Firms To Watch: Projects and energy

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP  is building its name in Latin America projects, particularly in the renewable energy segment. The firm is also active in infrastructure investments. Washington DC-based Jorge Kamine is the key partner.
Winston & Strawn LLP launched a new office in Miami in May 2022, with Richard Puttré  arriving (from Hogan Lovells) as chair of the projects practice. A deeply experienced figure in Latin America projects work (including renewable energy mandates), it can be expected that the sizeable new office will make a considerable impact, especially since it is part of a much larger Latin America team that is primarily located in New York.

Projects and energy in Latin America: International firms

For many years, international law firms have targeted the numerous opportunities in Latin America’s projects and energy sphere. Despite the inherent volatility, caused by frequent changes in the political direction (often switching between investment friendly and nationalistic/protectionist policies) in individual jurisdictions, firms have found that the bright spots more than make up for drops in activity in certain quarters. Of course, investment into Mexico has dropped off under the Andrés Manuel López Obrador presidency and other major economies such as Argentina have also tightened the flow of foreign capital into the market; Venezuela remains off limits for most, given ongoing sanctions. On a positive note, Brazil as the largest economy in Latin America, is providing a growing number of engagements for international firms, with significant growth in US-dollar financings.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance serves a wide and impressive client base across Latin America. The firm has built extensive connections to investment banks -such as Goldman Sachs- and a range of development banks, including IDB Invest. Moreover, it has a thriving practice acting for export credit agencies (ECAs). While active across the region, it has built an especially prominent position in Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Paraguay, and achieved further growth in Chile; in particular, it has been a dominant force in toll-road financings in Colombia over recent years. The group also continues to be heavily involved in project bond and private-placement financings. Fabricio Longhin has an outstanding record and is a prolific advisor on Latin America project financings, acting for a variety of multilaterals and development banks, investment banks, sponsors and institutional investors. Catherine McCarthy and Lori Ann Bean  represent a large number of ECAs and multilateral agencies, along with several commercial banks, in Latin America project financings. New York partner Hugo Triaca is also a key figure for project bonds and private-placement financings, while Peruvian-American Latin America specialist Jessica Springsteen was elected partner in May 2021. Alberto Haito also impresses at counsel level, leading on many of the team’s key matters. All named individuals are based in Washington DC. Brazil financing specialist Chris Willott left the firm in 2021.

Practice head(s):

Fabricio Longhin

Key clients

IDB Invest

Goldman Sachs

Sacyr

Santander

AES Corporation

SMBC

PetroPeru

JP Morgan

Reden

Paracel

DFC

IFC

Work highlights

  • Represented Concesionaria Vial Unión del Sur and others in the refinancing of the Rumichaca-Pasto 4G toll road in Colombia.
  • Advised IDB Invest and IDB on a $218m 15-year bond issuance to refinance the Rutas 2 y 7 road project and to finance the remaining works; this was the first ever 4(a)(2) private placement by a multilateral institution in Latin America to finance a project.
  • Advised Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Scotia Capital on the issuance by ISA Interchile of $1.2bn of 4.5% senior secured notes (due 2056) to refinance debt related to the construction of 2×500 kV Cardones–Polpaico transmission line in Chile.

Milbank

Milbank's leading position in Latin America energy and infrastructure financings is undiminished. Its broad-based practice incorporates a wide range of energy and power, and mining and natural resources projects, as well as oil and gas, and roads and other transport infrastructure projects. The firm continues to impress in project bonds and hybrid financings involving bank and bond debt. It is also making an impression in green and sustainability-linked financings, along with portfolio acquisitions of renewables and power assets. The highly rated Daniel Bartfeld leads the global project, energy and infrastructure finance practice and has a longstanding focus on Latin America. Carolina Walther-Meade is another hugely experienced Latin America specialist with a focus on power, oil and gas, and mining projects. Jaime Ramirez has become an especially integral member of the team, leading many of the firm’s key engagements in the region; and London partner Matthew Hagopian has a strong focus on power and oil and gas, especially LNG. Roland Estevez is an established name in Latin America renewable energy project financings, while Alec Borisoff is another key partner. All named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise. Jonathan Green retired in December 2021.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Bartfeld

Work highlights

  • Advised Ferrovial and its project subsidiary in connection with the $146m green-loan project financing for the development and operation of the Centella and Tap Mauro power transmission projects in Chile.
  • Advised Matrix Renewables Chile, as issuer, in connection with the $290m USPP financing for the construction of a 328MW PMGD portfolio in Chile.
  • Advised Cementos Progreso Holdings on its $335m agreement to acquire Cemex’s operations in Costa Rica and El Salvador.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP continues to be at the forefront of energy projects and is a growing force in infrastructure transactions in certain markets. The firm’s substantial presence in Sao Paulo has positioned it for the surge in US-dollar financings in Brazil, including offshore oil and gas, transport infrastructure and water sanitation projects. The firm’s sizeable capital markets team in Sao Paulo and New York are also a factor in growth in project bonds engagements. Outside of Brazil, the Latin America team has landed a series of bulge-bracket solar power matters in Chile, including the financing of a portfolio of greenfield solar projects, along with further renewable energy projects in Mexico and additional energy matters in Colombia. It is also active in smaller markets such as Paraguay, including headline road project financings. Carlos Viana leads the Latin America practice group and is a market leader in project financings in the region. Jeannine Acevedo is another prominent figure in energy and infrastructure projects (including PPPs) in Latin America. New York partner Thomas Pate has emerged as strong player in energy and infrastructure projects, notably for road infrastructure projects in Paraguay and elsewhere. Sean Goldstein is rated for project development and project finance, including solar power projects in Chile and Colombia, road projects in Colombia, and wind projects in the Dominican Republic; he also has extensive experience in Mexico and is relationship partner for IDB Invest. Sao Paulo managing partner John Anderson is playing a key role in the expansion of the practice in Brazil; while dual-qualified (New York/Florida) Anna Andreeva provides additional depth on bank and project finance, and equipment leasing and finance transactions. New York associate Raffaele Turco is rated for project development and project finance in Latin America. All named individuals are based in Miami unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Viana; Nandan Nelivigi; Mark Castillo-Bernaus

Testimonials

The practice of projects and Energy of W&C is one of the best in the market, they have extensive capabilities to provide clients with everything they need. The team led by Carlos Viana stands out in every way from the professional aspect as well as from the human aspect, they are always concerned with how to help junior lawyers grow and be trained in the best way.

Carlos Viana is a leading lawyer in this area and with a great reputation among his competitors in this area. Thomas Pate is a great lawyer who in the negotiation offers confidence to his counterpart, which speeds up the process.

Carlos Viana has a tremendous ability to leverage White & Case’s global expertise on LatAm problems. If the firm has someone in Melbourne or Stockholm who has experience navigating an issue new to the LatAm market, Carlos not only knows who that person is, but can always get them engaged to help your project.

The partners who stand out the most are Carlos Viana and Jeannine Acevedo. They are available 24/7 for their clients and their advice is comprehensive and is not limited to legal matters. If they are asked for counsel they will always lend it. They are empathetic with their clients and with the other attorneys. They are the best team in the Latin American market.

Customer service is incredible; they meet their deadlines; they work whatever days/hours; they warn when there may be an unnecessary expense or investment of time/money, which is rare. Jeannine Acevedo is one of the best in the world, without a doubt.

Team strengths- knowledge of O&G/Energy market and finance; ability to work in challenging timeframes; expedite drafting.

John Anderson: ability to propose solutions and tailor made transactions.

Raffaele Turco is a uniquely skilled senior level associate. He’s the best attorney I’ve worked with for supporting the negotiation of project documents, not just in Latin America – in the world. He brings tremendous knowledge of how to balance lender concerns, market dynamics, and protecting the developer.

Key clients

Alfa Desarrollo

Atlas Renewable Energy

Arroyo Energy Investment Partners

Bank of Nova Scotia

Bancolombia

BNP Paribas

Braskem Idesa

Credit Agricole Securities (USA)

DNB Markets

EnfraGen

IDB Invest

ING Capital

KfW IPEX-Bank

Mizuho

MUFG Bank

Natixis

Ocho A

Poseidón Energía Renovable

Rio Smart Lighting

Rutas del Este

Sacyr Concesiones

Smart RJ Concessionária de Iluminação Pública

SMBC

Société Générale

Work highlights

  • Advised Alfa Desarrollo, a consortium controlled by APG Energy and Infra Investments, and Celeo Redes, as borrower and issuer, on the structuring and closing of the senior secured financing for Alfa’s $1.3bn acquisition of Colbún Transmisión.
  • Represented Green Luce Soluções Energéticas, High Trend Brasil Serviços e Participações, Proteres Participações, ARC Comércio Construção e Administração de Serviços and Salberg (as the sponsors), Smart RJ Concessionária de Iluminação Pública (Smart Luz) and Rio Smart Lighting (as the issuer) on the issuance of 12.25% senior secured notes (due 2032).
  • Acted as Braskem Idesa’s New York counsel for the term loan, and as project finance counsel and Mexican counsel, in respect of the notes offering, with regard to the refinancing of Braskem Idesa’s $1.35bn project finance loans.

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP‘s Latin America group is primarily located in Sao Paulo, New York and Washington DC. The multi-talented team has deep links to DFIs, ECAs and multilateral agencies, including an especially strong record with the major American agency lenders. Banks and sponsors are also key to the firm’s client base, notably Brazilian sponsors thanks to the presence of Bruno Soares, Latin America group head, in Sao Paulo. The group has gained a particular reputation in the renewables and social infrastructure fields, including water, metrobus and metro line projects. It has also made a further impression in fibre network projects. Dorina Yessios is an experienced Latin America specialist in New York, with a wide ranging practice that has recently encompassed a number of data centre, digital infrastructure and fibre network projects, along with a more traditional diet of renewables and oil and gas transactions; this includes conventional financings and portfolio financings. Sami Mir is co-head of the US agency finance practice and has a major focus on Latin America where he also represents commercial lenders. Fellow co-head of the US agency finance group Jean Lee is also active in Latin America energy and infrastructure financings.

Practice head(s):

Bruno Soares

Testimonials

I like very much A&O Projects and Energy team. Well prepared and very experienced they are always prepared to deliver a high level work.

Bruno Soares is a great lawyer and has a unique energetic approach in dealing with the matters.

Sami Mir is an excellent lawyer and leader for his team. His involvement and knowledge across complex issues is exceptional, and the management of his team and fees as well.

Sami’s responsiveness and availability on all important issues is impressive. He manages to be across all the details on multiple matters at once. His knowledge of our requirements and the market has been essential in negotiating and closing financing operations in LatAm and the Caribbean.

Key clients

Bancomext

The Bank of Nova Scotia

Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA)

BNP Paribas

Carlyle International Energy Partners

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (CA-CIB)

Eksport Kredit Fonden (EKF)

IFC’s PPP Advisory Team

Inter-American Investment Corporation (IDB Invest)

Mizuho Bank

Proparco

Société Générale

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised IDB Invest on the financing for the design, construction, commissioning, maintenance and operation of the Casablanca 359MWp solar photovoltaic power plant, to be located in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
  • Acted as lead transaction counsel to the HPH Joint Venture – a joint venture consortium of Korean contractors, including Hyundai Engineering & Construction, POSCO Engineering & Construction and Hyundai Engineering – in connection with the $2bn CDNO multi-draw receivable financing for Metro de Panama’s “Metro Line 3” project.
  • Advised Scotia Bank, as lead arranger, on the $368m senior secured financing in connection with KKR’s acquisition of a majority stake in Telefónica’s fiber-optic network assets and related business operations in Chile.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has outstanding energy credentials, both in relation to M&A and projects. The firm maintains historical connections to major energy and resources businesses, including a number of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), along with fruitful relationships with government bodies and quasi-government entities. It is also building its links to emerging and growth companies in the energy segment. It continues to be heavily involved in renewable energy projects, along with renewables portfolio acquisitions and investments by financial sponsors. Moreover, the firm has made an impression in infrastructure developments and public-private partnerships (PPPs), notably in its ongoing role as counsel to the Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnerships Authority on the multi-staged transformation of Puerto Rico’s electricity system via PPPs. Chantal Kordula impresses in renewable energy projects and portfolio acquisitions, along with PPPs. Jeffrey Lewis has an outstanding record in M&A transactions involving major Latin American energy and resources companies, such as Vale. Adam Brenneman is rated for capital markets and financing transactions for energy and resources businesses, and Richard Cooper is a leader in restructurings and refinancing for clients in these fields.

Practice head(s):

Jeffrey Lewis; Chantal Kordula

Testimonials

Cleary knows Latin America like no other global law firm. Extremely knowledgeable and savvy.

Adam Brenneman is a star, despite his youth.

Key clients

Vale

The Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnerships Authority (P3A) – Generation & Operation

CAP

Andean Telecom Partners

Compass Minerals

YPF

Arcelor Mittal

CMPC

JP Morgan Securities

Samarco Mineração

Credit Suisse, Bladex and First Citizens Bank of Trinidad and Tobago

Ad hoc group of secured project finance lenders of obligations of Constellation Oil Services Holding and its subsidiaries

Alto Maipo

Ad hoc group of bondholders of Stoneway Capital Corporation

Odebrecht

Companhia Paranaense de Energia (Copel)

International Placement Agents of CSN Mineração

Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) and the Mexican Ministry of Finance

Work highlights

  • Represented Vale in its acquisition of Mitsui & Co’s interest in the Moatize coal mine in Mozambique and related Nacala Logistics Corridor (Nacala) assets in Mozambique and Malawi.
  • Advised the Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnerships Authority on the second stage of the transformation of Puerto Rico’s electricity system.
  • Represented Vale in a strategic joint venture with Glencore for the purpose of jointly developing and operating deep copper ore deposits in Ontario Canada.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP  has deep ties to Latin America and a growing team of senior practitioners that specialise in the projects and energy sphere. Many in the group were born or lived in the region for many years, while others have specialised in Latin America transactions for long periods. The department also has a broad swathe of expertise: from project bonds and acquisition financings, to bank/bond financings, project development and project finance, along with M&A and private equity investments. The group represents an impressive range of banks, sponsors and developers, and financial investors. It continues to make a further impression in bank and bond financings, multi-source financings, and more recently project bond financings, thanks to the presence of Gianluca Bacchiocchi and Guido Liniado, who joined the firm in 2021; the two have extended the firm’s presence in key jurisdictions such as Colombia and Brazil, as well as bringing tighter connections to major investment banks. The Latin America team is also particularly noted for its role in renewable energy portfolio acquisitions and investments by private equity houses. Washington DC partner David Penna is global co-chair of the project development and finance practice and has a strong focus on Latin America. Latin America co-head Antonio Del Pino  is noted for energy M&A and project finance. Washington DC associate Carlos Ardila is another important member of the team; indeed, since publication, he has been raised to the partnership - effective November 2022.

Practice head(s):

Antonio Del Pino

Key clients

Goldman Sachs

Morgan Stanley Bank

Global Infrastructure Partners

Banco Santander

MetLife

Andes Mining & Energy

Banco BTG Pactual

Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

HSBC Global Asset Management

Bancolombia

JP Morgan

Itaú

Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN)

GM Holdings

Matrix Renewables

Work highlights

  • Represented GM Holdings (Generadora Metropolitana) on a $980m concurrent bank and bond project finance transaction for a portfolio of existing and new-build electricity generation assets in Chile.
  • Advised Global Infrastructure Partners on the project bridge and bond financings and acquisition of Saavi Energía from Actis.
  • Advised Goldman Sachs and Goldman Sachs do Brasil Banco Múltiplo on a DFC-guaranteed sustainability bond for a Brazilian public lighting and smart city services project.

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown remains noted for project bonds and conventional project finance. It has achieved further growth in renewables and LNG, and continues to be heavily involved in infrastructure and PPP projects. In particular, the Latin America practice has impressed in toll road, metro and mass transit project financings in Peru, Panama, Colombia, Chile, Brazil and elsewhere. The team has also landed a series of engagements in smaller markets such as Uruguay, Paraguay and El Salvador. A growing portion of the practice group's caseload now involves ESG and sustainability-linked financings. The firm has longstanding connections to banks and financial institutions, although the Latin America team is building links to sponsors, borrowers and issuers of project bonds. Washington DC and New York-based ‘essential lawyerChristopher Erckert leads the project bonds and Latin America projects practice and is prominent in financings driven by commercial banks, DFIs and project bonds. Chicago’s Douglas Doetsch heads the Latin America group and is an established figure in project finance. Washington DC partners Gabriela Sakamoto, who was born in Argentina, and Juan Pablo Moreno are also key Latin America project finance specialists.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Erckert

Testimonials

Mayer Brown has a team with extensive knowledge of the infrastructure and energy sector. Their experience in this area means that they have a global and pragmatic vision of the relevant issues when it comes to providing proactive and dynamic legal and transactional advice.

The biggest plus is the involvement and direct participation of the partner in the ongoing transaction. His first-person intervention avoids unnecessary twists and turns and brings incalculable value to negotiations. The partner Christopher Erckert deserves a special mention for his experience, knowledge, involvement and capabilities, who provides enormous added value and contributes as a business partner in each operation in which he participates. Undoubtedly a brilliant lawyer with an outstanding track record in the Latin American financing market of all kinds, especially large infrastructure and energy projects of notable complexity. His global vision makes it provide the most exquisite precision in each of the details of the transaction. He clearly goes far beyond a standard legal advisor, committing himself to the projects and contributing large commercial, technical and financial inputs, parallel and ancillary to the legal ones. An essential lawyer.

Key clients

Banco Bradesco

Bank of China

Deutsche Bank

EcoRodovias

EuroFinsa

Global Bank Corporation

Interchile

Itaú Unibanco

MetLife Investment Management

SMBC

Work highlights

  • Advised Interchile, a subsidiary of Colombia’s Interconexión Eléctrica(ISA), on the issuance of $1.2bn bonds to repay the syndicated loan facility that funded the construction of the issuer’s 1,954km Chilean transmission portfolio, pay related hedge termination costs and for other corporate purposes.
  • Advised Consorcio del Sur, a joint venture composed of EuroFinsa and Topografía y Caminos, on the $127m financing of the Costanera Sur de Asuncion road project in Paraguay through the sale of Certificados de Reconocimiento de Pago (CROPs) issued by the Government of Paraguay.
  • Represented the lenders – Banco Bradesco BBI, Itaú Unibanco, Banco do Brasil and Bank of China – on the $980m financing to expand a pulp mill in the city of Lençóis Paulista, São Paulo.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright 's wide-ranging Latin America practice has successfully targeted the energy, mining and infrastructure segments, acting for a variety of commercial lenders, development banks and ECAs, sponsors and developers, and financial investors. It has achieved particular prominence in renewable energy projects, notably in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Peru and many other jurisdictions. The firm is also at the forefront of mining projects, including copper, gold and lithium projects in Chile, Brazil, Mexico and Ecuador, among other countries. Raquel Bierzwinsky is a native Spanish speaker, based in New York and Mexico City, and has a broad practice covering renewable energy, infrastructure and mining in Mexico and the wider region. Sarah Devine and Jeremy Hushon are key figures in Washington DC, where they have close connections to commercial lenders, development banks and agency lenders. New York’s Todd Alexander is an experienced name in renewable energy and energy transition projects. Hernán González in Mexico City and Sao Paulo-based infrastructure finance specialist Daniel Spencer are also important members of the team.

Practice head(s):

Keith Martin; Ben Koenigsberg

Key clients

KfW IPEX

Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica (CABEI)

Enel Green Power

Marubeni

Bancomext

IDB Invest

FinDev Canada

DFC (formerly OPIC)

Braskem

Itapoá Terminais Portuários

Banco Rabobank International Brasil

BRK Ambiental Participações

Vale

Macquarie Capital

FMO

Groupe Agence Française de Développement (Proparco)

IFC

MUFG Bank

Banco Itaú BBA

ING Bank

Banco Bradesco

Corporación Andina de Fomento

Goldman Sachs

JP Morgan

Work highlights

  • Represented Fiduciaria Bancolombia, as concession trust trustee, in connection with a $209m social bond issued to refinance the 4G Colombian highway corridor project, Puerta de Hierro-Cruz del Viso; this was the first social bond issued in Latin America in connection with an infrastructure project.
  • Represented AMP Capital Investors as the lender in a $280m holdco financing of a 1.3GW portfolio of wind and solar projects in Chile.
  • Acted as international counsel to commercial lenders and ECAs in a $520m financing and $51m bonding facility to Mantoverde to finance its $847m  Mantoverde Sulphide expansion project, located in the Atacama Region of Chile.

Paul Hastings LLP

With its timely hire of Alexandro Padrés and Gregory Tan from Shearman & Sterling LLP in May 2022, Paul Hastings LLP ensured continuity given the subsequent retirement of sector heavyweight Robert Kartheiser the following month. The dual-qualified (Mexico/New York) Padrés led the Latin America practice at his former firm and brings a wealth of experience in project finance, particularly in relation to the power generation, oil and gas, telecommunications and mining sectors; most recently he has been involved in portfolio financings across the region. Tan arrives at the firm as co-chair of the infrastructure and energy practice; with strong connections to leading financial institutions, funds and corporations, along with regional development banks and multilateral institutions, he acts primarily for sponsors and lenders on global finance, project development, limited recourse and structured financings, and restructurings. The pair join a practice that has achieved prominence across the energy and infrastructure segments, including conventional power and renewables, roads and airports, midstream oil and gas, and LNG projects. With an impressive mix of lender and sponsor engagements in large and small economies throughout Latin America, recent years have seen the group carve out a significant share of 4(a)(2) private-placement transactions originating in the region. The wider Latin America team –many of whom frequently work in Spanish and Portuguese– also houses additional expertise in energy M&A. Chair of the firm’s corporate department, Cathleen McLaughlin is an experienced name in project bonds and 4(a)(2) private-placement financings who dedicates a substantial portion of her practice to the region. Thomas Sines was elevated to the partnership in February 2022 and joins Elicia Ling as part of a new generation of impressive Latin America project finance specialists, among whom of counsel Maria Leonor Tobia is highlighted for her deep knowledge of debt financing.

Key clients

JP Morgan

BNP Paribas

Glenfarne

EVM

Natixis

EIG

Grupo Odinsa

SMBC

Macquarie

Sempra

Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP)

Grana y Montero

Sacyr

Citi

Strabag

FRV

EMPower/Riverstone

Braskem Idesa

Ashmore

YPF

Work highlights

  • Represented LAP and its majority shareholder Fraport in the $1.8bn expansion of the Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima.
  • Represented the senior and mezzanine lenders in connection with the AES/InterEnergy Gatun LNG to power project in Panama.
  • Represented Patrimonio Autonomo Montes de Maria, as issuer/borrower, Sociedad Concessionaria Montes de Maria and the sponsor Sacyr on the $209m financing of the design, development, construction, commissioning and operation of the Autopista Puerta de Hierro-Palmar de Varela and Carreto-Cruz del Viso project in Colombia.

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Shearman & Sterling LLP's longstanding links to Latin America ensured a steady flow of energy and infrastructure engagements in 2021 and into 2022, notably in Chile, Mexico, El Salvador, Panama and the Dominican Republic. It continues to be active across the spectrum of power and renewables, mining and natural resources, oil and gas, and infrastructure projects, representing a range of banks, development banks and multilateral agencies, financial investors and sponsors. Cynthia Urda Kassis heads the mining and metals practice, and has a particular focus on Latin America, which includes additional expertise in power and renewables. Promoted to partner in July 2022, Augusto Ruiloba is a pivotal team member on many of the practice’s headline engagements, particularly the financing of energy, mining and infrastructure projects; and newly appointed counsel Robert O’Leary is gaining profile in project development matters. The firm’s Latin America capital markets team provides additional expertise on project bonds. However, Gregory Tan and former head of the Latin America group Alexandro Padrés  left the firm in May 2022.

Practice head(s):

Robert Freedman; Ben Shorten

Key clients

BW Maritime

Scotia Capital

The Bank of Nova Scotia

Engie Latin America

DNB Bank ASA

Bluestone Resources

Caixabank

Credit Agricole

DEG

International Finance Corporation

KfW IPEX-Bank

Natixis

AES Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised BW Maritime on a $128m limited-recourse project financing arranged by the Inter-American Investment Corporation for El Salvador’s first floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU).
  • Advised DNB Bank ASA on the $170m financing of the Copihue Portfolio wind project in Chile, with a total installed capacity of 148MW.
  • Advised Engie Energía Chile on a $125m unsecured loan facility from IDB Invest for the Clean Technology Fund.

Baker Botts L.L.P.

Baker Botts L.L.P. stands out for its expertise in LNG and its growing reputation in renewables. The energy-centric firm has a fine record in Latin America project development, project finance and M&A (especially acquisitions of projects and energy assets). Dino Barajas, a longstanding Latin America specialist, joined its San Francisco office in January 2022, bringing additional expertise in renewables and gas-fired power projects across the region, particularly in Mexico, Central America and Brazil. Along with growth in renewables, the practice has also impressed in LNG-to-power and gas-to-power projects. Carlos Solé has an outstanding record in the Latin America’s LNG and renewables sectors. David Jetter is another experienced figure in LNG projects in the region. Up-and-coming young associate, Taylor López is also noted. All named individuals are based in Houston unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Sole

Testimonials

Collaboration and efficiency in support. Available at any time with extensive expertise in the field of LNG.

Carlos Sole. His expertise in the matter of LNG makes the difference with other firms.

Undoubtedly, one of the strengths of the firm is that the entire team of lawyers assigned to a case has a strong understanding of the controversies subject to litigation. Another important aspect is that in the vast majority of cases that I know of, women have intervened and advised, which demonstrates their interest in balancing participation with gender diversity.

I think that the point to consider is the strategic vision of the problems and their solutions. Each piece of advice that Baker Botts provides is based on the general background of the case and how to deal with a present problem without neglecting the impact that executive decisions may have in the future. Possibly this is the main distinction with respect to other legal firms.

Great knowledge of GA issues not only regarding SPA but also terminal use agreements, and cooperation and coordination agreements. Lawyers very involved and always available.

Deep knowledge of the market, solution-seeking lawyers, always available. Carlos Sole and Taylor López.

Key clients

The AES Corporation

Sempra LNG and Sempra Gas & Midstream

Techgen

Work highlights

  • Represented The AES Corporation in a 10-year strategic alliance with Google to accelerate the growth and adoption of clean energy by leveraging Google Cloud technology to pioneer innovation in the sector; this alliance builds on the recent agreement between Google and AES to provide long-term renewable power to Google’s data center in Chile.
  • Advised Sempra with the development and marketing of a brownfield development of an LNG export project co-located and integrated within the existing Energía Costa Azul (ECA) regasification facility in Mexico as well as related joint venture matters
  • Advised Techgen on natural gas transactions from US-based natural gas producers as well as all related pipeline transportation contracts and US regulatory matters related to the export of natural gas purchases to Mexico.

CMS

CMS continues to evolve its projects and energy practice in Latin America, applying its deep local knowledge and international expertise to key sector trends; this includes the further growth in renewables projects and the early-stage development of green hydrogen projects in the region. It remains a major player in oil and gas, advising on multiple engagements throughout the region, including transactions in Peru, Argentina and Brazil. In Colombia, the firm continues to be noted for natural gas and renewables matters, while the Chile team is a major player in mining and resources. Moreover, the Mexico City office has a long history in power and infrastructure, including the wholesale electricity market. Rio’s Ted Rhodes is a leading name in oil and gas and renewables, as are Carlos Hamann and Augusto Astorga  in Lima, and Daniel Rodríguez in Bogota. Mexico City’s Derek Woodhouse  and Enrique Lorente Ludlow  have outstanding reputations in power and renewables, especially electricity regulation.

Practice head(s):

Ted Rhodes

Key clients

PetroRio

Solar Access

SacyrWeir Group

Enegix

Pipeline Technique

Gas Liquids Engineering

ENI

Typsa

HydraWell Intervention

Repsol

Auding

Work highlights

  • Advised Tullow Oil on the termination of four oil offsore exploration licenses in Peru.
  • Advised Enagás, in its role as majority shareholder of GNL Quintero, on the corporate restructuring of the shareholdings in this Chilean gas terminal operator and distributor.

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US) has a large team of projects and energy specialists based in a large number of its US and Latin America offices. The group operates in multiple market-segments from conventional power and renewables, to gas pipelines and PPP projects. Much of the practice centres on project sponsors and developers. Bringing together teams from Miami, San Juan (Puerto Rico), New York, Washington DC, San Francisco, Baltimore, Chicago, Northern Virginia, Austin and San Diego, the firm continued to advise LUMA Energy, as winning bidder on the $1.6bn PPP transaction to operate and maintain the transmission and distribution assets of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA). The firm’s Santiago office has also landed a series of important engagements, as have the Mexico City and Buenos Aires offices. New York partner Margarita Oliva Sainz de Aja is especially active in Latin America project finance, Felipe Bahamondez and newly promoted partner Diego Peña impress in Santiago, and Edgar Romo is a senior figure in Mexico City. San Diego and New York-based Raul Farias has an extensive record in energy transactions. Dino Barajas left for  Baker Botts L.L.P. in January 2022.

Practice head(s):

Margarita Oliva Sainz de Aja; Sergio Barboza

Testimonials

Projects and energy is a highly-regulated market that requires specialist advisors to ensure that projects can be carried out. Legal advisors must be constantly updated on all modifications made in this area and provide prompt responses. These are factors which should be considered by potential clients.

‘The law firm has adapted very well to the new times, especially taking technology into consideration. Covid-19 has not been a pretext to decrease the quality and delivery time of the work.

Balance between experience and youth, specialists, excellent availability, clear answers, good legal advice, commitment to the company and its protection.

Commercial and strategic advice beyond the pure legal field favouring fluidity in the negotiation of contracts in favour of the client.

Key clients

Luma Energy (a joint venture of Quanta Services and ATCO)

CarbonFree Technology

Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnership Authority

SUSI Partners

Blue Elephant Energy

Onergy

Work highlights

  • Advised Luma Energy, as winning bidder on the $1.6bn PPP transaction to operate and maintain the transmission and distribution assets of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA).
  • Advised Swiss energy transition fund, SUSI Partners, on the execution of an agreement with Biwo Renovables for the purchase, development, construction, operation and maintenance of a 244MW portfolio of power plants, including PV solar and wind power plants in Chile.
  • Advised the Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnership Authority on the long-term concession of the San Juan Bay cruise ship terminals.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills remains best known for its project development and construction expertise in the mining sector, particularly in Chile. The firm also has a major presence in oil and gas financings, especially in Brazil’s offshore sector. Key mining project development partner Juan-José Zentner heads up the Latin America projects team and divides his time between New York and Melbourne, Australia. Latin America project-finance head, Edward Dougherty, in New York, has led the field in reserve-based lending in Brazil, continues to work intensively on mining projects in Chile, and has landed a number of other major engagements, including LNG-to-power, LNG terminal and maritime terminal projects across the region. The firm remains noted for its global focus and in particular its Asia-Pacific presence, which has brought the practice a number of Asian lender-driven financings in Latin America. Former Latin America co-head Pedro Rufino Carvalho left the firm for an in-house position in August 2021.

Practice head(s):

Edward Dougherty; Juan-José Zentner

Testimonials

They have an excellent team, one of the most active in complex engineering and construction contracts worldwide, and especially in Latin America. In Chile they have participated in large mining and energy projects. Being present in several of the largest transactions and projects carried out in Chile, they know well how things work in practice, something atypical of international studies.’

It is a team with a lot of experience in contracts and highly sophisticated projects. They have a level of specialisation that is very difficult to find in Latin America, and that is why they are so required in the region. Juan José Zentner stands out, a partner resident in Australia, but with one foot in New York, in charge of the Latin American department and with long experience working in Chile. This makes him the head lawyer in projects for some of the most important mining and energy companies that operate in Chile, since he adds to his specialisation with the knowledge of the laws and of how things operate in Latin America, especially in Chile. He is bilingual and understands the Chilean (and regional) idiosyncrasies very well, making him easier to work with than other lawyers.

Very high skills in terms of project contracts.

Juan José Zentner – who has relocated to Australia after a long stint in NY – is the go-to partner for all construction and project development matters in Lat Am. Juan has an extensively knowledge of his sector of industry and uses his seniority in an efficient and commercially driven way.

Key clients

Codelco

BHP

Mantos Copper

Ocyan

Deutsche Bank, ING, Macquarie and Shell

Work highlights

  • Advised Mantos Copper on the construction-related aspects of the $847m Mantoverde mining project in the Atacama region of Chile.
  • Advised a syndicate of international lenders on a $160m reserve based lending facility for Karoon, to finance the development of the Baúna oil field in Brazil’s Santos Basin, acquired from Petrobras in 2019.
  • Advised Prisma Capital on a $100m bridge loan for PetroRio to finance the acquisition of the Tubarão Martelo oil field in Brazil’s Santos Basin.

Hogan Lovells US LLP

Hogan Lovells US LLP remains noted for energy and infrastructure projects and transactions in Mexico and Central America, along with a number of key jurisdictions in South America. It advised Glenfarne, through its Chilean subsidiary Prime Energia, on the EPC contract with Verano Energy for the development of eight PV solar power plants in Chile. Miami managing partner Jorge Diaz-Silveira is Americas head of infrastructure, energy, resources and projects, and has an excellent record in conventional power and renewables projects and transactions in Central America. Miami partner José Valdivia is another experienced figure in energy projects and transactions in multiple Latin American jurisdictions, while Houston partner Bruno Ciuffetelli is a seasoned specialist in oil-and-gas and power projects. Gaston Fernandez has transferred to the firm’s Vietnam offices from Miami.

Holland & Knight LLP

Holland & Knight LLP's sizeable Latin America practice encompasses a range of energy and infrastructure transactions, including both bank and bond financings, and asset acquisitions. Oil and gas, power, mining and infrastructure are all fortes for the team, which has extensive geographic coverage from Mexico down to Brazil and Argentina. It represents an impressive number of financial institutions and Latin American borrowers. The Latin America team is highly rated for project financings in the energy, mining and transport infrastructure sectors. Miami and New York partner Norberto Quintana is a point of reference for energy and infrastructure transactions throughout the region, particularly in Colombia. Lara Rios, who also divides her time between Miami and New York, is another Latin America energy and infrastructure specialist; while New York’s Peter Baumgaertner has a well-earned reputation for project finance mandates in the region.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

With a team of Latin America specialists primarily based in Washington DC, Houston and Miami, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP‘s broad-based practice handles large-scale project developments, project financings and energy M&A,. The group has solid connections to multilateral development banks, non-bank lenders and investment corporations in Washington DC and elsewhere, including IDB Invest and IFC. It continues to have a strong focus on Central America, along with other key economies, such as Chile, where the firm is working on new green hydrogen projects. Fernando Alonso leads the Latin America practice and is a versatile practitioner with an extensive record in financings to banks and financial institutions in the region. Vera Rechsteiner is a key figure in Washington DC where she has strong connections to IDB Invest and other financial institutions. Uriel Mendieta and Fernando Margarit are also key figures, along with Washington DC counsels Siddharth Sethy and Alejandro Silva, and Houston-based special counsel Doris Rodríguez.

Practice head(s):

Fernando Alonso

Key clients

Inter-American Investment Corporation

CIFI Latam

Banco de la Producción, Produbanco

Corporación Andina de Fomento

International Finance Corporation

BMR Energy

Miya Water Projects Netherlands

Work highlights

  • Represented Inter-American Investment Corporation in a bond subscription agreement with Banco Cooperativo Sicredi (marking the bank’s debut in the international capital markets) with proceeds used to finance eligible renewable energy and energy efficient projects in Brazil.
  • Advised Corporation Financiera para el Financiamiento de Infraestructura (CIFI) in connection with a $57m credit facility to Banverde, Mexico’s first investment fund dedicated to commercial and industrial rooftop solar.
  • Advised BMR Energy on its $88m credit facility to refinance the outstanding debts of independent wind and solar  power producers in several countries in the Caribbean and Central America.

Jones Day

Jones Day‘s presence on multiple bank panels, including development banks, ensures it is frequently engaged on Latin America project financings. It is also well established with international sponsors and developers, including Europe-based entities, that are active in the region. The firm has a well-established Latin America team that supports deals in the region, including senior figures in Miami, New York, Houston, Mexico City and Sao Paulo. The group is experienced in renewable energy projects and transport infrastructure engagements across the region; it advised on the first PPP road in Ecuador to be structured on a project finance basis. The Latin America team is also building its standing in telecoms and digital infrastructure. Mexico City’s Alberto de la Parra and José Estandía have outstanding reputations in infrastructure, oil and gas, and renewable energy projects in the country. In Sao Paulo, Marcello Hallake is noted for energy M&A.However, the departure of Richard Puttré in January 2022, and subsequently fellow Miami partner Fradyn Suárez in July, constitute a set back for the practice.

Practice head(s):

Fradyn Suarez

Key clients

Acciona

Banco Santander

Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF)

Citibank

Electricité de France (EDF)

Elecnor

Engie

Ferrovial

Globalvia

Iberdrola

JinkoSolar Holding

Sacyr

Sudamericana Integral de Construcciones Sudinco

Work highlights

  • Advised the sponsor and the concessionaire on the structuring and financing of the $290m Naranjal-Tenguel road project in Ecuador.
  • Represented Sacyr Concesiones and Sudamericana Integral de Construcciones Sudinco on a $575m long-term project financing provided by the Development Finance Corporation and a syndicate of major financial institutions.
  • Advised Banco Santander subsidiary, Tabasco Energia España, on its acquisition from A3T Luxco1 of the majority interest in Abent 3T, a project company which owns a 220MW cogeneration plant in Tabasco, Mexico.

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP has a long history of specialising in Latin America oil and gas projects and other transactions. Having advised on the first ever LNG import terminal in Uruguay and on Colombia’s first LNG facility, it remains at the forefront of LNG projects, a global forte for the firm, including projects in Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Colombia and the Dominican Republic. Furthermore, it continues to be prominent in Mexico and Brazil in natural gas supply agreements, LNG export and import projects (including FSRUs), upstream projects, and the financing of oil rigs and FPSOs. The firm launched a Miami office in 2022 to strengthen its focus on Latin America, building on its multi-office strategy, which includes Latin America projects led from the Houston, New York, London, Singapore and Tokyo offices, among others. Houston partners Scott Greer, a construction specialist, and David Lang, ‘a true expert on LNG matters’, are especially active in Latin America projects. Washington DC’s James Bowe provides further expertise in energy and oil and gas regulation. Since research concluded, the bench has been substantially strengthened with the July-2022 hire of Fradyn Suárez -who has a strong footing in Colombian 4G road financings- to the firm’s new Miami office.

Practice head(s):

Scott Greer

Testimonials

Although I do not work with firms in the North American market on a regular basis, of the firms with which I have worked, it is the best that I have come across, especially in the areas to which it is dedicated and in which the firm specialises.

The entire work team with which I have had to undertake things is first class, with the best knowledge and punctual and adequate dedication.

Extremely knowledgeable about LNG and energy projects as a whole.

David Lang is a true expert on LNG matters and a great person to work with.

Fradyn Suárez. Meticulous and takes the transactions forward.

Key clients

Chevron Corporation

MODEC, Mitsui & Co, Marubeni Corporation and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines

Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA)

Joint venture of Grupo Gondi and WestRock Company

Sempra Energy

Mexico Pacific Limited

NIC Holding Corporation

Arroyo Energy Investment Partners

Pemcorp

Cosan

Work highlights

  • Represented PREPA in matters arising out of several LNG-to-power projects, including one involving the conversion of two generating units to be fuelled by natural gas, and in related regulatory proceedings involving authorisation for the siting of LNG receiving-facilities serving power generation in Puerto Rico.

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP has a wealth of energy, natural resources and mining clients that frequently turn to it for corporate transactions and financings, including green and sustainability-linked financings. The firm is particularly active in capital markets offerings for clients and banks in this segment. It is also noted for renewables portfolio acquisitions and warehouse financing of renewables assets, along with major infrastructure developments such as airports and toll roads. Andrew Compton is a member of the global energy and infrastructure group, and has a solid focus on Latin America. Michael Bassett has an impressive history in offshore oil and gas financings. Vijaya Palaniswamy left the firm in October 2021.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has an established projects and energy practice which has a growing profile in renewables projects and M&A, along with oil and gas (including LNG) and commodities engagements. The firm is also making headway in additional energy transition segments such as green hydrogen. The largely Houston-based team has a developing presence in the Brazil oil and gas industry, including project development, financings and M&A transactions. Native Portuguese speaker Felipe Alice has driven forward the firm’s work in Brazil’s oil and gas sector. John Crespo is from Bolivia and has a well-rounded projects and energy practice, notably leading teams in a number of oil and gas M&A transactions and projects. Humberto Padilla Gonzalez specialises in Mexico energy transactions and projects, and Washington DC’s Ulises Pin is an expert in digital, telecoms and satellite infrastructure in the region.

Practice head(s):

John Crespo; Thomas Mellor

Key clients

Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR)

PetroRio

Gaia Importação, Exportação e Serviços

CEMEX

BCCK Engineering

Dellner Industrial

AES

Macquarie

Work highlights

  • Represented Gaia Importação, Exportação e Serviços in the licensing of oil and gas technology for deployment in Brazil.
  • Represented PetroRio in oil and gas regulatory filings in the US and the proposed financing and acquisition of assets in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Advised Patriotic Energies and Technologies on its acquisition and financing of Petrotrin, Trinidad and Tobago’s Petroleum Company.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has an established presence in Latin America project finance, particularly in Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Peru and Colombia, along with growth markets such as Panama, Costa Rica and the Caribbean. It is also noted for advising clients on investments in energy and infrastructure assets. The Latin America team has an impressive range of corporate clients in the region, along with a number of major bank lenders and private equity investors. The group has recently worked on a series of bond offerings for energy and mining clients, along with M&A transactions in the energy sector and private equity investments in telecoms infrastructure. Todd Crider leads the Latin America team and splits his time between New York and Sao Paulo. New York partner Juan Francisco Méndez remains active in capital markets fund raisings, as does Sao Paulo’s Grenfel Calheiros.

Practice head(s):

Todd Crider; Jaime Mercado; Juan Francisco Méndez; Grenfel Calheiros; Juan Naveira; Paulo Fernando de Menezes Cardoso

Testimonials

The STB projects team demonstrates unparalleled expertise in the market and has lawyers with extensive knowledge of the Latin American reality. Their dedication and thoroughness is impeccable.

The fact that several members of the STB team have professional training in different Latin American countries translates into a more natural and efficient development for the execution of projects in the region.

Key clients

Abengoa

Administradora de Electromovilidad

Albanesi

Aura Minerals

BBVA Securities

Braskem

Celulosa Arauco Y Constitucion

Compañía de Petróleos de Chile Copec (Copec)

CPFL Energias Renováveis

Empresas Copec

Goldman Sachs

Grupo Romero Hokchi Energy

Intercorp Financial Services

JP Morgan Securities

Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith

Morgan Stanley

OHL Concesiones

Work highlights

  • Represented Empresas Gasco and Abastible on their entry into an agreement to sell Gasmar to Inversiones Arco 4  (Arroyo Energy Group) for $422m.
  • Advised Argentina’s Generación Mediterránea on its $130m bond issuance to fund the expansion of the generation capacity of the Ezeiza thermal power plant in Buenos Aires province.
  • Represented Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners in the sale of Hygo Energy Transition to New Fortress Energy.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP's large international client base, along with its extensive presence across the US, in Sao Paulo and globally, brings it a solid pipeline of Latin America-related engagements. This includes energy sector M&A and financings, project development and project finance matters. The Latin America practice benefits from a range of strong lender, sponsor and developer relationships. It continued to work on a number of major project financings, project bond transactions and private placement financings during 2021, including in the renewables, gas pipeline and power transmission segments, along with a number of energy M&A deals. Alejandro González Lazzeri is a noted Latin America finance specialist.

Practice head(s):

Lance Brasher

Work highlights

  • Advised Sonnedix, through the joint venture Sonnedix Cox Energy Chile, on the $120m project financing of the 160MWp Meseta de Los Andes solar PV plant in Chile.
  • Advised Mubadala Capital on the $1.8bn project bond offering by its subsidiaries in connection with the acquisition of the Landulpho Alves Refinery (RLAM) oil refinery in Brazil from Petrobras.
  • Advised UBS Investment Bank, as administrative agent, in the refinancing of Albanesi Energía’s $175m credit facility.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP 's lean and highly experienced Latin America team frequently works alongside specialist practitioners from around the firm. This model has allowed it to advise on numerous high-value, landmark and innovative deals. The firm has an especially strong record in the mining sector and recently advised Sumitomo Metal Mining Co and Sumitomo Corporation on the $2.2bn sale of a 45% interest in Sierra Gorda copper mine in Chile to South32. Sergio Galvis, Christopher Mann and Werner Ahlers are immensely experienced Latin America specialists.

Practice head(s):

Sergio Galvis

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP has a deepening presence in Latin America, retaining its traditional presence in oil and gas and the broader energy sector, along with additional growth in digital infrastructure and other segments. The firm is known for its recent experience in Mexico’s oil and gas industry, including projects involving links between the US and Mexico itself. Combining strength in project development, project finance and energy M&A, the firm has achieved further growth in Brazil, notably advising New Fortress Energy on LNG import terminal development and natural gas marketing and sales matters in Brazil, including the development and sale of natural gas from its Suape, Sergipe and Barcarena LNG receiving and regasification terminals. Houston partner Mark Brasher has a strong track-record in Latin America’s energy markets, for clients such as New Fortress Energy, while New York’s Gabriel Silva continues to work on a number of digital infrastructure and telecoms projects and transactions in Brazil. New York partner Eamon Nolan is another Latin America expert and Houston’s Alan Alexander is also rated for Mexico oil and gas and renewables projects.

Practice head(s):

Eamon Nolan; Shay Kuperman

Testimonials

Always attentive, respond quickly, very good knowledge.

Key clients

New Fortress Energy

Hygo Energy Transition

Woodside Petroleum

Goldman Sachs

DigitalBridge Group

Scala Data Centers

Highline do Brasil

Work highlights

  • Advised New Fortress Energy on LNG import terminal development and natural gas marketing and sales matters in Brazil, including the development and sale of natural gas from its Suape, Sergipe and Barcarena LNG receiving and regasification terminals.
  • Advised Hygo Energy Transition on its $5bn merger with New Fortress Energy.
  • Represented Woodside Petroleum in its merger with BHP Petroleum.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP's substantial presence in Houston has brought it considerable success in Mexico’s oil and gas and broader energy industries. The firm has also built-out its record in LNG projects across the Latin America region. In the energy-transition segment, it has achieved further growth in LNG, solar, wind and green hydrogen projects. Matt Kapinos is an experienced figure in Latin America energy and infrastructure projects and M&A transactions. Also an energy specialist, Gabriel Procaccini has particular expertise in midstream oil projects and LNG. Both are based in Houston.

Arnold & Porter

Arnold & Porter has a longstanding Latin America practice which was further enhanced on the project finance fornt with the hire of New York partner Christopher Willott from Clifford Chance in 2021. This has given the firm an additional presence in Brazil and Chile project financings and energy sector financings – in particular renewables (wind and solar), oil and gas, and LNG. The firm is also active in infrastructure financings, including bond offerings. Washington DC partners Whitney Debevoise and Gregory Harrington provide additional senior level gravitas.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Willott; Whitney Debevoise; Gregory Harrington

Key clients

Empresa Nacional de Autopista

GNL Chile

Hydro REIN

BTG Pactual

Work highlights

  • Advised Panamanian toll road operator Empresa Nacional de Autopista (ENA) on an offering by the ENA Master Trust.
  • Advised GNL Chile on its LNG Supply arrangements, regasification-terminal use agreements and downstream gas and LNG sales.
  • Advised Hydro REIN on its proposed investments in, and acquisitions of, three different renewables projects in Brazil, including both wind and solar facilities, and the negotiation of power purchase agreements with offtakers in relation to the production of green aluminium.

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP combines local Latin America expertise with a wealth of international connections. It has achieved particular prominence in Asia financings and investments into Latin America, and also worked on a number of investments in power projects, intraregional energy M&A transactions, gas-to-power projects, and hydro and renewable energy projects. José Roberto Martins is a leading name in Sao Paulo for energy and infrastructure project financings, as is Juan Carlos de los Heros in Lima. Santiago partner Antonio Ortúzar is a senior practitioner in mining M&A and other transactions.

Bracewell LLP

Bracewell LLP has longstanding connections across Latin America, including Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Central America. It has extensive oil and gas credentials, coupled with an impressive record in conventional power and renewables. New York partner Fernando Rodriguez Marin is noted for project development and project finance in both the US and Latin America. Houston partner Manuel Vera is licensed to practice in Mexico and is experienced in oil and gas and energy transactions along with project financings.

Cuatrecasas

Cuatrecasas has a long history in Latin America and is building its presence there with offices in Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile. The firm has a varied practice with a strong record in energy and infrastructure M&A, along with project development and project finance. It has impressive connections to energy corporates, lenders, project sponsors and developers and in one recent headline mandate, advised Spanish power company Naturgy on the sale of Chilean power distributor Compañía General de Electricidad (CGE) to China’s State Grid International Development. Bogota partner Manuel Quinche is experienced in project financings in the infrastructure and power sectors, and advised on the financing of Bogata’s first metro line. Lima’s Aldo Reggiardo is noted for project finance in the renewables, infrastructure and mining segments; Mexico City partner León López is another key figure for project matters.

Practice head(s):

Aldo Reggiardo; Manuel Quinche

Key clients

CAP

Bancolombia

Itaú Corpbanca Colombia

Opdenergy

Vía 40 Express, Vinci Highways and Constructora Conconcreto

Corporación Andina De Fomento – CAF

Metro Línea 1

Yinson

Bankia

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Work highlights

  • Advised on the €2.7bn sale of Chilean power distributor Compañía General de Electricidad (CGE), to Chinese state company State Grid International Development.
  • Advised Bancóldex, Davivienda, FDN, BID, BID Invest y Fondo Chino de Co-financiamiento para América Latina on the financing for the construction, operation and maintenance of a multipurpose terminal in the Antioquia Port project, located in the Gulf of Urabá, Colombia.
  • Advised CAP on a $139m refinancing of its subsidiary Cleanairtech (Aguas CAP), a new $160m credit, and on the refinancing an existing loan and a new syndicated loan to fund a seawater desalination plant.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP's New York partner Melissa Raciti-Knapp is co-head of the Latin America practice and has an extensive record in power (including renewables), mining, oil and gas, and infrastructure projects in the region. She and the team have good connections to commercial banks, ECAs and multilateral agencies. Her wighty track-record includes deals in Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and Central America, among other countries in the region.

Practice head(s):

Melissa Raciti-Knapp

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP has an impressive track record in bond financings for energy and infrastructure projects. The firm is also noted for energy, mining and infrastructure (including digital infrastructure) investments and M&A. It advised MIP V International on the acquisition from Odinsa of 50% equity interests in road assets in Colombia, as well as the creation of a transportation infrastructure partnership to manage existing assets and to develop new road projects in Colombia, Peru and Chile. Tomer Pinkusiewicz is an experienced figure in project and infrastructure bonds, and investments in energy and infrastructure assets. Marwan Azzi has joined from White & Case LLP to provide additional M&A and private equity expertise in both fields.

Work highlights

  • Advised I-Squared Capital (through its ISQ Global Infrastructure Fund III and ISQ Growth Markets Infrastructure Fund) on its agreement to acquire Mexican digital infrastructure service provider, KIO Networks.
  • Advised MIP V International on the acquisition of a 50% equity interest in road assets in Colombia from Odinsa, as well as the creation of a transportation infrastructure partnership to manage existing assets and to develop new road projects in Colombia, Peru and Chile.
  • Advised Coeur Mining on its definitive agreement to sell the La Preciosa silver project in Mexico to Avino Silver & Gold Mines.

Greenberg Traurig LLP

Greenberg Traurig LLP's deep commitment towards Latin America extends to an impressive flow of energy and infrastructure M&A engagements, along with project financings and project bond issuances. The firm has experienced further growth in green financings and green bond transactions. Through its Mexico City office it has landed an impressive market share of Mexico projects and transactions. It also has a fine record in Central America and is building its standing throughout South America; a case in point was its advice to Hudson Sustainable Group on the $107m  green financing of six solar farms in Uruguay. Mexico City office co-founding partner Juan Manuel González Bernal is a notable name in energy and infrastructure project development, while Marc Rossell and Oscar Stephens in New York provide further energy and infrastructure financing expertise, including in project bonds and green bonds.

Practice head(s):

Juan Manuel González Bernal

Testimonials

Availability and quality of services.

Excellent.

Key clients

Inversiones Latin America Power

Mexico Infrastructure Partners

Hudson Sustainable Group

Grupo GIA

Alanza Honduras

Banverde Solar I

Landscape Acquisition Company

Red de Carreteras de Occidente

Aeropuertos Argentina 2000

ACI Airport Sudamérica

Engie Mexico

Corporacion America Airports

MXT Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised Mexico Infrastructure Partners (MIP) and the concession holder portfolio companies on the initial public offering of a Fibra E investment trust listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange.
  • Advised Inversiones Latin America Power on the $404m offering of 5.125% senior secured notes (due 2033), in connection with the refinancing of two wind farms in northern Chile.
  • Represented Red de Carreteras de Occidente on the $2.38bn sale of a 72% stake to a partnership made up of GIC Special Investment and Abertis Infraestructuras.

Reed Smith LLP

Reed Smith LLP has a rich and varied projects and energy practice in Latin America. The firm represents a number of banks and financial institutions in project financings in the energy and infrastructure segments; like other firms it is increasingly active in renewables. As a global leader in commodities trading, the Latin America team also represents a number of commodities traders, especially in Brazil-related transactions. Moreover, it has a fine record in oil-and-gas matters, including LNG. Brazil and Mexico are key markets for the team, along with other growing markets such as Uruguay and the Dominican Republic. New York partner Lee Ann Dillon  represents a number of lenders on Latin America project financings. Houston’s Nicolas Borda  specialises in energy, natural resources and infrastructure, and has an extensive record in US-Mexico energy projects; and Washington DC counsel Edwin Nazario  is another Latin America energy and natural resources specialist.

Practice head(s):

Francisco Rivero

Testimonials

The team is very responsive and very helpful. they always reply inquiries on time and provide accurate information to legal questions we might have.

I have worked with Lee Ann Dillon and Constantin Souris. Both of them are very kind and understanding, especially when it comes to question asked by a non-lawyer person like me. They are always happy to explain and clarify. They also work super fast and are very efficient.

Excellent quality and commitment to the client and the operation. Immediate answers and constant and continuous attention. Phenomenal work.

Complete commitment to the operation and its involvement. Edwin Nazario stands out for his dedication and attention to the client and to finding solutions to complex issues.

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP has a well-developed Latin America projects and energy practice, primarily driven by its large Houston office. The team is noted for renewables and conventional power matters, along with oil and gas projects, LNG terminals and drilling rigs, and other energy and infrastructure projects. Its client base includes private equity houses, lenders, project sponsors and developers, and commodity traders. Brian Bradshaw is an experienced Latin America specialist with an extensive history in oil and gas, LNG, and renewables transactions.

Practice head(s):

Brian Bradshaw

Key clients

Barra Energia

Denham Capital Management

JERA Co

Work highlights

  • Advised China National Oil and Gas Exploration and Development Company (CNODC) on its participation, through its Brazilian subsidiary, in the development and production of the Búzios field in the Santos Basin presalt of Brazil, the largest deepwater field in the world.  
  • Advised private equity-backed Brazilian company, Barra Energia, on the development of the offshore Brazilian Atlanta Field, including assisting with the revision of and issues surrounding the FPSO charter party and development of the lifting agreement and other ancillary documents for crude oil lifting, as well as various co-owner issues.
  • Represented Jenner Renewables in connection with the development and financing of a portfolio of small solar projects in Chile.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs has a major focus on Latin America, particularly Mexico and Brazil. It has a particularly strong record in oil and gas, conventional power and renewables. Washington DC partner Alvaro Mestre chairs the firm’s Mexico desk, and specialises in energy and transport transactions, (including project development and M&A) in Latin America. In Houston, dual-qualified (Brazil/New York) Paula Galhardo leads the Brazil desk, and has an extensive record in inbound and outbound M&A. Also in Houston, senior foreign counsel Cássio Braga Arantes is another member of the Brazil desk and a specialist in the oil and gas sector, having practised in Brazil for many years before moving to Houston.

Stephen Hood & Partners

Stephen Hood & Partners launched in Sao Paulo at the end of 2020, led by veteran international lawyer Stephen Hood, who has extensive experience in Latin America project finance in the power, oil and gas, and infrastructure sectors; he was most recently a Sao Paulo partner at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP. He and fellow founding partner Rebecca Roman , a younger US lawyer, remain active in Brazilian offshore oil and gas projects, infrastructure projects in Peru, and are becoming increasingly active in renewable energy matters. Energy sector M&A is another area of focus. The firm is particularly aligned with sponsors and borrowers, along with a number of Brazilian banks.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Hood

Key clients

Sete Brasil (in judicial recovery) and its subsidiaries

VINCI Concessions

Lima Expresa

DP World

Tenenge Engenharia

Work highlights

  • Advised Sete Brasil and its subsidiaries on its cross-border financing needs, including the $3bn-plus bridge facilities for the construction of 28 drillships and an expected $20bn long-term finance to be serviced by 28 separate Petrobras charter payment streams.
  • Advised Tenenge Engenharia on the enforceability of an EPC contract and parent company guarantee issued under New York law.
  • Advised VINCI Concessions and Lima Expresa on the replacement of a shareholder subordinated ‘quasi-equity’ debt with a guaranteed subordinated $400m loan from a Peruvian Bank.