomass power.
  • Advising Marubeni Corporation and Transelec Holdings Rentas Limitada as winning bidders in the tender by the National Copper Corporation of Chile (CODELCO) of a $1.2bn BOOT contract for the construction of a water desalination plant in Antofagasta, Chile.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Its focus on renewable energy makes the team at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP a one-stop-shop for clients looking to enter the renewables sector. The firm advises on the full life cycle of various renewable energy projects, from wind farms and solar power plants to biomass projects. With over 18 years’ experience in the renewables field, Minako Wakabayashi took over as practice head after Yoichi Katayama retired from the firm in March 2023. Wakabayashi leads the energy team in its work in corporate PPAs and M&A transactions, which are recent growth areas within the sector. While Yuko Inui brings expertise in inbound renewable energy projects, the group has also seen an increasing number of outbound deals, advising Japanese clients on renewables projects and related transactions outside of Japan. Southeast Asia has been a particular new focus area for the practice that has seen it collaborating with the team in Singapore on various energy transactions, including corporate PPA deals.

Practice head(s):

Minako Wakabayashi


Other key lawyers:

Yuko Inui; Andrew Hughes; Kentaro Shoji


Key clients

Amp Energy


Pattern Energy Group LP


Daiwa Energy & Infrastructure Co. Ltd.


Infrastrutture SpA and Hergo Japan Energy


iAccess Energy GmbH


Invenergy Japan


Shizen Energy Inc.


Osaka Gas


Pacifico Energy


Green Power Investment Corporation


Work highlights


  • Advised Daiwa Energy & Infrastructure Co. Ltd. on its entry into the US renewables market with more than 1.0 GWac of solar and 2.5 GWh of BESS projects.
  • Advised Infrastrutture SpA on the sale of 100% share of Hergo Japan Energy Corporation to AEJ Hayama Wind GK.
  • Advised Pattern Energy and Green Power Investment Corporation in connection with the development of a 79.8 MW onshore wind project called “Fukaura,” being developed in Aomori Prefecture, Japan.

Shearman & Sterling

Project development and finance expert Etienne Gelencsér leads the projects and energy team at Shearman & Sterling, where group’s outbound focus sees it advise Japanese clients on the development of their projects globally. The team advises both lenders and sponsors, counting some of the country’s largest banks and utilities among its client base, and is prominent in various areas within the energy sector, including up-and-coming hydrogen and ammonia projects. The team also noted a recent uptick in investment across the infrastructure industry more widely, extending beyond infrastructure related to the energy transition, to include transport infrastructure. M&A specialist Karl Pires brings over 25 years’ experience advising clients across the energy, power and infrastructure sectors.

Practice head(s):

Etienne Gelencsér


Other key lawyers:

Karl Pires


Testimonials

‘The Shearman & Sterling team is outstanding. Their opinion and views are always straight forward and on point, this makes it very easy to understand what the client needs to do. The people are very helpful and easy to work with. The discussion with them feels very relaxed and it makes us easier to explain on any issue.’

‘We work with Etienne Gelencsér, who provides analysis from many perspectives which makes for very comprehensive advice. The teamwork is outstanding.’

‘In my view, Shearman & Sterling is the firm that I would like to ask highly important tasks. They have significant track records on working with the key firms in the project financing field in Tokyo. Their experiences makes them highly unique. ’

‘One of the best people working Shearman & Sterling is Etienne Gelencsér. He knows what the preferences are for the key players in the project financing field in Tokyo. His experiences and network allow us to avoid any possible miscommunication with these key players.’

Key clients

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board


Development Bank of Japan, Inc.


Ichthys LNG Pty., Ltd


Itochu Corporation


JBIC


JERA


Marubeni


Mitsui


Mizuho


MUFG


Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI)


Osaka Gas


Sumitomo


TEPCO Renewables


Work highlights


  • Advised JBIC as lender in connection with its approximately $330m project financing for the Ontario Line subway project in Toronto, Canada.
  • Advised MUFG Bank, Ltd. and JBIC as lenders on the financing of a Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) in Senegal with Senegal LNGT Company Limited (SLNG).
  • Advised OGUSA in connection with the agreement with Oriden LLC, a U.S.-based renewable project developer, to jointly develop a portfolio of more than 700 MWdc (600 MWac) of utility-scale solar and storage projects throughout certain US markets.

Jones Day

In collaboration with its teams around the world, Jones Day’s Tokyo-based projects and energy practice is able to advise on inbound, outbound and domestic transactions. With a particular focus on downstream renewable energy projects, practice head Katsumi Shirai advises international financial institutions and investment funds and multinational corporations. The team is active in the offshore wind area and also noted a recent forward push in the geothermal space. Lukas Kratochvil has played a leading role in the group’s work on geothermal projects and his expertise spans the energy sector, including mining and the entire oil and gas value chain. With the support not only from the firm’s global network, but also from the Bengoshi lawyers in the Japan office, the team’s capabilities extend to support its energy clients across a variety of practice areas, including dispute resolution and bankruptcy.

Practice head(s):

Katsumi Shirai


Other key lawyers:

Lukas Kratochvil


Testimonials

‘The team has strong expertise in the energy industry and provides us with practical solutions considering business needs.’

‘The team has a great knowledge and practice, which help us for documentations and financings.’

‘Shirai has outstanding knowßhow in this field. We trust him for helping us in many projects.’

Experienced.

Shirai in charge is experienced.’

Key clients

GF Corporation


Macquarie Capital Securities (Japan) Limited


PAG


Pepper Money Limited


Work highlights


  • Advising PAG on its acquisition of the Japanese subsidiary of First Solar, which includes Japanese solar projects as well as the Japanese O&M and development businesses of First Solar.
  • Advising Macquarie Capital Securities (Japan) Limited on its sell-out transaction of an existing Matsukawa mega solar project.
  • Advising GF on the mega solar PV project in Kanoya Osaki in Kagoshima.

Morrison Foerster

With their ‘high standard of expertise, commercial sense and legal skills’, Michael Graffagna and Dale Caldwell lead the projects and energy team at Morrison Foerster. Both partners have extensive experience in conventional power projects, including LNG and gas-to-power, as well as in renewable energy, mining and transportation projects. The practice is a one-stop shop for clients in the energy sector across Japan and on an international scale, with Graffagna handling outbound deals and Caldwell working on domestic and inbound transactions. The team also works in tandem with the firm’s wider Asia energy and infrastructure group on outbound energy and infrastructure projects across the Asia-pacific region. The practice sees projects through from structuring, planning and licensing to construction, financing and operation. Limited recourse financing is a particular focus area for the team and Masahiro Shiga and Yukhi Asano bring broad finance-related expertise to the team. The group’s diverse client base reflects its sponsor focus, ranging from financial institutions to developers. The team is also uniquely positioned to advise technology companies and handle tech-driven renewable energy transactions. Jon Ornolfsson left the team in December 2022.

Practice head(s):

Michael Graffagna; Dale Caldwell


Other key lawyers:

Masahiro Shiga; Yuhki Asano


Testimonials

‘MoFo Tokyo is very strong in all aspects of what we need in terms real estate, renewables and financing work associated with renewables matters. Aside from excellent work, we receive proposals on alternative billing arrangements, trainings, etc.’

‘Dale Caldwell manages the transactions teams very well and stays actively aware of all issues to overcome for our transactions as well as providing high-value advice. Masa Shiga and Yuhki Asano are also very astute in Japanese M&A and Project Financing, respectively, for real estate and renewables projects.’

‘Their team, regardless of who we work with, have the same high standard of expertise, commercial sense and legal skills. They are a go-to firm when we need strong legal counsel for negotiations with tough counterparties.’

‘Mike Graffagna has a great depth of knowledge and experience in a wide variety of oil and gas as well as renewable projects. He knows many projects as well as the counterparties from past involvement, which makes onboarding and progress of transaction highly efficient.’

‘Everyone on the team is very responsive and provides high-quality advice equally. Additionally, when a project requires collaboration with other MoFo offices worldwide, the team organizes those offices and lawyers effectively, creating a seamless communication experience as if they were one team.’

‘Mike Graffagna not only provides high-quality advice but also has a long-standing business relationship with us, which helps him understand our business strategy and needs very well. He offers valuable advice that benefits our business.’

‘Mike Graffagna is capable to suggest win-win resolutions for complicated legal issues.’

Key clients

JERA Co., Inc.


SoftBank Group Corp. / SB Energy


Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.


Sumitomo Corporation


PAG Renewables


First Solar, Inc.


Enfinity Global Inc.


EverStream Energy Capital Management


GSSG Solar


Blue Planet Systems Corporation


Work highlights


  • Represented First Solar in the sale of its 293 MW DC utility-scale solar project development platform in Japan, and its solar operations and maintenance platform in Japan with approximately 665 MW DC under management, to PAG.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

The Tokyo-based projects and energy team at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP advises both national and international clients on large-scale energy and infrastructure projects across the renewables, petrochemical and power sectors. Simon Barrett leads the energy and infrastructure practice in Japan; his practice extends beyond the development and financing of energy and infrastructure projects to cover dispute resolution within the sector, the acquisition and disposal of assets and regulatory and compliance matters. Olivia Matsushita advises an extensive and diverse client base within the sector, including both Japanese and international clients. The group draws on the firm’s global network to advise on matters within the renewable and clean fuel space, including hydrogen and ammonia projects. Australian-qualified special counsel Peter Bungate further strengthens the team’s cross-border capabilities.

Practice head(s):

Simon Barrett


Other key lawyers:

Olivia Matsushita; Peter Bungate


Key clients

Osaka Gas Co., Ltd


Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd.


JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corporation


GS Energy Corporation


Sojitz Corporation


Kawasaki Heavy Industries


Mitsui & Co.


Chiyoda Corporation


IHI Corporation


Metal One Corporation


Kajima Corporation


JGC Corporation


Mitsubishi Corporation


Work highlights


Sidley Austin Foreign Law Joint Enterprise

The team at Sidley Austin Foreign Law Joint Enterprise, co-led by Tomoki Ishiara, has carved out a niche advising new entrants to the energy and infrastructure industries. Practice co-head Daniel Lin is a ‘very skillful lawyer‘ in the energy sector, advising clients on cross-border energy and infrastructure transactions. As a New York-trained lawyer, senior managing associate Shigeyuki Ito strengthens the team’s international reach, with his focus on global financial services; the group handles clients’ investments in the sector throughout Southeast Asia and China. The group works with the firm’s teams across various practice areas, from regulatory to funds, to advise energy and infrastructure clients on an international scale.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Lin; Tomoki Ishiara


Other key lawyers:

Shigeyuki Ito


Testimonials

‘Sidley has a lot of experience and enough knowledge to support sponsor side (although Sidley assists lender side as well) in a wide variety of energy businesses. Their know-how covers local practices throughout the globe, and is kept updated, so their explanation to us is always well-tuned considering the background of clients. Sidley also works as an excellent negotiator between counsels.’

‘Daniel Lin’s overall assistance is efficient and effective. He can lead Sidley’s inter-office team well, which is useful when we need to consider more than one matters concurrently including local issues (such as regulations) or multi-national issues (such as competition).’

‘Shigeyuki Ito is a talented lawyer who advises based on his multi-national experience.’

‘Daniel Lin has lots of experience in energy sector and is a very skillful lawyer in that field.’

‘They offer realistic advice from the client’s perspective. They have a lot of experience with various types of deals and know many examples that can be used as references. They work efficiently under the control of their partners when working in teams.’

‘They are always creative and offer appropriate solutions to tough issues from the customer’s viewpoint. They understand our values and thought patterns well and bring us the results we want without detailed instructions. They have strong logical thinking skills and are less likely to concede in negotiations with opposing counsel. Their markup on contracts is minimal and they do not waste time. Sidley Tokyo’s high performance would not be possible without the guidance of and oversight by its partner, Daniel Lin.’

‘The team is always helpful and swift to support our deals with professional views and opinions, detailed explanation, options to take, etc. The team also has lots of experience, enough to provide good recommendation as compared to past examples, market standards.’

‘Daniel Lin is an outstanding lawyer with capabilities in every aspect to support our transactions, with swift responses and thoughtful opinions. What makes Daniel Lin more outstanding is his good command of Japanese as well.’

Key clients

Sembcorp Industries Pte. Ltd.


Work highlights


  • Advised Sembcorp on its sale of 100% of its Indian coal-fired power asset portfolio (2.6 GW), for approximately SG$2.1bn, to a consortium led by Oman Investment Corporation and the Ministry of Defense Pension Fund.