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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > Northern Ireland > Projects, energy and natural resources > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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Energy

Index of tables

  1. Energy
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Energy clients in Northern Ireland using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

A&L Goodbody’s highly regarded energy practice has notable expertise in handling project financings, energy-related M&A, project management matters and contentious energy-related instructions. In a high-profile example of the practice’s contentious work, litigation partner Micaela Diver is leading advice to Action Renewables on the establishment of a special interest group, the Renewable Heat Association, to represent the owners of non-domestic biomass boilers who took part in the highly publicised RHI scheme in Northern Ireland; the group has represented the client in three judicial reviews relating to the scheme’s closure and the retrospective change to the published tariffs. On the non-contentious side, wind-related mandates have been particularly prominent in the team’s workload; in 2017, Mark Thompson led the team advising Brookfield Renewables on the acquisition of a 16MW wind farm, which was purchased pre-construction with the intention of completing the acquisition once the project was finished. Thompson is also assisting the same client with a similar transaction for a 23MW wind farm. Thompson jointly heads the team with banking partner Ciaran McAlinney, who has expertise in project finance matters relating to the energy sector. Associate Mark Stockdale, who has experience in electricity, gas and renewables-related regulatory issues, is a name to note.

Carson McDowell’s ‘excellent’ energy practice is very well known for handling a broad spectrum of energy-related matters for a number of Northern Ireland’s leading energy players. The group is noted for its expertise in mandates relating to renewable energy, electricity and gas, and represents clients in acquisitions, transactions and the developmental aspects of energy projects. In recent highlights, the ‘very responsive’ team acted for AES UK & Ireland in the sale of Cloghan Point Oil Terminal to energy company LCC Group, and assisted Air Core with refinancing nine separate wind turbine sites. In a different matter, the practice advised Vinci Energies on its acquisition of electrical engineering company Meldrum, which supplies electricity to nuclear sites. SONI is another key client for the firm. M&A and financing expert Neasa Quigley leads the team, which includes the ‘commercially astute’ energy planning expert Gary McGhee and Dawson McConkey, who uses his ‘vast and detailed knowledge of Northern Ireland land law’ to handle the real estate aspects of renewable energy projects.

With an established reputation for its expertise in energy matters, Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP represents a wide spectrum of energy clients in high-profile and high-value transactions and projects in Northern Ireland. The team advises on, among other areas, financings and M&A deals, and is adept at handling regulatory matters in the renewables sector. Wind farm projects remain a core area of activity for the group, which also handles matters related to solar, gas and anaerobic digestion. In a standout transaction for the region, the group advised Mutual Energy on the construction and financing of a £250m infrastructure project to bring natural gas to Counties Tyrone, Londonderry and Fermanagh. In another matter, the firm assisted the Renewable Infrastructure Group (TRIG) with a €72m acquisition of a portfolio of onshore wind projects in the Republic of Ireland. In a different matter, practice head Richard Murphy led advice to BayWa r.e. UK on power purchase arrangements for a 78ha solar farm in Northern Ireland, the largest solar farm developed in the region. Other clients include CES Energy and NTR. Associate Laura Donnelly is also recommended.

Arthur Cox Belfast’s energy practice represents energy clients in transactions and financings across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The group is adept at handling mandates covering both the traditional and renewable energy sectors, with gas-related instructions a notable area of strength. Dublin-based Alex McLean heads up the group and led advice to the Energia Group on the development and financing of five wind farms in Northern Ireland; the transaction was successful. In another highlight, Belfast-based Alan Taylor led advice to Mutual Energy on the development of the new single NI Network Gas Transmission Code, and is assisting Premier Transmission with amendments to an existing tripartite agreement with National Grid and Gas Networks Ireland regarding arrangements at the interconnection point between their gas pipelines in Scotland to ensure gas continues to be delivered to Northern Ireland from the UK following changes to Northern Ireland’s gas industry.

Cleaver Fulton Rankin’s energy practice attracts praise for its ‘comprehensive and focused’ advice and ‘excellent and efficient service’. The group assists a client base of banks, investment funds, regulatory bodies and renewable energy developers with financings, acquisitions and regulatory matters involving wind, solar and electricity projects. Practice head Stephen Cross, who is ‘excellent and pragmatic’, led the advice to BlackRock Real Assets, as shareholder in solar energy company Lightsource Renewable Energy, regarding the construction of a 50MW Northern Irish solar farm project by the latter. Other clients include Wirsol, First Trust Bank, Gaelectric and BlackBee Investments. Karen Blair and Joe Marley are the key names for planning and property-related mandates.

Andrew Ryan leads TLT’s energy practice, which assists a client base of banks and energy companies in relation to site acquisitions, project development, the financing aspects of large-scale energy projects, as well as contentious energy mandates. Recent highlights included advising ABO Wind on the implications of the closure of the Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation for its ongoing large-scale wind projects. On the finance side, the team acted for Ecotricity in refinancing 19 of its operational wind and solar energy sites to accelerate the development of its renewables projects. Other clients in 2017 included Albion Community Power. Sarah Ewing was recently promoted to legal director.

Tughans has a solid track record in handling renewable and non-renewable energy mandates, with notable expertise in advising clients on wind farm acquisitions. The group advises Granville Ecopark on supplying pressurised natural gas generated via its anaerobic digestion plant in Dungannon to landfill gas sites based around Northern Ireland. Other clients include Aircore and Northern Ireland Water. Corporate head John-George Willis leads the group.

Millar McCall Wylie LLP’s energy practice handles a range of energy mandates, with a prominent focus on matters relating to renewable energy and anaerobic digestion. Banking and finance head Christopher Neill acted for First Trust Bank in providing debt facilities to a local generator for operating an anaerobic digestion generation facility in Northern Ireland. Other key clients in 2017 included Scottish Power Renewables and Bank of Ireland. Andrew Kerr heads up the energy practice.

Wind farm-related mandates dominate Mills Selig’s energy practice, with the group advising on the acquisition, financing and disposal of the wind farms. Solar projects are a growing area of activity for the firm. Recent highlights for the team included advising Walkabout Resources on the acquisition of platinum miner Lonmin’s Northern Ireland’s exploration portfolio. In another matter, the group is assisting Downing Fund LLP with its rooftop residential solar leases portfolio. Property lawyer Anna-Marie McAlinden leads the team, in which solicitor Glenn Watterson is recommended.


Project finance and PFI

Index of tables

  1. Project finance and PFI
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Project finance and PFI clients in Northern Ireland using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Arthur Cox Belfast provides ‘a very effective, thoroughgoing and timely service’ to a client base of public bodies and government departments, with a particular focus on the infrastructure, energy and real estate spaces. Highlights included advising the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service on a joint procurement with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for a new command and control IT system for monitoring emergency calls, dispatch and co-ordinating responses to incidents; and representing Ulster University in the ongoing development of a new campus in the centre of Belfast as part of the Greater Belfast Development programme. The firm is also assisting the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs with the procurement aspects of implementing a new IT system to record and track the movements and health of food animals in Northern Ireland. The ‘exceptionally helpful’ practice head William Curry is widely recognised for his expertise in procurement matters. Associate James Flanagan is also recommended.

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP has an established reputation for its infrastructure expertise and acts for bidders and government departments in procurement issues. London-based partner Adrian Eakin, who is well known for his experience in project work, is leading the advice to the Education Authority of Northern Ireland on all operational matters pertaining to the £500m Belfast School Strategic Partnership Project, being the first PFI project to use the strategic partnership scheme. Amber Infrastructure is another key client for the firm. Director Ciara Seymour is well known for her expertise in PPP work and represents clients across the range of private and public sectors.

A&L Goodbody is well known for representing banks and investment funds in traditional project finance matters, and has seen an uptick in instructions relating to the financing of solar and wind farms. Recent highlights include finance partner Ciaran McAlinney advising the Royal Bank of Scotland as the lender on the project financing of the 5MW Finvoy and 22MW Maghaberry solar farms, and assisting the First Trust Bank with the project financing of the 25MW Castlecraig wind farm. Other key clients include Ulster Bank, Brookfield Renewables and Bank of Ireland.

Carson McDowell’s team has a solid track record in representing contractors in PPP mandates; the team is assisting McLaughlin & Harvey as a member of the Creating Connections (C3) consortium which was awarded the contract for the Ayrshire College Kilmarnock Campus NPD project. On the project finance side, Neasa Quigley is leading the advice to Belfast Power on the £280m financing of a 480MW combined cycle power plant in Belfast Harbour. Practice head Gerard Armstrong is widely recognised for his PPP/PFI expertise.


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