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

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLPGeorge Borovas is the managing partner for the newly reopened Tokyo office, and head of the firm’s nuclear energy practice. Borovas advises both public and private entities on the development, financing, and construction of civilian nuclear power programs, and nuclear power plants. The team also hired Sean Conaty who joined from Hogan Lovells in October 2021.

Projects and energy: International firms and joint ventures in Japan

Allen & Overy Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo Horitsu Jimusho

The projects and energy practice at Allen & Overy Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo Horitsu Jimusho has over 30 years of experience in the wider Asia-Pacific region on cross-border projects and complex multi-source financings. The team is best known for its project development and financing expertise on mega-deals across the full gamut of the energy, power, LNG, infrastructures and natural resources sectors. Led jointly by Matthias Voss and Scott Neilson, the team has strong sponsor and lender expertise, and regularly advises Japanese and international clients including state-owned and international banks, multilateral agencies, multilateral development banks (MDBs), Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), global ECAs, and large corporates/project sponsors/energy and power players. Neilson is recognised as an LNG expert and is also the firm’s regional banking head. Promoted to partner in 2020, Xue Wang stands out as an energy and infrastructure partner. Senior associate Hitomi Komachi is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Matthias Voss; Scott Neilson

Other key lawyers:

Xue Wang; Akira Takahashi; Hitomi Komachi

Testimonials

‘Diversity of talent in the team. Technically excellent and matched with excellent commercial sense and knowledge of energy industry.’

‘Scott Neilson, Xue Wang, Mathias Voss, Olivia Nomura – All whip smart and delivers excellent insights and technical support’.

Key clients

Ichthys LNG

JICA

EBRD

Mitsubishi Materials Corporation

Nigeria LNG Limited

Work highlights

  • AJBIC, NEXI and other commercial lenders on a total co-financing amount of approximately $927million for the development of a waste-to-energy facility in Warsan, Dubai.
  • Advised Sumitomo on the refinancing of the Sahara Cooling Limited UAE district cooling project.
  • Acted for Ichthys LNG Pty Ltd as the borrower on the project financing of Ichthys LNG.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Led by Andrew Blacoe, Herbert Smith Freehills‘ energy and projects offering covers a robust end-to-end service for Japanese clients on cross-border transactions, project financing and development, risk mitigation strategies, and contentious matters in the energy, infrastructure, and power sectors. Within the firm’s global network, there are dedicated Japan desks in multiple jurisdictions, comprised of energy and projects specialists focusing on working with Japanese clients. Reflecting the shift in the market towards climate change and sustainable energy, the team continued to engage with clients with respect to ESG matters, offering bespoke financing structures. Blacoe’s practice centres around cross-border M&A and joint ventures in the oil and gas, LNG metals, mining, renewables, and conventional power infrastructure. Damien Roberts is another key name to note, who also focuses on cross-border M&A and is fully bilingual in Japanese and English.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Blacoe

Other key lawyers:

Damien Roberts; Tom Colin Bowes

Testimonials

‘Andrew is one of best lawyers I have ever worked with. He has a talent to be able to really understand what clients want, even if they are struggling to explain themselves. This is due to his knowledge, past experience, and analytical skills.’

‘Flexible billing structure depending on customer requirements, excellent engagement skills with clients generally and pool of specialities across their global office networks’

‘Andy Blacoe and Tom Colin Bowes have a customer-oriented mindset’.

‘Herbert Smith Freehills’s total ability of solution for the tasks is excellent. Some lawyers are really tough negotiators while some have deep and wide knowledge in specialities. This is really helpful and reliable. ’

‘Andrew Blacoe has vast experience in projects, energy and natural resources area. His ability to proceed with the deal is remarkable. Additionally, Mr. Blacoe can pay careful attention to clients.’

Key clients

Marubeni Corporation

Sumitomo Metal Mining

Mitsui & Co., Ltd

JOGMEC

First Gen Corporation

Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc.

Sumitomo Corporation

Mitsubishi Corporation

Axia B.V., wholly owned subsidiary of Marubeni Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advising Sumitomo Metal Mining on (i) its joint US$400 million divestment (along with Vale Canada Limited) of a 20% interest in PT Vale Indonesia Tbk to Indonesian state-owned enterprise MIND-ID; and (ii) the proposed development of a high-pressure acid leaching nickel processing plant in Pomalaa, South Sulawesi, and Indonesia.
  • Advising JOGMEC on its US$3billion investment in Novatek’s Arctic 2 LNG project and the US$10 billion project financing of the project.
  • Advising Marubeni Corporation, through its joint venture with Toho Gas, on the sale of Galp’s interest in its Portuguese gas distribution network to Allianz.

King & Spalding

King & Spalding‘s energy and project practice is considered as one of the go-to firms for Japanese and Korean clients looking to instruct attorneys in high-value and often cross-border transactions. In 2020, the team advised on over $98.5bn of transactions, exemplifying its strength in the petrochemical, gas, and renewable sectors. John McClenahan leads the practice and specialises in acting for sponsors and lenders in energy and infrastructure projects development, financing and M&A mandates. Lachlan Clancy who joined from Shearman & Sterling LLP’s Singapore office and Mark Davies are also key individuals and have been instrumental in achieving the aforementioned figure. The team also welcomed senior counsel Michael Arruda who joined from Baker Botts L.L.P. to add to the firm’s oil and gas expertise. Senior associates Daisuke Shimodaira and Jonathan Wang, and counsel Aaron Lee are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

John McClenahan

Other key lawyers:

Mark Davies; Lachlan Clancy; Aaron Lee; Daisuke Shimodaira; Jonathan Wang; Noah Honch

Testimonials

‘Expertise on project finance and market knowledge/application in multiple jurisdictions; commercially sensible approach; great on the management of local counsel and local law issues ’.

‘King & Spalding have an excellent energy and power team. Mark Davies and his colleagues have worked with us on numerous wind power projects. They are able to work on the project documents for the renewables projects along with the finance documents. The same team will also work on the JV agreements to ensure all the legal agreements work as a set. Not many other teams can do this in such an efficient manner in order to achieve the best results.’

‘The team works hard to understand our particular issues and are accommodating on billing requests. K&S’ data room is also an invaluable resource’.

‘Mark Davies is an outstanding lawyer who brings a high degree of expertise and market knowledge to our transactions. Moreover, Mark is an excellent negotiator and that has been very helpful in closing deals. Mark and his team are also very responsive.’

‘Experience in the FPSO (offshore oil & gas infrastructure) industry differentiate K&S from others. Capable partners, together with also sufficient capable associates comprising the team.’

‘They have the capacity to make a excellent team from various fields to give one-key solution.’

‘The experience in the wind industry, the fluency in the local language, the deep understanding of the business culture and nuances that Mark Davies has acquired in Japan, helps us in the negotiation and contracting, with various parties, very effectively to close our deals.’

‘The K&S team aptly deals with our requirements greatly with our desired turn around time.’

Key clients

Japan Bank for International Cooperation

Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

MODEC Inc

Korea Electric Power Company

JERA, Inc.

Posco International Corporation

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Marubeni

Keppel Capital

Japan Wind Development Co., Ltd.

PT Halmahera Persada Lygend

Work highlights

  • Advising PETRONAS on the development of the Pengerang Integrated Refinery and Petrochemical Complex in Malaysia.
  • Advising JBIC on the project financing of the US$2.5 billion Vung Ang II 1,200 MV coal-fired IPP in Vietnam.
  • Advising a developer and its consortium partners on the US$43billion Shwe gas project in Myanmar.

Latham & Watkins Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise

The Latham & Watkins Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise’s projects development and finance practice is praised for its extensive expertise in structuring and executing complex, multi-sources project financings across its network of global offices in landmark projects and infrastructure transactions. The team is led by Stephen McWilliams and acts as lead counsel for lenders, borrowers, project companies, developers, acquirers, sellers, governments, and state-related entities. Key industries of expertise include energy, infrastructure, mining, transport, and telecoms, with McWilliams advising on sponsor and lender mandates across the LNG, petrochemicals, and renewables sectors. Other key names to note are Michael Yoshii who counts Marubeni, Mitsubishi, and Meralco PowerGen as his key clients, and counsel Richard Chul Kim who is fluent in Japanese, Korean, and English.

Practice head(s):

Stephen McWilliams

Other key lawyers:

Michael Yoshii; Richard Chul Kim

Key clients

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

INPEX Corporation

Japan Bank for International Cooperation

JERA Co., Inc.

Marubeni Corporation

Mitsubishi Materials Corporation

Mizuho Bank

Nippon Export and Investment Insurance

PT Pertamina

Tokyo Gas

Work highlights

  • Advised a group of export credit agencies and a consortium of commercial bank lenders on the refinancing of approximately US$8.3 billion for the Ichthys LNG project in Australia.
  • Advised the European Investment Bank, Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI), Euler Hermes, the Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM), BPI France and 12 commercial banks and other lending institutions in the US$1.6 billion financing for Sweden’s Northvolt, a European sustainable battery developer and manufacturer specialising in lithium-ion technology for electric vehicles.
  • Advised the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft GmbH (DEG) on the financing for the construction and operation of a 35-MW solar power plant in Paturia, Manikgonj, Bangladesh.

Linklaters

Market leaders in offshore wind and large scale infrastructure projects, Linklaters continues to advise governmental, corporate and financial clients on some of the region’s most significant and complex matters. Co-headed by John Maxwell and Hirofumi Taba, the duo advises on both inbound and outbound transactions acting for sponsors, borrowers and financiers in the conventional power, transport, and large scale LNG projects sectors. Maxwell is also head of the firm’s Asia energy and infrastructure team., while Taba is a market leader in the offshore wind sector and a key name for green energy in the region.

Practice head(s):

John Maxwell; Hirofumi Taba

Other key lawyers:

Yuto Matsumura; Kana Hayashi; Mamoru Ikeda

Testimonials

‘We’ve been using this team in Japan for a huge and complex transaction over the last 3-4 years, and they’ve provided a stellar service all the way through. Our extremely demanding management team have been impressed by them in a way few other firms have managed to replicate.’

‘John Maxwell – great, statesman level. A real expert in his field of project finance and project development, and impressive in C-Suite and Board contexts. Very service focused.

‘Hirofumi Taba – key man for our Japan project, technically excellent, a workhorse and an excellent facilitator between us and foreign clients. Very safe pair of hands and really understands what we want.’

‘Hiroya Yamazaki – excellent support to us on the corporate side, and on broader company issues.’

‘Mamoru Ikeda really stands out in terms of commitment, responsiveness and attitude. Excellent all round. Others worth singling out are: Yuto Matsumura; Kana Hayashi; Sarah Martin; and Eriko Kadota.’

Key clients

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Daiwa Energy & Infrastructure

Chugoku Electric Power Co Inc

Japan Bank for International Cooperation

Nippon Export and Investment Insurance

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Marubeni Corporation

Macquarie Capital

MUFG Bank Ltd

Melco Resorts and Entertainment

Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

Mizuho Bank

Ørsted

Tokyo Gas

Work highlights

  • Advising Macquarie’s Green Investment Group on the formation of a joint venture with a global energy leader, Iberdrola, on the co-development of a 3.3GW portfolio of six offshore wind projects in Japan (Project Pepa).
  • Advising Ørsted Services A/S on the strategic partnership with Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. for the approximately 370 MW offshore wind power project in Choshi area.
  • Advising Chugoku Electric Power Co Inc and its affiliated company, C&C Investment Corporation on the acquisition of 25% of shares in Shih Fong Power Co Ltd (which is developing a hydropower project with the total generation capacity of 37.1 MW in Hualien Country, Taiwan) from FIT Holding Ltd.

Mayer Brown GJBJ

Mayer Brown GJBJ’s project and energy practice is regularly instructed in market-leading international infrastructure projects, and acts for major Japanese companies, trading houses, utilities, and multinational and domestic energy companies. Practice head Rupert Burrows has notable experience in projects work, particularly international infrastructure projects in the energy, chemical and transport sectors, and related corporate M&A.  Banking partner Shri Maski is also recommended and handles limited recourse financings in the power, energy, natural resources and infrastructure sectors.

Practice head(s):

Rupert Burrows

Other key lawyers:

Shri Maski

Testimonials

‘Truly global energy practice’.

‘Rupert Burrows – long-standing experience in international projects and energy’.

‘Flexibility, billing transparency and understanding for clients needs and concerns.’

‘Rupert Barrows is known as one of the most experienced lawyers in LNG SPAs. He knows industrial practice and the market standard very well, and his confident attitude is always very effective during negotiations. He knows when to stand the ground on legal points and when to respect commercial decisions. ’

‘The firm proposed to us a team consisting of the best talent from every field of law that were relevant to the project. They were also the only law firm who proposed a team with partners in dispute resolution (in Texas) and finance (JBIC finance in particular) and that made them stand out from the rest.’

Key clients

Hitachi, Ltd

Tokyo Gas

Sumitomo Corporation

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd

Mitsubishi Corp

ITOCHU Corp

LNG Japan, Ltd

Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI)

Work highlights

  • Advising a consortium including Central Japan Railway Company, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Hitachi, Toshiba, and NEC on the Texas Central High Speed Rail Project which will design and build a railway line and fast-train system (“Shinkansen”) between Dallas and Houston.
  • Advising MISC on its bid to Petrobras for the charter of Mero 3, a new-build FPSO  with commercial operations in Brazil.
  • Advised NEXI (through a dedicated secondment) on all aspects of the financing of the 1,200MW coal-fired power project in Vung Ang district, Ha Tinh province in central Vietnam.

Milbank

Milbank‘s team is led by Aled Davies who steers the team to take on complex energy, natural resources and infrastructure projects across Asia and internationally. Following the market shift from coal projects to LNG and renewables, the team advises Japanese corporates and financial institutions on multibillion-dollar project financing and development transactions across Asia, the Middle East, and South America. Also of note within the team are Justen Fleming who specialises in project financing mandates in the oil and gas sector, and recently promoted partner Andrew Pendleton who has particular experience advising ECAs and other multilateral agencies.

Practice head(s):

Aled Davies

Other key lawyers:

Justen Fleming; Andrew Pendleton

Testimonials

‘Aled Davies is very smart, quick thinking and experienced.’

‘Justen Fleming is a deep thinker, good at solving complex issues.’

‘Great experience in Japan and in the energy space.’

‘The practice was exceptionally collaborative, and proactive in understanding how adjustments to our transactions (which were strategic in nature) would affect other areas of the company.’

‘Andrew Pendleton was ready to respond when we needed him.’

Key clients

JBIC

Total

JOIN

MUFG

Mitsui

Mitsubishi

SMBC

NEXI

ICBC

Work highlights

  • Advised a consortium of lenders on the project financing for the development of FPSO Anita Garibaldi MV33 to be deployed offshore Brazil in the Marlim Field in the Santos Basin with Petrobras as the Charterer.
  • Advising the JBIC on the preparation of the financing aspect of the proposals in response to an RfP for the development and operation of a high voltage direct current subsea transmission system in the UAE.
  • Advised the Export-Import Bank of China on the financing provided to the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Guinea for the development of the 450 MW Souapiti Hydropower Plant and the restructuring of the Kaleta Hydropower Plant totalling $2.3 billion.

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

White & Case LLP – White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association)’s six-partner projects and energy group includes oil and gas, LNG, renewables, and infrastructure sector experts who are instructed by key Japanese and international financial institutions, banks, utility companies and export credit agencies. Working closely with the firm’s Singapore office, it is also a popular choice for complex LNG price review and disputes matters. Practice head Paul Harrison continues to advise on large-scale project finance transactions, with recent instructions involving advising a number of lenders on the multibillion-dollar financing for the development of a gas liquefaction facility in Mozambique. The team also houses Micah Sadoyama and senior associate Michael Richter who specialise in oil and gas, and the LNG sector. Toshio Dokei is a further name to note. Since publication, Alexander Woody departed to Nishimura & Asahi.

Practice head(s):

Paul Harrison

Other key lawyers:

Micah Sadoyama; Michael Richter; Toshio Dokei

Testimonials

‘Unrivalled deep understanding.’

‘Paul Harrison is smart, experienced and full of unique insights.’

‘Deep global strength in all areas of energy project development and investment, especially with a focus on the energy transition. The partners are approachable and make themselves available. A real pleasure to work with.’

‘Their professional services leave nothing to be desired. High degree of expertise, quick and reasonable response anytime, amazing negotiation skills, and excellent personality.’

‘Micah Sadoyama has excellent LNG experience and is very down to earth and approachable.’

Key clients

ADB

Canadian Solar

The Development Bank of Japan

JBIC

JERA

Mitsui

MUFG Bank

The Nippon Export and Investment Insurance

Saudi Aramco

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised leading global financial institutions as joint bookrunners, on a Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of US$1.1 billion senior secured notes by MV24 Capital.
  • Advised a number of lenders on the US$ multi-billion financing of the development of a gas liquefaction facility in Mozambique.
  • Advised Ghazanfar Group on the development and financing of a 58.6 MW gas-fired power plant in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, the first private power project in Afghanistan to use domestically produced natural gas.

Ashurst

Ashurst’s international project group undertakes significant energy and infrastructure projects and M&A transactions for a balanced mix of Japanese and other Asia-based financial institutions and corporates. The team has significant sector expertise in the oil and gas, rail, water treatment and LNG industries, and in the power and renewable sector, it regularly advises on major thermal power projects and innovative renewable transactions. David Wadham heads the firm's global utilities practice and has a niche specialism in advising Japanese clients investing in or financing European and Middle East transactions. Senior associates David McCormick, Daniel Jarrett, and Peter Grayson all maintain strong relationships with key clients and are highly recommended.

Practice head(s):

David Wadham

Other key lawyers:

David McCormick; Daniel Jarrett; Peter Grayson

Testimonials

‘The firm has depth of members of various seniorities, from partner to trainees, which the firm deploys efficiently to work on various aspects of a project financing simultaneously when necessary. This enables the firm to tackle various work streams at the same time, enabling the financing to close as soon as possible.’

‘David Wadham and David McCormick respond very quickly to my requests for advice on complex issues. Their advice are also well thought out and presented in a concise and well-articulated manner.’

Key clients

Japan Bank for International Cooperation

The Export-Import Bank of Korea

Nippon Export and Investment Insurance

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Mitsubishi Corporation

Marubeni Corporation

International Finance Corporation

Macquarie Capital

Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

Sojitz Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advising a consortium of lenders on the funding of the 1.2GW Vung Ang II thermal power project in Vietnam.
  • Advised the export credit agency and commercial lenders on the successful bid by Diamond Transmission Partners (Mitsubishi) and Chubu Electric to acquire and finance the Hornsea offshore transmission project in the UK.
  • Advised FCC Aqualia S.A. (Aqualia), Hajii Abdullah Alireza & Company LLC (HAACO) and  Alfanar on their bid to develop, design, finance, procure, construct, commission, operate and maintain the Jubail 3B IWP in Saudi Arabia.

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)‘s projects team is particularly active in advising on mega transactions in the LNG, electric power, solar and wind power, and offshore wind spheres, and is a market leader acting for both foreign and local banks/sponsors on mega biomass power and geothermal power renewable energy projects under the feed-in-tariff law. Its projects and energy practice is supported by the banking and finance group and regularly handles transactional, advisory, and contentious matters for a significant portion of the LNG market. The team also advises a number of Japanese utilities, trading and mining companies on large-scale renewable projects across Asia and the US. The inbound practice encompasses foreign entrants into the Japanese retail electricity and offshore wind markets. Ean Mac Pherson leads the team with the banking and finance head Shinichiro Kitamura and their team colleague Samir Desai .  Naoaki Eguchi, who is co-head of the firm’s renewable and clean energy is a key member of the group, and counsel Masahiro Tanabe‘s practice focuses on electricity retail clients and power project acquisitions/development.

Practice head(s):

Ean Mac Pherson

Other key lawyers:

Samir Desai; Naoaki Eguchi; Shinichiro Kitimura; Masahiro Tanabe

Testimonials

‘Samir Desai is highly experienced in all aspects of projects work, whether it is construction, LNG SPA, or M&A. He is amicable in negotiations, which works well with our corporate culture.’

‘Good mix of local Japanese and international lawyers in the team which means we really get the best of both worlds.’

‘Ean MacPherson is a very dedicated lawyer who engenders great trust in his clients. Ean proved to be the priceless “bridge” for our renewable energy deals by helping us to structure our project documentation in a manner that married our international standards with local Japanese laws and market practice. Ean is very patient and tireless in his efforts.’

‘Excellent client service, very committed to ensuring strong, open communication channels with me on the various matters they assist us with in the renewable energy (solar) space.’

‘BM were willing to offer value for money and negotiate reasonable fee arrangements. I was also pleased with how the Tokyo office kept us up to date with the fees as the matter progressed.’

‘Masahiro Tanabe provided us with invaluable advice throughout all stages of our matters and has a very calm, considered manner which instils trust. He has excellent attention to detail and an ability to perform under high pressure. Masa-san is a great team player who is developing strong leadership skills. I know I can trust him with any issues that arise.’

Key clients

Japan Energy Capital G.K.

Japan Bank for International Cooperation

Pacifico Energy K.K.

Ishikari Bioenergy LLC

Hokkaido Airports Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advising Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. on all aspects of its investment in and strategic alliance with UK-based Octopus Energy Group Limited.
  • Advising Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. on its investment in Principle Power, Inc., a leading floating wind power technology company based in the US.
  • Advised Japan Energy Capital G.K. on the establishment of Japan Energy Fund, a decarbonized energy fund focused on overseas investment.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance’s projects and energy practice has extensive expertise in Japanese domestic projects, and has a solid record in advising on inbound investments into Japanese infrastructure and renewable sectors.  The team also has expertise in the oil and gas, LNG, mining, and metals industries, and offers a cross-office service with the firm’s Singapore practice. The team is co-led by Yusuke Abe and Hans Menski, both are cross-border and domestic finance experts, as is counsel Akihiko Takamatsu.

Practice head(s):

Yusuke Abe; Hans Menski

Other key lawyers:

Akihiko Takamatsu

Testimonials

‘I have worked off and on with Clifford Chance for many years. In some cases, CC acted as opposing counsel or co-counsel. The firm has a strong reputation, especially in English law finance matters and in many cases they are one of the natural choices.’

‘Yusuke Abe is a trusted advisor, and the firm overall is strong.’

‘Mr Abe provides very good service. He gives us a practical reading of the situation.’

‘Mr Abe is very knowledgeable and explains things in a way that make it easier for us to explain the situation to our top management. We think very highly of Mr Abe. In Sour opinion, Mr Abe is the best bengoshi partner at the Magic Circle firms in Tokyo.’

Key clients

Japan Bank for International Cooperation

Nippon Export and Investment Insurance

The Export-Import Bank of Korea

Asian Development Bank

Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

Mitsubishi Corporation

Marubeni Corporation

Iberdrola

Work highlights

  • Advising Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Nippon Export and Investment Insurance, Asian Development Bank and private financial institutions, including Mizuho Bank, Ltd, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, MUFG Bank, Ltd. and Société Générale S.A. on the development and financing of a 718-megawatt natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plant in Bangladesh, developed by JERA Co., Inc. and Reliance Power Limited.
  • Advising a consortium of lenders on all aspects of the implementation of the Nghi Son 2 thermal power project in Vietnam, developed by Marubeni Corporation and Korea Electric Power Corporation.
  • Advising Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) and major Japanese and Moroccan commercial banks on the development and financing of an onshore wind farm project in Morocco, developed by Japanese and European sponsors.

Hogan Lovells Horitsu Jimusho Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo

Hogan Lovells Horitsu Jimusho Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo‘s energy and projects practice focuses on advising clients in new areas of energy transition in Japan as well as advising Japanese clients on investments in Africa and Asia. The team benefits from having a number of practitioners with prior experience in regulatory agencies which bolsters its offering in project development, financing, and transactions in the conventional power, renewable energy, and oil and gas sectors. Project finance experts Joseph Kim leads the team and is particularly known for his expertise in projects involving Japanese and Korean led cross-border investments and has been instructed by most major Japanese, Korean and international players in the power and energy sector. Counsel Chiyokazu Shindo is recommended for advising on M&A and joint venture transactions in the conventional power and renewables sectors.  The team lost Sean Conaty to  Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP in October 2021.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Kim

Other key lawyers:

Chiyozaku Shindo; Christina Jeong; Reina Goto

Testimonials

‘Joseph Kim is very flexible and good at customer engagement.’

‘The Hogan Lovells team stands out in its expertise and deep knowledge of power sector in Vietnam and offshore wind projects in Taiwan especially with Joseph Kim’s client engagement.’

‘Apart from business based on specific engagement contracts, Mr. Joseph Kim, would occasionally provide information on potential project opportunities or would introduce potential business partners based on previous hearings of the client’s targets and needs, from his vast network.’

Key clients

DBS Bank Ltd.

Eurus Energy Holdings

Japan Bank for International Cooperation

Nippon Export and Investment Insurance

MUFG Bank, Ltd.

PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara

Work highlights

  • Advising Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation, on a number of matters across multiple jurisdictions.
  • Advised Cathay Private Equity Ltd. Co. (Cathay PE), as the general partner of Cathay Sustainable Private Equity Fund Limited Partnership, on the fund’s co-investment in the NT$75 billion (approximately US$2.7 billion) 605MW Greater Changhua 1 Offshore Wind Farm (Greater Changhua 1) in Taiwan.
  • Acts forJapan Bank of International Cooperation, Nippon Export and Investment Insurance, MUFG Bank, Ltd., Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Mizuho Bank, Ltd., Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Limited, DBS Bank Ltd., Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited, and Bank of China Limited, Singapore Branch. as lenders’ international legal counsel on the US$2.6 billion financing of the Van Phong 1 (2 x 660 MW) thermal power plant in Khanh Hoa province, Vietnam.

Jones Day

Jones Day’s projects and energy practice acts for Japanese energy companies on domestic and outbound renewable energy transactions, and advises foreign energy companies and developers on inbound offshore wind energy transactions. In addition to offshore wind, it has notable expertise in the renewable energy space including biomass, battery storage, and solar. The team is led by Katsumi Shirai, whose recent highlights include advising on the development of the world’s first biomass power plant powered by bamboo combustion. Yuki Yoshida is another key contact, particularly on matters related to regulatory compliance, competition, and M&A.

Practice head(s):

Katsumi Shirai

Other key lawyers:

Yuki Yoshida; Masayuki Horiike; Lukas Kratochvil

Testimonials

‘Jones Day balances legal and commercial understanding to provide us practical legal solutions to ensure the success of our transactions.’

‘Masayuki Horiike has been exceptional and instrumental in helping us close a number of challenging transactions.’

‘Lukas Kratochvil is an excellent lawyer – with great technical skill and quite easy to work with.’

Key clients

Macquarie Capital Securities (Japan) Limited

PAG Holdings Ltd.

JERA Power International BV

ENEOS Corporation (Formerly JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation)

GF Corporation

Amp Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Aadvising JERA on its acquisition of a minority equity interest in the Formosa 3 offshore wind power development project from each of Haiding One International Investment Co., Ltd., Haiding Two International Investment Co., Ltd. and Haiding Three International Investment Co., Inc., from Macquarie Corporate Holdings Pty Ltd and EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG.
  • Advising GF on the mega solar PV project in Kanoya Osaki in Kagoshima.
  • Aadvising GF Corporation on the development of a bamboo biomass project in Sanyo-onoda City, as well as the related finance transactions.

Morrison Foerster

Morrison Foerster is praised for 'accurately capturing the client's needs and concerns, and providing succinct and non-lawyer friendly advice'. It excels in advising on large-scale, complex project developments and limited recourse financings in the energy and infrastructure sectors. Recent highlights saw the team advising on both inbound and outbound transactions in the region, and handling matters in the LNG, mining, shipping, infrastructure, and transportation sectors while continuing to act in the financing, acquisition, and sale of solar projects in Japan. The team is co-led by Michael Graffagna and Dale Caldwell, both focusing on acting for developers and sponsors in the development, acquisition, divestment, and financing of infrastructure projects.

Practice head(s):

Michael Graffagna; Dale Caldwell

Other key lawyers:

Jon Ornolfsso; Yuhki Asano; Leo Aguilar

Testimonials

‘Dale Caldwell and his senior associates continues to perform at a high level and attentive to billing arrangements’.

‘When a Japanese company is considering an investment project in the U.S., it is great that both Morrison & Foerster’s US and Japan teams can work seamlessly with us and provide appropriate advice based on a good understanding of the characteristics of Japanese companies.’

‘Michael Graffagna has been working with us for a long-term and provides excellent leadership in organizing the many lawyers in their offices around the world. He is very knowledgeable about energy projects in the U.S. and is a good negotiator. He is also very attentive to his clients. ’

‘MoFo provides swift and adequate advice on our new and ongoing projects in developing countries (including, Latin Americas). We also appreciate their good communication with local legal advisors. ’

‘There are good members who are familiar with the renewable energy industry. Excellent teamwork to provide the best contents of agreement documents as a result of a full team review.’

‘The team is now familiar with the project so  they can point out what kind of risks lays behind and give advice on how we should react, so it is not only the legal issue that we get advice but supports us to see the overall picture.’

‘The firm maintains a high standard of quality in their work overall. They accurately capture the client’s needs and concerns, providing succinct and non-lawyer friendly advice.’

‘We have been working long-term with Mike Graffagna. He has an in-depth understanding of our business, knows when to fight for the client and when to follow the client’s commercial decisions.’

Key clients

JERA Co., Inc.

SoftBank Group Corp. / SB Energy

Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.

Sumitomo Corporation

GSSG Solar, LLC

First Solar, Inc.

EverStream Energy Capital Management

X-Elio

Work highlights

  • Advised Tokyo Gas on its investment in a 721 MW renewable energy portfolio in Mexico.
  • Acted for Sumitomo on its investment in Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC).
  • Assisting Tokyo Gas with a joint cooperation agreement with First Gen Corporation.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright’s energy and projects practice is well known for its renewable energy offering, with a strong focus on energy transition. The practice is led by George Gibson, who handles a mix of infrastructure and energy-related project development, financing, acquisition and disposal. Banking and finance partner Paul Coggins  supports the practice with his cross-border energy project expertise, with recent instructions largely for Japanese sponsors engaged in asset-based financing.

Practice head(s):

George Gibson

Other key lawyers:

Paul Coggins; Andrew Clarke

Testimonials

‘The team spanned Asia Pacific and UK but collaboration between its lawyers in the offices were seamless. We had 24 hour coverage. Extremely responsive and quick. The team provided us with astute, commercial advice and technical analysis. ’

Key clients

BNP Paribas

ING Bank

Japan Bank for International Cooperation

Japan Renewable Energy

JERA Co., Inc.

JERA Storage Investment B.V.

Marubeni Corporation

Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.

Mizuho Bank, Ltd.

MUFG Bank

Nippon Export and Investment Insurance

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Mizuho Bank, Ltd, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Limited, BNP Paribas Fortis SA/NV and Standard Chartered Bank on the financing for the approximately USD957 million financing of the Fujairah F3 Independent Power Producer (IPP) project in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
  • Advised JERA Storage Investment B.V., JERA Co., Inc. (JERA) and TEPCO Power Grid, Inc. on their investment in, and further financing by Infracapital (the infrastructure equity investment arm of M&G Plc) of the UK battery storage developer and operator, Zenobe Energy Ltd (Zenobe).
  • Advised Mitsui and MES-SC on their strategic ship construction joint venture in China with Yangzijiang Shipbuilding (Holdings), Ltd. (“YZJ”).

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s renewable energy practice is known for advising on some of the region’s largest wind and solar projects. The team covers both inbound and outbound work, and handles both onshore and offshore projects. Yoichi Katayama, who acts for multinational developers and financial institutions in international power, telecoms and other infrastructure projects, leads the team, which also includes Minako Wakabayashi who focuses on project financings and Yoko Inui who remains a key contact for permits and real estate matters for inbound renewable energy projects.

Practice head(s):

Yoichi Katayama

Other key lawyers:

Minako Wakabayashi; Yuko Inui

Key clients

Afterfit K.K.

Future Asset Management KK

Hergo Japan Energy

i-Access Energy GmbH

Invenergy Japan

juwi Shizen Energy Inc.

Shizen Energy

Obton A/S

Osaka Gas

Pacifico Energy

Pattern Energy Group LP and Green Power Investment Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Invenergy, a major international renewable energy developer and operator, on the development of two solar power projects totalling 35 MW AC located in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan, including for the recently closed project financing from Shinsei Bank for the construction and operation of the projects.
  • Advised Green Power Investment Corporation (“GPI”), an independent, fully integrated energy company that develops, constructs, owns and operates renewable energy projects and transmission assets across Japan, on its joint venture with Tohoku Electric Power Co., Ltd., a major utility in Japan.
  • Advised Invenergy on its joint venture with Tohoku Electric Power Co., Ltd., which will enable the continuation of the development of the 102 MW onshore wind facility, Inaniwa Wind Project in Iwate Prefecture.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP‘s projects and energy practice is led by Simon Barrett and fully integrated into the firm’s global energy and infrastructure practice. The team covers the full spectrum of energy and power projects including financing and development and is also in the industry trend of clean energy and renewables. The Tokyo office has also expanded its offering and introduced a hydrogen team to focus specifically on the growing area. Barrett is an oil and gas, power, chemicals, and transport sector expert, with extensive experience in advising clients on large scale project development and financing, and Olivia Matsushita counts both international and Japanese clients as her key clients.

Practice head(s):

Simon Barrett

Other key lawyers:

Olivia Matsushita

Testimonials

‘Pillsbury establishes a team which consists of lawyers best for the case, not chosen from the responsible partner’s practice. This makes Pillsbury’s case management very productive, efficient and reasonable.’

‘Mr. Simon Barrett deeply understands its clients and arrange everything appropriately.’

‘The team has deep experience and is very responsive.’

‘Olivia Matsushita is very responsive and provide clear, practical advice.’

‘We have worked with Pillsbury mainly on LNG related transactions and energy-related investments. They have strong energy lawyers throughout the world, especially in Japan and in the U.S.’

‘We have worked with Olivia Matsushita in Tokyo office in number of transactions. She has been responsive and provided us timely support with sufficient background knowledge.’

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., Ltd and MOECO

First Solar

Chiyoda Corporation

IHI Corporation

Metal One Corporation

Forte Energy NL

MNG Gold Jersey Limited

Kajima Corporation

JGC Corporation

Kirin Corporation

Hikari Miso

Korean West Power Company

Work highlights

  • Advising Kajima Corporation on an EPC contract for the construction of a $600m manufacturing plant in Ibaragi, Japan.
  • Advised JERA Co., Inc., on its deal with Mozambique LNG for the sale and purchase, together with Taiwan’s CPC Corporation, of 1.6 million tonnes per annum of LNG from Anadarko’s Mozambique LNG Area 1 Project.

Shearman & Sterling

Etienne Gelencsér leads Shearman & Sterling’s project development and finance group which continues to build on its LNG offering. Acting for a Japanese blue-chip client base, the team advises both banks, sponsors and utilities in high-profile and complicated international project financings, with recent mandates heavily in the wind sector. Gelencsér has a strong project financing practice, and M&A partner Karl Pires has significant expertise in energy-related strategic acquisitions and investments.

Practice head(s):

Etienne Gelencsér

Other key lawyers:

Karl Pires

Testimonials

‘The team handles plenty of deals and regulatory matters for Japanese clients, inter alia financial institutions. Not to mention, they are professional and knowledgeable about U.S. laws and regulations, but I would like to emphasize they know so well how to communicate their such knowledge to Japanese clients.’

‘Etienne Gelencser is highly capable. He is always responsive, responsible and insightful. When we need NY law advice, we would first contact Etienne.’

‘Communication between the team (arbitration team-finance team ) are quite smooth, and the team can provide the overall strategy including the engagement with third parties.’

‘Mr. Etienne understands what key lenders especially for ECA will look into- and can provide the input in accordance with the character of such ECA. ’

Key clients

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Development Bank of Japan, Inc.

Itochu Corporation

JBIC

JERA

Marubeni

Mitsui

Mizuho

MUFG

Nippon Export and Investment Insurance

Osaka Gas

Sumitomo

TEPCO Renewables

Work highlights

  • Advising Canada Pension Plan Investment Board on the acquisition of Pattern Energy Group Inc. in an all-cash transaction for $26.75 per share, implying an enterprise value of approximately $6.1 billion, including net debt.