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  1. Energy: renewable/alternative
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Latham & Watkins LLP’s ‘very knowledgeable’ team excels at project finance. New York based Matthew Henegar and the ‘very versatileJonathan Rod acted for Allianz Global Investors on the project financing for the Grande Prairie Wind Farm in Nebraska, and Henegar and LA-based Jeffrey Greenberg acted for Morgan Stanley on a private placement by Texoma Wind for the financing of four wind facilities. Other key figures include DC-based David Penna and New York-based Eli Katz, who were both busy in the tax equity space. The team also handles M&A for the likes of ArcLight Capital Partners. New York-based David Kurzweil and DC-based David Schwartz jointly head the practice.

Trusted Advisor - with Finnegan

IP specialist Finnegan detail how their collaborative approach makes for a unique culture which is designed to allow them to work with clients in a way which is cognizant of the challenges facing all companies today.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP’s considerable expertise in acting for lenders on finance mandates was once again in evidence, with global practice head Daniel Bartfeld and Roland Estevez advising the lenders on the project financing of Aela Energía’s wind portfolio in Chile. In other highlights, Los Angeles-based Allan Marks (‘an extremely good lawyer’) assisted Onyx Renewable Partners with the tax equity finance for 16 solar photovoltaic projects, and Los Angeles-based Timothy Wendling and John Franchini acted for JP Morgan Asset Management on the acquisition of a photovoltaic solar project in Colorado. Jonathan Green and Eric Silverman co-chair the practice. All named partners are based in New York except where stated otherwise.

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP’s ‘solution-oriented and efficient team’ includes a considerable number of highly regarded practitioners, including DC-based joint heads of practice Keith Martin and Rohit Chaudhry, and New York-based Todd Alexander; Martin is particularly recommended for tax equity work, while Alexander is highly rated on the debt side. Another key figure is New York-based Robert Eberhardt who handled the development, financing and commodity hedging arrangements for a number of wind farm projects in Texas and Kansas. The broad practice takes in M&A mandates and in one example Alexander acted for Ullico Infrastructure Master Fund on its acquisition of a portfolio of assets owned by D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP fields a strong offering in San Francisco, that includes practice heads Mark Weitzel and Les Sherman and senior associate Wolfram Pohl; the named partners are advising EDF Renewables on its acquisition and tax equity financing of First Solar’s 179MW Switch Station solar project in Nevada. The practice also has considerable depth in Houston where Matthew Archer handled a range of mandates including advising EDP Renewables on the development of a 200MW wind farm in Mexico, while on the finance side George Humphrey acted for Sky Solar Holdings on the finance for six solar photovoltaic projects in Uruguay. Additional key figures include Houston-based practice co-head Blake Winburne, Dahl Thompson (also in Houston), and the ‘impressive’ Christopher Moore, who is based in New York.

At Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Los Angeles-based Edward Zaelke was kept busy handling numerous solar and wind projects, including acting for Northleaf Capital Partners on its significant investment in a portfolio of solar and wind projects being developed in Texas by Apex Energy. Other names to note include Los Angeles-based Daniel Sinaiko and Washington DC-based John Marciano; the latter assisted WindHQ with the acquisition and financing of the Astra wind farm in Texas.

Hogan Lovells US LLP was active on a range of international mandates including Miami-based Jorge Diaz-Silveira assisting Corporación Multi-Inversiones group with the $1.1bn purchase of wind and solar facilities located in Costa Rica, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

In another major deal, Washington DC-based counsel Thomas Hechl acted for International Finance Corporation and others on the financing of a large hydro project in Armenia. Baltimore-based Brian Chappell heads the practice.

In April 2018, Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP merged with Hunton & Williams LLP to form Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, a move which brought together two highly regarded renewable energy practices. The legacy Andrews Kurth Kenyon group advised sponsors on a large number of wind projects, including acting for Terna Energy in the construction and financing of the Fluvanna Wind project in Texas. Austin-based Lisa Montgomery Shelton handles tax equity investment work for the likes of BNP Paribas. In Houston, practice head Timothy Unger assisted the Public Section Pension Investment Board with various matters including a private placement of Pattern Energy Group stock. The legacy Hunton & Williams group is ‘highly competent in its execution of deals and commercially savvy’ and excels in tax equity investment work, where work included advising GE Energy Financial Services and Bank of America Merrill Lynch on their respective tax equity investments in Dermott Wind. Names to note in the Washington DC office include tax specialist David Lowman and Eric Pogue, with the latter praised for his ‘unparalleled knowledge in the solar space’. Global energy head Jeffrey Schroeder is ‘detailed and thoughtful’.

At Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, New York-based practice head James Tynion was active on behalf of a number of developers acquiring assets from bankrupt companies; Tynion also handled various tax equity investments for clients such as National Grid. On the finance side, Los Angeles-based Wayne Song advised Coronal Group on securing construction loan financings for three of its solar projects in Florida. Philadelphia-based Kenneth Kulak is recommended for solar projects.

Morrison & Foerster LLP was increasingly active in private equity and capital markets-backed M&A transactions, including New York-based practice co-head Jonathan Melmed acting for Axium Infrastructure on the acquisition of a 50% equity interest in the Slate Creek energy project. In San Francisco, key figures include practice co-head Susan Mac Cormac and Jeff Kayes; Kayes acted for Cypress Creek Renewables in connection with the debt and tax equity financing of three utility-scale solar photovoltaic projects in North Carolina.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP was active for lenders on a high volume of term-loan and capital markets financings including New York-based practice head David Lieberman advising Cobank as mandated lead arranger on NextEra Energy’s $39.6m financing of two solar power plants in California. In the M&A space, Houston-based Christopher May assisted BlackRock Energy and Power Infrastructure Group with a PIPE investment in NextEra Energy Partners.

At Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Washington DC-based practice head Lance Brasher handled a range of work for key client First Solar including M&A and tax equity financing. In other highlights, Pankaj Sinha, also in Washington DC, acted for The AES Corporation and Alberta Investment Management Corporation on their acquisition of sPower, and New York-based Tatiana Monastyrskaya assisted Alberta Investment Management Corporation with the mezzanine financing for a portfolio of DE Shaw’s renewable projects.

Winston & Strawn LLP’s team ‘thinks outside the box’ and acts for a wide-ranging client base that takes in banks, sponsors, equity investors and community choice aggregators. In Los Angeles, key figures include Jerry Bloom and Laurae Rossi; the latter is acting for Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale on the construction and term-loan financing of the Mount Signal 3 solar project in California. In New York, Jonathan Birenbaum brings ‘great wisdom’ to M&A matters, and Tara Greenberg is noted for her ‘industry knowledge’. San Francisco-based Joseph Karp heads the team. The practice saw a number of departures to Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, however this was alleviated by the hire of a team from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, including Patrick Groomes in Washington DC and New York-based Michael Pikiel.

Allen & Overy LLP is highly active in Latin America, where recent deals include New York-based Dorina Yessios advising Cubico Sustainable Investments on the financing for a 249MW wind project in Mexico. Another key figure is Washington DC-based Sami Mir, who regularly advises International Finance Corporation on international debt and equity investments. New York-based Kent Rowey and DC-based David Slade head the practice.

Baker Botts L.L.P. developed its offering with a number of hires, including DC-based Mark Spivak, who joined from Vinson & Elkins LLP. The team handled a number of significant mandates in 2018, including Washington DC-based co-head Elaine Walsh acting for NRG Energy on its acquisition of solar and wind assets from SunEdison, and New York-based Martin Toulouse assisting Sunnova Energy with its first asset-backed notes securitization. New York-based Michael Didriksen jointly heads the team with Walsh.

Baker McKenzie LLP further enhanced its Latin American capabilities with the hire of finance specialist Margarita Oliva Sainz de Aja, who joined from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP. The team was active in the M&A space in Mexico. In the US work included Mark Tibberts advising Ullico Infrastructure Master Fund and Fiera Infrastructure on the acquisition of minority interests in a portfolio of eleven wind and solar projects from D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments. Clyde Rankin heads the predominantly New York-based team.

Ballard Spahr LLP has experience in a wide range of areas, including solar, hydroelectric, offshore and onshore wind, landfill gas, biogas, and wood waste. The ‘excellent’ practice also extends to niche areas such as advising on the acquisition and tax equity and debt financing of multiple community solar projects. Washington DC-based Thomas Hoffmann and Philadelphia-based Patrick Gillard are the main contacts.

DLA Piper LLP (US) specializes in lender-side project finance with Washington DC-based Gregory Smith highly active on cross-border mandates, and Timothy Moran (also in Washington DC) focusing on the domestic market. In one example of work Smith acted for key client the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) on the financing of a 500MW wind farm in central Ukraine. New York-based Joseph Tato heads the practice.

Eversheds Sutherland regularly assists major utilities companies with M&A and tax equity investments into renewable energy projects, and the team is also highly proficient in acting for the developers of projects. In one example of the latter, practice head Dorothy Black Franzoni is advising the East Kentucky Power Cooperative on the construction of an 8.5MW solar electric generation facility in Kentucky. Thomas Warren and Ram Sunkara are additional contacts in the Atlanta-based team.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s practice is led from New York by Peter Hanlon and Nicholas Politan, who remained highly active on M&A and tax equity financings for key client Berkshire Hathaway Energy. The team also handles debt work and acted for Grande Prairie Wind on its proposed $425m note financing relating to the largest wind energy project in Nebraska.

At Foley & Lardner LLP, Jason Allen, Jeffery Atkin, and John Eliason, who are respectively based in Milwaukee, Los Angeles, and Washington DC, act for a wide variety of sponsors on project finance and M&A. In one highlight Allen acted for Exelon on its $400m sale of 49% of the membership interests of ExGen Renewables Partners to John Hancock Insurance Company.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP further developed its New York offering with the hire of Jeffrey Meyers and Armando Ramirez from Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP. Another name to note in New York is Madeline Tully, who together with Miami-based practice head Philip Tingle advised key client Credit Suisse on the finance for numerous solar photovoltaic developments. On the developer side, clients include Olympus Power and Exelon.

McGuireWoods LLP handles a high volume of deals in the South East and Texas, and regularly advises banks such as Fifth Third Bank and KeyBank National Association on financing for renewables. In the M&A space, Richmond-based practice chair Michael Woodard acted for Coronal Energy on the sale of its solar portfolio across the US. The practice was boosted in Chicago by the hire of Timothy Callahan who joined from Paul Hastings LLP.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP regularly assists equity investors, financiers, sponsors and hedge providers with renewable projects. New York-based practice head Junaid Chida handled a high volume of preferred equity investments, including advising a consortium on the $200m acquisition of preferred equity interests in three solar power projects being developed by Apex Clean Energy Holdings in Texas. In another Texas-related deal, Los Angeles-based Jeff Hoffner and New York-based Arthur Hazlitt assisted OCI Solar with the sale of the Alamo 6 solar power project to a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP is ‘top notch for finance-related work’, with the team particularly experienced in advising sponsors and developers; in San Francisco ‘creative problem-solver’ Thomas Gump advised Duke Energy on the issuance of $234m in senior-secured notes provided for eight solar facilities in California, Colorado and New Mexico. Michael T. Reese and the ‘excellent’ Nicolai Sarad (both based in New York), and San Francisco-based Robert James head the team.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP considerably boosted its offering with a number of hires from Winston & Strawn LLP including practice co-head Katherine Gillespie, Amit Kalra, Laurette Petersen and Andrew Ratts, who joined the Chicago office, and San Francisco-based Christine Hourcade-Hoefliger. The new practice advises clients such as Allette Clean Energy and Invenergy on a full range of project finance, project development, commercial lending, tax credit monetization and M&A. San Diego-based Tony Toranto jointly heads the team with Gillespie.

Vinson & Elkins LLP leverages its strong private equity client base to advise on M&A and tax equity investments; Washingto DC-based Katy Gottsponer and Houston-based Kaam Sahely were particularly active in this regard. Sahely was also busy in the finance space where he acted for Goldman Sachs and various lenders on the refinancing of Altus Power America. Houston-based John Connally and James Cuclis head the practice.

White & Case LLP is singled out for its ‘great industry knowledge and track record with development finance institutions in Latin America’; The team acted for the Brazilian Development Bank on the financing of five wind power plants in Brazil. The practice also regularly acts for foreign lenders involved in project finance and tax equity investments in US projects. Additional contacts in the predominantly New York-based team are the ‘pragmaticMarius Griskonis and global energy head Arthur Scavone.

At Bracewell LLP, Houston-based practice co-chair Jessica Adkins has a strong reputation for commodity hedging transactions; she acted for a hedge provider in a hedging agreement with Goldwind Americas for the 160MW Rattlesnake Wind Project in Texas. In New York, key figures include Michael Espinoza and Ron Erlichman, who handle M&A for the likes of Southern Power, and practice co-chair John Klauberg.

Clifford Chance’s Washington DC-based team often features on cross-border work, particularly in Latin America; Fabricio Longhin is acting for the government of Argentina on the design of its renewable energy program. The team advises on finance for both sponsors and lenders, with recent clients including OPIC and Aela Energía. Practice head David Evans and Lori Bean are additional contacts.

Dentons handles a range of disputes arising in the renewables sector, and in one example Washington DC-based practice head Clinton Vince is defending Dr Christopher Clack in a defamation claim relating to deep decarbonization. Other work included acting for sponsors on the development and financing of projects, and assisting Royal Bank of Canada with a tax equity investment in two Pattern Energy wind projects. Washington DC-based Peter Thieman and LA-based Carl Steen are additional contacts.

At Jones Day, Washington DC-based Gerald Farano and Danielle Varnell handled a number of M&A mandates for key clients NRG Energy and Invenergy; for example Varnell advised Invenergy on its build-transfer sale of the Beech Ridge II wind project in West Virginia. The team also handled tax equity investment work for Starbucks. Houston-based Jeff Schlegel heads the practice.

In 2018 K&L Gates’ caseload included advising developers on transmission projects and M&A, and acting for corporates on power purchase agreements. In one highlight, Seattle-based David Benson led a team that included practice co-chair David Hattery in advising Montana-Dakota Utilities on the $220m purchase of the Thunder Spirit wind project in North Dakota. Washington DC-based William Keyser co-chairs the practice.

Linklaters LLP’s New York offering is led by Vijaya Palaniswamy, who was active in the US and Latin America across a range of technologies including solar, wind and biomass; in one deal he advised Santiago Solar and its sponsors on the project finance for a 115MW solar plant in Chile. Margot Schonholtz assisted a private equity fund with a number of tax equity investments.

Mayer Brown continued to be active on project finance mandates for a range of investors and banks. New York-based Christopher Erckert acted for the noteholders on the private placement of bonds issued by Invenergy to finance the operation of its Campo Palomas wind energy project in Uruguay. Houston-based Robert Goldberg and Washington DC-based tax specialist Jeffrey Davis jointly head the team.

Paul Hastings LLP regularly advises clients such as First Solar on the planning and environmental side of renewable projects, with San Francisco-based practice co-head Peter Weiner the name to note in this regard. In New York Robert Kartheiser and Robert Leung were active for lenders and sponsors on a mix of financing and M&A.

Reed Smith LLP was busy on a number of wind energy projects, including Princeton-based Henry King advising various IPPs on M&A as well as tax equity and construction financing. The practice is led from San Francisco by Edward Rogan and Donald Ousterhout.

Shearman & Sterling LLP’s New York-based team regularly advises on the financing of cross-border projects; Gregory Tan acted for the sponsors on the $235m financing of the development, construction and operation of two solar photovoltaic projects in Mexico. The other name to note is Robert Freedman, who acted for the lead placement agents on various capital markets financings, both in the US and abroad.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is handling an increasing amount of renewables work from its New York office. Highlights included Inosi Nyatta advising JP Morgan on a virtual power purchase agreement and energy hedging arrangement in connection with the development of the Buckthorn Wind Project, and Sergio Galvis and Werner Ahlers acting for a consortium on its proposed approximately $1.4bn acquisition of Empresa de Generación Huallaga.

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