The Legal 500 Green Guide: Asia Pacific 2024

Asia Pacific 2024

Allen & Overy LLP

Anderson Lloyd

Argus Partners

Ashurst

Assegaf Hamzah & Partners

Atsumi & Sakai

Bell Gully

Ben McQuhae & Co

Chandler MHM Limited

Clifford Chance

DLA Piper

DR & AJU LLC

Deacons

Dentons

Fangda Partners

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law)

HFW

Han Kun Law Offices

Herbert Smith Freehills

Hive Legal

Hogan Lovells

JSA Law

JunHe LLP

Juris Corp

K&L Gates

King & Wood Mallesons

Krishnamurthy & Co

LeeSalmonLong

Linklaters

Luthra and Luthra Law Offices India

Maddocks

Mayer Brown

Milbank

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

Morrison Foerster

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

Nishimura & Asahi

Norton Rose Fulbright

Phi Finney McDonald

Pinsent Masons

RIAA BARKER GILLETTE

Rahmat Lim & Partners

Russell McVeagh

S&R Associates

SNG & PARTNERS

SRPP Ltd.

SSEK Law Firm

Shearman & Sterling

Shin & Kim

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Sunshine Law Firm

SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan (SyCipLaw)

UMBRA - Strategic Legal Solutions

VDB Loi

YKVN

Zaid Ibrahim & Co (in association with KPMG Law)

Allen & Gledhill LLP

Singapore

The ESG & Public Policy practice at Singaporean UN Global Compact member and full-service firm Allen & Gledhill LLP has deep expertise advising corporate, banking, and government clients on legal and regulatory issues across the sustainable finance, renewable power, and carbon market sectors.

In a landmark deal, the capital markets team advised the Monetary Authority of Singapore on its inaugural S$2.4bn green bond issuance. The proceeds from the bonds will help finance infrastructure projects within the Singapore Green Plan 2030.

In a S$3bn matter, the firm assisted the lenders with a real estate green loan facility provided to Perennial Shenton Property. The deal, among the largest green loan facilities in Asia to date, will support the development of the sustainability-focused building at 8 Shenton Way in Singapore.

In the solar power sector, energy lawyer Julie Sim acted for BCG-SP Solar 1 Joint Stock Company as borrower on a $31.6m term loan facility. The facility will be used by the client – a joint venture between electricity distribution company Singapore Power and impact investors Bamboo Capital Group – to fund commercial and industrial rooftop solar PV systems across Vietnam.

ESG & Public Policy practice co-head Adrian Ang is currently advising banking group ANZ on the regulatory and legal categorisation of carbon credits, ahead of the client’s proposed offering of carbon credit derivatives to corporate customers.

The firm’s A&G Sustainability Roadmap, devised following an internal sustainability audit, has set a target to reduce the firm’s greenhouse emissions and operational carbon footprint by 50% by 2030. Toward reaching these goals, the firm is currently focused on reducing its consumption of electricity and paper.

To help build a culture of sustainability among staff, in June 2023, the firm held its second annual Climate Action Week, which encompassed a clean-up event at a Singaporean park and an e-waste collection drive within the office.

Julie Sim  | Singapore

Adrian Ang  | Singapore

Eversheds Sutherland

Hong Kong

Through the firm’s Asia ESG Committee, the Hong Kong-based team at Eversheds Sutherland collaborates regionally in order to best navigate emerging opportunities and provide clients vital sustainability-focused advice.

Leveraging the ESG expertise of its commercial and banking & finance practices, the firm has experience advising major international corporate clients on pioneering decarbonisation projects and high-value sustainability-linked financings. Additionally, through its pro bono cooperation with Wetand Link International, the firm provided funding to WWF Hong Kong to support conservation efforts in the Mai Po Wetlands.

A major focus of the firm’s regional ESG committee is to provide clients with regular briefings to support their decarbonisation journeys, with recent guidance including a report on ESG disclosure regimes, an introduction on the potential for climate change disputes, and an episodic series on the challenges of sustainable trade finance.

Alongside a global decarbonisation strategy – which has motivated the firm to join initiatives including the UN Global Compact, the Net Zero Lawyers Alliance, and the Business Ambition for 1.5°C – the firm’s Hong Kong office has committed to the Swire Properties’ Green Performance Pledge in order to promote carbon reduction, waste management, and the circular economy in its daily operations.

Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP

Singapore

The sustainability practice at full-service law firm Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP has particular expertise advising corporate and financial clients on projects which help decarbonise Southeast Asian infrastructure, housing, and power generation.

The firm advised HSBC Singapore regarding its proposed joint venture with Temasek Holdings to establish a debt financing platform dedicated to sustainable infrastructure projects. Aiming to help meet Southeast Asian carbon reduction targets while building resilience against the impacts of climate change, the parties will initially invest $150m across the renewable energy, waste and water treatment, and sustainable transport sectors.

In the renewable energy industry, the firm assisted the AIMS APAC REIT with the structuring, negotiations, and finalisation of the agreements for the installation and maintenance of a 10 MW solar rooftop PV portfolio on its industrial, logistics, and warehouse properties. The renewable energy certificates generated from the solar power will be used to help the REIT offset its carbon footprint while supporting tenants in their emission-reduction efforts.

Energy contact Shemane Chan is acting for the Mitsubishi Group regarding their implementation of a commercial-scale hydrogen value chain, advising on the regulatory framework regarding hydrogen storage, distribution, and use. The project will supply hydrogen to Singaporean power generation companies, providing an innovative approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions while pursuing Singapore’s climate action plan.

Alongside being a member of the UN Global Compact, the firm has signed up with LowCarbon SG – a government agency with a capacity-building programme to support businesses in monitoring and reducing their carbon emissions – and engaged PwC to accelerate its decarbonisation path.

Helping the firm meets its objective of becoming carbon neutral by 2030, it appointed a Chief Sustainability Officer to oversee operational carbon-reduction initiatives, and established a Sustainability Interest Group to engage and educate staff on environmental issues.

Shemane Chan  | Singapore

Allen & Overy LLP

China

The Beijing office of Allen & Overy LLP makes a leading contribution to the green transition through its expertise with green and sustainable finance mandates, acting for major domestic and regional companies as borrowers and arrangers on high-value and impactful deals.

In a novel mandate within the Asia Pacific region, the firm advised Cathay Pacific Airways on its sustainability-linked JOLCO financing. The terms of the loan are linked to ESG-based performance targets, including the increased proportion of fuel-efficient aircraft in the client’s fleet and the greater use of sustainable aviation fuel.

Supporting the decarbonisation of the financial services sector, managing partner Yvonne Ho acted for Ant Group on the conversion of its $6.5bn sustainability-linked loan. The financing, marking the client’s first syndicated sustainability-linked loan, is linked to the attainment of certain ESG performance targets, including reaching net zero by 2030.

In a $2bn deal, the firm acted for the lead arrangers, bookrunners, and underwriters in the provision of a green loan to Chinese e-commerce platform JD.com. The loan, which was the first green syndicated loan issued by JD Group and remains a leading green syndicated loan issued overseas by a Chinese company, will be used to finance and refinance the client’s green projects.

Alongside a global Environmental Sustainability Strategy – which seeks to make a positive impact to combat climate change, biodiversity degradation, water scarcity, and natural resources depletion – the firm focuses its internal efforts through its global decarbonisation strategy. The decarbonisation strategy seeks to reduces scopes 1, 2, and 3 emissions by 50% by 2030 against a 2019 baseline, and is aligned to UN Sustainable Development Goals pursuing affordable and clean energy, responsible consumption and production, and climate action.

Hong Kong

From Hong Kong, global law firm Allen & Overy LLP provides a deep specialism in green and sustainable finance. The firm’s experience includes advising leading government and corporate clients on innovative, cross-border matters which make a pioneering impact within the green transition.

In a novel digital asset deal, the firm advised the government of the Hong Kong SAR in its issuance of HKD800m tokenised green bonds. The matter was an innovative combination of emerging fintech and green finance, and helps pioneer further private-sector engagement with digital green bond offerings.

Acting for the underwriters, the firm assisted on the Bank of China’s first green bond offering in reference to the Common Ground Taxonomy – Climate Change Mitigation Report. The $500m notes, marking the bank’s first dual-certified green bond with contribution to climate change mitigation, were designed to target 72 climate mitigation activities that are recognised by both China’s Green Bond Endorsed Project Catalogue and the EU Sustainable Finance Taxonomy.

A further key client is Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, whom the firm advised regarding a $500m sustainability-linked term loan facility for China Gas. As a socially responsible syndicated loan, the facility is novel in the Greater China region and supports the transition away from coal power in the rural areas of Northern China.

Seeking to make a positive impact on climate change through its global Environmental Sustainability Strategy, the firm currently focuses significant efforts on its decarbonisation strategy. This strategy seeks to reduce scopes 1, 2, and 3 emissions by 50% by 2030 against a 2019 baseline, and is aligned to UN Sustainable Development Goals pursuing affordable and clean energy, responsible consumption and production, and climate action.

Japan

The Tokyo office of global law firm Allen & Overy LLP makes a significant contribution to the development of the region’s renewable energy capacity through its work for leading clean energy investors and through its pioneering thought leadership commitment.

For the Green Investment Group, project finance partner Xue Wang led a cross-office team in advising on the establishment of a global co-investment platform for the client’s offshore wind assets. The mandate helps inject capital into the Japanese offshore wind market, thereby boosting the delivery of renewable electricity.

Supporting the decarbonisation of Japan’s power sector, the firm advised leading energy producer JERA on its acquisition of a 35.1% interest in renewable energy platform Gia Lai Electricity, which owns and operates a 600 MW hydro, solar, and wind power portfolio. The acquisition supports the client in achieving its corporate vision of scaling-up its clean energy platform while consequentially aiding the growth of Vietnam’s renewable energy industry.

In a mandate supporting the decarbonisation of the steel industry, the firm advised Japanese export credit agencies and a syndicate of commercial banks in a $1.4bn finance facility to Brazilian mining company CSN Mineração. The financing will support the construction of a pellet feed production plant, with the pellets to be used as a low-carbon fuel in the production of steel.

Managing partner Matthias Voss, who has particular expertise advising on project financings in the renewable energy sector, is a key contact in the firm’s global hydrogen expertise. The cross-office Hydrogen Interest Group possesses a legal and regulatory knowledge on production, storage, supply, and transportation issues within the hydrogen market.

Energy transition project specialist Scott Neilson has contributed keenly to the firm’s ‘Financing the gap’ thought leadership series, which explores the legal and regulatory challenges inherent in mobilising the private-sector investment necessary to accelerate and deliver the net-zero transition.

South Korea

The Seoul office of Allen & Overy LLP has demonstrable expertise advising South Korea’s leading energy companies and investors on high-value and impactful deals that support environmental protection and decarbonisation projects across the region.

Projects lawyer Henry Sohn advised utility company SK E&S on its acquisition of a significant interest in Vietnamese company Gia Lai Electricity’s renewable energy unit, New Renewable Energy No. 1. The matter helps broaden the client’s renewables presence through granting it an interest in the target’s 150 MW portfolio of in-development and operational nearshore wind projects.

The firm has wide experience advising lenders on green transition-related project and infrastructure financings. Notable recent highlights include advising export credit agency K-SURE on the financing provided to fund renewable energy constructor SK Ecoplant’s investment into a US-based hydrogen fuel cell company; and assisting the lenders on a financing to SK Ecoplant subsidiary Eco Frontier to fund the acquisition of TES Envirocorp, which provides recycling and repurposing solutions for lithium batteries and plastics.

At a global level, the firm has an Environmental Sustainability Strategy which seeks to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change, biodiversity degradation, water scarcity, and natural resources depletion. Crucial to the strategy is the firm’s current decarbonisation strategy, which follows a certified Science Based Target to reduce absolute scopes 1, 2, and 3 emissions by 50% by 2030, when compared to a 2019 baseline. For emissions which cannot yet be abated, the firm offsets residual scopes 1 and 2 emissions, while also offsetting scope 3 emissions associated with business travel.

Thailand

The Bangkok office of Allen & Overy LLP has expertise advising Thai and regional clients on a broad spectrum of mandates concerning the green transition, with particular expertise across green finance, renewable energy, and the decarbonisation of mass transport.

Demonstrating its sustainable finance expertise, the firm advised the Export-Import Bank of Thailand on its domestic offering of THB5bn green bonds. The bonds – which will raise funds to finance solar and wind energy projects – support the client’s ambitions to expand its green portfolio in accordance with the Thai government’s Bio-Circular-Green economic initiative.

In the solar power sector, project finance lawyer Sarah Wilson advised the lenders in an approximately $46.3m financing to fund the development of a 60 MW solar power project in Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia. The project, central to Cambodia’s 100 MW National Solar Park Project public-private partnership, is vital to transitioning the country’s energy mix away from coal and oil while catalysing future private-sector investment in the renewables industry,

For the Asian Development Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency, and the Export-Import Bank of Thailand, the firm advised on the provision of a THB600m loan to E Smart Transport to fund the development and operation of 27 electric ferries for Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River. The project, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 18,900tco2e annually, supports the client in its ambitions to invest in emissions reductions.

Wilson also makes a strong contribution to the firm’s global thought leadership offering, having co-authored an article which explores how multilateral development banks have become a key catalyst for decarbonisation projects in the global South.

Yvonne Ho  | China

Xue Wang  | Japan

Matthias Voss  | Japan

Scott Neilson  | Japan

Henry Sohn  | South Korea

Sarah Wilson  | Thailand

Anderson Lloyd

New Zealand

Longstanding New Zealand firm Anderson Lloyd has a multi-disciplinary climate change and carbon trading practice. It is particularly experienced in project development, construction and infrastructure in connection with renewable energy as well as forestry matters, carbon sequestration and carbon emission offsetting.

Auckland based energy and infrastructure expert Anton Trixl is leading the advice to Kapuni Green Hydrogen Project, a Hiringa Energy and Ballance Agri-Nutrients joint venture which aims to produce green hydrogen using renewable energy. The project is expected to produce circa 24.8 MW of energy and, once complete, will become one of the largest wind-to-green hydrogen projects globally.

Trixl is also advising Mercury Energy on all aspects of the Kaiwera Downs Wind Farm, a multi-million project that will see the installation of up to 83 wind-turbine generators producing up to 240MW of clean wind power; and is acting for Solar Bay on the development and projecty financing of the Maungaturoto solar farm, one of the largest independent solar farms in New Zealand.

A key client in the forestry space is asset management company New Forests. The firm has also been assisting Meridian Energy with its Forever Forests project aimed at establishing 1.5m permanent trees on land owned by the client to offset the company’s emissions. Of further note is the firm’s partnership with Trees That Count, a conservation charity that aims to plant 200 million native trees to counter the effects of climate change and improve biodiversity.

Since 2020, the firm has been certified by the carbon measurement and reduction initiative Toitū as carbonzero. Its external engagement is evidenced by its membership in various organisations including the Sustainable Business Council, Climate Leaders Coalition, the NZ Green Building Council and the New Zealand Wind Energy Association.

Anton Trixl  | New Zealand

Argus Partners

India

Indian full-service law firm Argus Partners has demonstrable expertise in advising corporate and power sector clients on the development and utilisation of renewable energy projects. Alongside an established specialism in wind and solar projects, the firm is also growing its capability as a provider of regulatory and transactional advice in the green hydrogen and electric vehicle charging infrastructure industries.

The firm has wide experience advising corporate clients on entering into renewable electricity power purchase agreements. For manufacturing company Sansera Engineering, Delhi-based energy specialist Rachika Agrawal Sahay assisted in the incorporation of an LLP and arrangement of a power purchase agreement with CleanMax Enviro Energy. Following the mandate, the partnership will implement and operate a renewable energy project to supply the client with 23 MW of clean energy.

Another corporate client in the renewable energy sector is manufacturer Uni Deritend, whom the firm advised on negotiating operation and maintenance agreements with Renom Energy Services regarding its captive wind energy project.

In an ongoing matter, the firm is advising leading solar developer Oakridge on setting up ground-mounted solar projects on a virtual net metering model in New Delhi. The firm’s work for the client has included project development advice and conducting title due diligence related to the project land.

The firm is committed to promoting and implementing sustainable practices through its green initiative. To boost its internal environmental management, the firm has reduced plastic waste through eliminating single-use plastics, while also engendering staff buy-in through hosting tree-planting drives in the communities surrounding its offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, and Kolkata.

Rachika Agrawal  | India

Ashurst

Singapore

Ashurst in Singapore in highly active in the green finance space.

Alfred Ng in the firm’s projects and energy transition practice led a Singapore-based team in advising DBS Bank and United Overseas Bank on its green loan financing of a rooftop solar project involving 1,200 public housing blocks and 49 government sites across Singapore.

In an ongoing highlight, the firm’s Singapore team is assisting British International Investment, Habib Bank, and Faysal Bank with the financing of the Indus, Liberty 1 and Liberty 2 wind power projects in Pakistan, which have a combined capacity of circa 150MW.

Globally, the firm demonstrates its expertise in sustainability matters also outside of client work. It has a net zero and sustainability focused podcast series, ESG Matters @ Ashurst, which reaches over 80 countries. It has furthermore developed a global interactive guide that helps clients navigate evolving hydrogen regulations and developments.

Indonesia

In Indonesia, Ashurst frequently advises on projects that contribute to a green transition.

Indonesia-based Frederic Draps, who is a member of the firm’s projects and energy transition practice, is acting on a multi-jurisdictional matter advising Mitsui & Co on its investment into Xurya, a leading Indonesian PV solar rooftop developer. He is also assisting GCL Intelligent Energy and PT Sarana Sakti Pratamadaya with developing and financing a waste treatment facility and a waster-to-energy power plant which aims to manage the environmental impact caused by waste in Jakarta.

The firm is also assisting a government with the development of a legal regulatory framework for CO2 transport and storage.

Globally, the firm’s engagement with sustainability matters is also evident outside of client work with initiatives such as the development of a global interactive guide that helps clients navigate evolving hydrogen regulations and developments. The firm’s net zero and sustainability focused podcast series, ESG Matters @ Ashurst, reaches over 80 countries.

Alfred Ng  | Singapore

Frederic Draps  | Indonesia

Assegaf Hamzah & Partners

Indonesia

With long-standing experience in renewable energy and sustainable finance deals, Indonesian full-service commercial law firm Assegaf Hamzah & Partners handles major, innovative mandates for public and private sector clients.

Projects specialist Kanya Satwika served as local counsel for UAE-government owned renewable energy company Masdar and the Indonesia Investment Authority in their investment into PT Pertamina Geothermal Energy (PGE). Through the deal, which leverages Indonesia’s geothermal power capacity in order to diversify Masdar’s energy transition profile, PGE pledges to develop a further 600 MW of renewables projects in the next five years.

Evidencing the capital markets team’s green finance expertise, the firm acted for the government of Indonesia on its IDR3.3trn green retail sukuk issuance. The green tranche helps finance state efforts to reduce the impact of climate change, with the proceeds being utilised to develop sustainable projects within the national budget.

The capital markets team also assisted clean energy independent power producer Medco Power with its IDR500bn Sukuk Wakala issuance. Of the proceeds of the bond, 76% will  finance the development of the 30 MW IJEN Geothermal Power Plant Phase I; 13% will help finance the development of the 25 MW West Bali Solar Power Plant; and the remaining 11% will support the development of the 25 MW East Bali Solar Power Plant.

Internally, the firm has worked to enhance its environmental policies and reduce its ecological footprint. It educates its staff on waste sorting while implementing a comprehensive recycling programme in order to maximise resource recovery.

Additionally, the firm collaborated with Greenpeace Indonesia; the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry; the Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Council; and the US Department of State to install an air pollution monitor in its office, helping provide accurate monitoring of the air quality in Jakarta.

Kanya Satwika  | Indonesia

Atsumi & Sakai

Japan

Full-service Japanese law firm Atsumi & Sakai coordinates its green client work and thought leadership through its sustainability committee, chaired by chief sustainability officer Yuri Suzuki. The committee works to both implement emissions-reducing initiatives and promote sustainability within its offices, and to gather its legal expertise in the areas of carbon emissions, renewable energy, and policy research.

In an ongoing matter, the firm is acting for German renewable energy developer PDPG in the construction and operation of a 480 MW solar PV plant on the island of Ukujima. The JPY250bn mega solar project will produce renewable electricity to be delivered by submarine cable to Kyushu Electric Power.

Project finance specialist Tomoko Watanabe is experienced in regulation and the legal regimes surrounding carbon emissions and offsets, having advised an Australian data centre business regarding its emissions reporting obligations. She also acted for the client in conducting research on comparative renewable energy credit schemes.

Alongside its existing expertise surrounding renewable energy generation, biomass projects, and battery storage, the firm is also developing its capacity in the hydrogen sector, having launched a global task force to assist the industry through its regulatory and operational hurdles.

The firm engages with sustainable finance thought leadership, with Suzuki a member of the Green Finance Network Japan. The network brings together public and private sector stakeholders to boost discourse and cooperation regarding sustainable finance in Japan. The firm is also a member of the Japan Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, supporting the organisation in its initiatives and adopting its recommendations in client work.

Watanabe is another key figure in the firm’s thought leadership, having authored publications and newsletters on climate change law, trends in the offshore wind sector, and subsidy opportunities for battery storage projects.

Yuri Suzuki  | Japan

Tomoko Watanabe  | Japan

Bell Gully

New Zealand

Leading New Zealand-based firm Bell Gully is at the forefront of the green transition in the country.

In an impactful ongoing highlight, the firm’s specialised climate change team, led by key contact Simon Watt, advised the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority on one of New Zealand’s biggest emissions reduction projects to date, expected to reduce the country’s total annual emissions by one per cent.

Watt and others are also assisting the Electricity Authority with a range of significant regulatory developments to support New Zealand’s energy transition and adapt to the effects of climate change.

The team regularly demonstrates its expertise in sustainability matters beyond its work for clients. Through its yearly reports ‘The Big Picture: Climate Change’, the firm discusses expectations for the year ahead in relation to the green transition and environmental challenges. Other notable thought leadership publications include articles on topics such as greenwashing and offshore wind developments.

Key contact Natasha Garvan is the convener of the New Zealand Law Society’s climate change law subcommittee.

The firm is also a member to the carbon measurement and reduction initiative Toitū.

Simon Watt  | New Zealand

Natasha Garvan  | New Zealand

Ben McQuhae & Co

Hong Kong

Based out of Hong Kong, corporate and commercial law firm Ben McQuhae & Co consciously strives to apply its legal expertise to support clients who contribute toward furthering the green transition or who inject sustainability into their corporate strategy.

In order to maintain its business focus on sustainability and only advise on projects which make a positive impact aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the firm uses its SDG Tracker to identify how potential clients and work integrates SDG alignment and ESG considerations.

The firm has wide expertise in the renewable energy and carbon credit markets. For DLT-based digital monitoring, reporting, and verification platform Allinfra Ventures, founding partner Ben McQuhae assisted with the design, structuring, and execution of renewable energy certificate products. The firm also acted for a marketplace operator on the establishment of a regional hub which will facilitate the listing, trading, and retiring of high-integrity carbon credits.

In the impact investing space, the firm advised BlueOnion (a sustainability data platform that seeks to boost best practices in sustainable investing) and Evident (a DLT-based alternative investments platform) on legal and regulatory matters concerning the design, structuring, and execution of a tokenised asset-backed security which helps facilitate corporate fundraising. The firm also acted for Evident regarding the design, structuring, and execution of a tokenised forward contract for carbon credits.

To help maximise its contribution to the green transition, the firm offers a Legal Solutions+ service in conjunction with its ESG consulting arm, thereby helping to provide a multidisciplinary advisory service that provides expertise in sustainability law and strategy.

In January 2023, the firm published its Impact Report which details the impact the firm created with its clients in its first year of operations and explores how it can maximise its contribution to the green transition.

Ben McQuhae  | Hong Kong

Chandler MHM Limited

Thailand

Full-service Thai law firm Chandler MHM Limited has long-term experience advising on major energy transition projects across Thailand and Southeast Asia, and has recently developed an ESG practice to provide clients with specialised advice on decarbonisation strategies and the carbon markets.

In the solar power sector, the firm advised the syndicated lenders in relation to the $28.6m financing provided to Ray Power Supply for the construction, development, and operation of a 30 MW solar project in Cambodia. The project is significant for being one of the first large-scale solar projects developed in Cambodia by the borrower, which is itself wholly owned by leading Thai conglomerate B.Grimm Power.

In an ongoing matter, key project finance contact Jessada Sawatdipong acted for Green Power 2 as lender’s counsel in the refinancing of the 9.9 MW biomass power plant in Muang Sa Kaeo district. The financing is vital in supporting the operation of the project and maintaining the presence of clean energy in Thailand’s energy mix. Sawatdipong also has experience advising lenders on major wind and hydroelectric power project financings.

The firm makes a strong contribution to green thought leadership, having recently published articles on contemporary ESG legal trends and provided an energy transition outlook for 2023, which gives an overview of key legal and policy developments impacting Thailand’s decarbonisation path. Elsewhere, the firm is working with an international law firm to provide Thai clients with a free update webinar on the carbon credit markets.

Internally, the firm’s Spark Joy project aims to reduce waste and promote sustainability among staff by encouraging circular choices in the reusing and recycling of resources. Additionally, in February 2023, the firm worked with rural schools to help develop their own vegetable gardens, encouraging the younger generation to make sustainable food choices.

Jessada Sawatdipong  | Thailand

Clifford Chance

Singapore

Clifford Chance Singapore advises clients on a range of energy-transition related opportunities, particularly in connection with M&A and project financing. For example, a corporate team acted on behalf of Partners Group regarding the international aspects of its acquisition of majority stake in Sunsure Energy, in which it will invest up to $400m. Funds will target the development of renewable energy and decarbonisation solutions in India.

The global financial markets team in Singapore collaborates with its Japanese counterpart to advise lenders on high-impact development-oriented financings to fund energy transition and carbon reduction projects in South Asia. 

The firm’s work supporting a green transition in the region is also reflected in its responsible business strategy, which includes working with third party experts Carbon Intelligence to establish science-based targets to achieve net zero emissions by 2030. Furthermore, the firm’s climate change policy means new mandates are scanned for potential adverse climate impacts.

The team is also active in thought leadership in the Asia-Pacific region, such as via its APAC ESG perspectives webinar series.

Australia

Clifford Chance in Australia has handled a number of impactful matters contributing to the green transition in the region.

Recently, Sydney-based corporate and M&A expert Reuben van Werkum, who has a particular focus on energy and infrastructure projects, advised Biocare Projects, a business specialising in identifying, sourcing and financing project development in the carbon space, on its carbon removal project with timber company Kiland. The project involved the conversion of 4.5m tonnes of fire damaged timber from Kiland’s plantations in South Australia into approximately 900,000 tonnes of biochar, a stable form of carbon made from biomass which acts as a carbon store.

In one of Australia’s largest renewable energy deals to date, the team also recently assisted Partners Group with its sale of CWP Renewables, a major Australian renewable energy developer, to Squadron Wind Energy Assets, one of the country’s largest renewable energy investors, operators, and developers, significantly boosting Squadron’s renewable energy operating portfolio.

The firm actively engages in thought leadership in the region. Van Werkum recently contributed to an article discussing the Australian Federal Government’s crackdown on greenwashing.

At a global level, in a pro bono initiative, the firm partnered with NGO Greenmap to provide advice and assistance in respect of the design and implementation of the International Guarantee Trust Fund for Renewable Energy, which officially launched at COP26.

Notably, the firm has enacted a Climate Change Policy in an effort to move the business away from working on client matters where there is potential for material and adverse impact on climate change. It has also recently created an Environment Board which has developed a strategy for achieving net zero by 2030, as well as a Global ESG Board which aims to bring more coordination to the firm’s approach to ESG.

Reuben van Werkum  | Australia

DLA Piper

Australia

DLA Piper, a founding member of the Net Zero Lawyers Alliance, the Global Alliance of Impact Lawyers, and the Legal Sustainability Alliance, handles major green projects via its Australian offices, paving the way for the green transition in the country and region.

Head of renewables Chris Mitchell in Melbourne led a team in advising BlackRock Real Assets in relation to its commitment to invest over AU$1bn in Australia and New Zealand’s climate infrastructure market through the acquisition of Australian battery and renewable energy developed Akaysha Energy. At full capacity, Akaysha’s projects will help accelerate the roll-out of 4GW of supply of renewable energy across the country.

Perth-based Alex Jones, who is the global co-chair of the firm’s energy and natural resources sector, recently assisted Engie Energy Services on all aspects of the development of a Phase 0 pilot demonstration renewable hydrogen production facility, which is expected to have the capacity to produce circa 640 tonnes of renewable energy per year.

Brisbane-based Stephen Webb, head of energy across the APAC region, stands out for his thought leadership, having released a 170-page Renewable Energy Guide to Asia covering 22 countries.

The firm also sponsored and participated in the Australia Wind Energy conference, and is sponsoring the Offshore Wind Australia conference, both in 2023.

Chris Mitchell  | Australia

Alex Jones  | Australia

Stephen Webb  | Australia

DR & AJU LLC

South Korea

The ESG practice group at full-service South Korean law firm DR & AJU LLC has placed a major emphasis on the energy transition, advising clients on their renewable energy and low-carbon projects.

The firm has broad experience advising on development and financial matters for vital solar power projects across the region. Leading energy practice contact Melissa Park acted for the project company as legal and transaction advisor regarding the construction of the 162 MW Columboola Solar Farm in Queensland, Australia. The firm’s assistance, as part of the project owner’s management team, involved providing legal advice to mitigate against construction, delay, and commissioning risks.

Also in the solar power industry, the firm acted for Hyundai Asset Management, Kookmin Bank, Hyundai Motor Securities, Hana Financial Investment, and Lotte Non-Life Insurance as legal and transaction advisor in the restructuring of a 97 MW solar farm portfolio.

In the hydrogen sector, the firm advised LG Chem on the construction of its first hydrogen production plant, to be located at Daesan Industrial Complex. The firm handled all legal and commercial aspects of the low-carbon fuel project, which is a major component of the client’s near-term decarbonisation strategy.

In an ongoing matter which supports the expansion and diversification of the Korean energy mix, the firm is acting for Chujin Inc., Daijin L&L, Elenergy, and Namsung Shipping on all legal and regulatory aspects in the development of the 1.5 GW offshore wind farm to be situated off the coast of the Chuja islands.

Alongside its client work, the firm seeks to inform and engage clients through its ESG newsletters, which present perspectives on the importance of ESG considerations in corporate governance and offer guidance on injecting such principles into business strategies.

Melissa Park  | South Korea

Deacons

Hong Kong

Hong Kong-based independent law firm Deacons specialises in advising institutional investors and leading developers on innovative matters which promote sustainability in the funds and finance markets.

A key client is JP Morgan Asset Management, whom the firm assisted in debuting its first sustainable investment fund in Hong Kong. The fund acts as a vital foundation for sustainable development by investing in important green infrastructure assets.

Demonstrating further experience with ESG funds, the firm also acted for Schroder Investment Management in authorising five ESG sub-funds, which target thematic investments across sustainable food and water, ESG innovation, and sustainable development.

The firm has broad expertise advising on the issuance of green bonds which finance decarbonisation and sustainable development in the real estate sector. Key clients include the Yangzhou municipal government-owned Yangzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone Development, whom the firm advised on its issuance of $300m green bonds.

By working closely with major environmental organisations and initiatives, the firm raises awareness of green issues. Alongside participating in the WWF’s Earth Hour, the firm organises ‘Go Green’ campaigns throughout the year, sharing knowledge on environmental protection issues, posting green tips for staff, and hosting a range of sustainability-focused seminars.

In May 2023, the firm’s 14th Annual Investment Products and Regulatory Forum focused on the key ESG-related legal and regulatory issues within Hong Kong’s fund management industry, demonstrating how the team helps share sustainability knowledge within the business community. Within the forum, the firm moderated a panel discussion on emerging regulations, opportunities within the ESG product landscape, and how to mitigate greenwashing risks.

As part of its ambition to implement environmentally sustainable business practices and minimise its carbon footprint, the firm is currently focused on improving its recycling programme and moving toward paperless operations.

Dentons

Australia

In Australia, UN Global Compact signatory Dentons’ planning and environment team is led by Sydney-based Jodie Wauchope and advises clients across environmental law, climate change and greenwashing matters.

Notably, in a recent matter, Wauchope acted for the Nari Nari Tribal Council in a landmark conservation agreement with the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust for the management and protection of a conservation area of over 55,000 hectares of wetlands on Gayini, one of Australia’s most diverse ecosystems. The negotiations to secure the agreement involved The Nature Conservancy and interested parties such as the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation.

In a multijurisdictional highlight in the renewable energy space, the firm assisted Australian Montem Resources with the sale of 50% of its Tent Mountain Renewable Energy Complex (TM-REX), an impactful clean energy project with an estimated project life of 80+ years, to TransAlta. The sale includes rights to the land, fixed assets and intellectual property associated with a unique 320MW pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) development project, as well as the intellectual property associated with a 100MW offsite green hydrogen electrolyser and a 100MW wind farm.

On the pro-bono side, the firm works with NGO Eyesea, which has developed a reporting app based on maritime navigation technology which allows anyone to collect information on surface pollution by taking a picture, thereby helping update international data on marine pollution. The project involved companies and individuals from Australia, among other places.

Globally, the firm has signed up to a number of initiatives, including the Law Firm Sustainability Network, the Campaign for Greener Arbitrations, and the Legal Sustainability Alliance, as well as to the carbon measurement and reduction initiative Toitū, which operates specifically across Australia and New Zealand.

New Zealand

In New Zealand, UN Global Compact signatory Dentons Kensington Swan has an active environment and planning team led by Nicky McIndoe.

After the New Zealand government introduced new legislation to make climate-related disclosures mandatory for large financial market participants in 2021, the team assisted a number of major restaurant brands in the country with ESG and mandatory climate-related disclosure requirements.

The team also acts for one of the country’s largest wind farms across a range of legal matters, and in another ongoing highlight, is advising Wellington Water on its Sludge Minimisation Facility which aims to to treat wastewater sludge received from two wastewater treatment plants in Wellington City.

Local initiatives include the re-launch of the firm’s New Zealand ESG newsletter in 2023,  assisting with the establishment of Live Ocean, a New Zealand-registered ocean conservation charity, and taking part in the carbon measurement and reduction initiative Toitū, which operates specifically across Australia and New Zealand.

Globally, in 2023, the firm launched its firmwide Dentons Green Teams initiative to implement sustainable practices in the workplace. Additionally, the firm participates in a number of initiatives including the Law Firm Sustainability Network, the Campaign for Greener Arbitrations, and the Legal Sustainability Alliance.

Jodie Wauchope  | Australia

Nicky McIndoe  | New Zealand

Fangda Partners

China

Cross-practice law firm Fangda Partners contributes to China’s ESG landscape through its work on leading green finance and energy transition mandates.

In a novel low-carbon transition bond deal within China, the Shanghai office advised Baoshan Iron & Steel Co on its RMB500m green corporate bond issuance. The financing supports the client, a leading iron and steel industry company, in boosting its commitment to the green transition in its operations.

From Shenzhen, the firm assisted power provider China Resources Power with its acquisition of eight wind projects in the central-eastern region of China from Runneng New Energy. The acquisition of the 440 MW portfolio was noteworthy for marking the client’s entrance into the wind power sector, thereby supporting its increasing engagement in the renewable energy sector and commitment to decarbonisation.

The firm’s Beijing office is active in advising private equity clients on transactions within the green space. In an illustrative matter, the firm acted for insurance group Taikang Life in its investment into Diangtou Ronghe, a new energy and green electric transportation financing vehicle of State Power Investment Group Co.

Internally, the firm is keen on reducing its environmental footprint and addressing its impact upon climate change. Alongside office-level measures to reduce paper usage, staff are encouraged to recycle and reduce waste, conserve the energy expended by lights and equipment, and minimise disposable goods in favour of reusable items.

Hong Kong

The Hong Kong office of Greater China-based law firm Fangda Partners makes a broad commitment to the development of ESG across the region, with demonstrable experience advising government and corporate clients on high-value mandates across renewable energy and green and sustainable finance.

Key contact Christine Chen acted as transaction and drafting counsel to the government of Hungary in its issuance of RMB2bn green panda bonds. Through the bond issuance, the Hungarian government gained international capital to support its funding of climate mitigation and energy security projects, helping finance and refinance green expenditures within its budget.

Elsewhere in the sustainable finance space, the firm advised the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank on its RMB1.5bn sustainable development bond issuance. The deal is an innovative example of a sustainable development bond being issued by an international development institution under China’s National Association of Financial Market Institutional Investors’ pilot programme for social and sustainability bonds, which aims to increase fundraising in the green, social, and sustainability sectors.

In an ongoing matter, the firm’s projects and infrastructure team is assisting major power generation company Shenzhen Energy Group in all phases of its 180 MW BOT Ramu 2 hydropower project, which will meet 38% of Papua New Guinea’s total electricity demand. Having advised on the whole project lifecycle, the firm most currently handled all project and financing documentation for the client.

To reduce its carbon footprint and mitigate its impact within climate change, the firm has introduced office-level measures to reduce paper usage, supported staff to reduce and recycle waste, installed energy-conserving lights and equipment, and replaced disposable goods with reusable items.

Christine Chen  | Hong Kong

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Singapore

Clients of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP in Singapore benefit from an impressive bench of renewable energy experts. Partner in charge of the Singapore office Elaine Chao and Saptak Santra are involved in high profile, cross-border renewables transactions including wind, solar, and battery storage projects. 

The team led by oil and gas co-chair and member of the firm’s ESG group Brad Roach is advising PTTEP on the development of the Lang Lebah gas fields carbon capture storage project (CCS) in Malaysia. The firm’s role in developing principles for the project is crucial to shaping CCS regulations in advance of an established CCS regulatory framework in the country.

Roach also co-chairs the firm’s quarterly Carbon Markets publication.

As a member of the Legal Sustainability Alliance, the firm has committed to placing sustainability at its very core. This is demonstrable in its partnership with Aspiration, an initiative to plant a tree every time the firm incurs travel and other related expenditures.

Hong Kong

Law Firm Sustainability Network partner Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP has a holistic ESG practice to advise clients on a range of associated risks and opportunities. Its Hong Kong team has extensive experience assisting clients with a variety of renewable energy matters across the region including solar and battery storage projects. The team, which includes Patricia Tan Openshaw, acts for clients in differing capacities ranging from funding and acquisitions to power supply agreements. 

Internally, the firm is currently engaged with Ecovadis to conduct an action-oriented assessment of the firm’s supply chain based on 21 sustainability criteria pertaining to the environment and sustainable procurement, amongst other factors.

Elaine Chao  | Singapore

Saptak Santra  | Singapore

Brad Roach  | Singapore

Patricia Tan Openshaw  | Hong Kong

Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law)

Philippines

Multi-practice Philippine law firm Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law) holds deep experience advising development authorities and corporate clients on their projects within the solar power sector.

In an ongoing matter, the firm is acting for the Asian Development Bank, which is supporting the Laguna Lake Development Authority in drafting the implementing rules and regulations for the allocation of the Laguna Bay water surface to developers of floating solar PV projects. The rules and regulations are vital in furthering the Philippines’ shift to renewable electricity by helping elaborate the regulatory landscape for innovative solar projects.

Supporting the decarbonisation of local transport solutions, the firm is also advising the Asian Development Bank on the structuring of the development of an independent solar PV facility which will provide clean electricity to the Metro Manila Subway project and the North-South Commuter Railway.

For the Solar Tanauan Corporation, the firm is assisting with the review of its draft agreements for the whole project spectrum of the Terra Tanauan and Terra Maragondon solar plants. The firm’s work is helping ensure the projects comply with local renewable energy rules and regulations, allowing for the plants to boost the supply of clean electricity in the area.

Toward reducing its internal carbon footprint, the firm is minimising the use of paper in its operations, implementing waste management practices, and eliminating single-use plastics.

HFW

Australia

In Australia, global firm HFW often works within the electric vehicles sector.

In an ongoing highlight, Perth-based Jo Garland, who has extensive experience in the energy resources, decarbonisation, regulatory, and climate change fields, is leading the team in advising an international renewable development company on a $1bn lithium project in Western Australia, in what is considered one of the largest behind-the-meter renewable power solutions in the state. It is expected the project will support 2.4m electric vehicles per year. In another ongoing matter, Garland and others are assisting Synergy with the EV Highway Project, a $21m government-funded project to create one of Australia’s longest EV charging networks.

The team is also acting on a restructure to create a new green ammonia business, and advising a major utility business on the roll-out of a distributed energy resources project.

Globally, the firm is a founding member of the World Ocean Council and of the Greener Litigation Pledge, as well as a participant of the Chancery Lane Project and Renewable World. It also has a dedicated Sustainability Hub where it publishes articles discussing topics such as the energy transition, sustainable transport, and new ESG regulation.

Singapore

Global firm HFW is a founding member of the World Ocean Council and of the Greener Litigation Pledge, as well as a participant of the Chancery Lane Project and Renewable World. In Singapore, the firm stands out for its work in the green technology and sustainable finance sectors.

In an impactful ongoing matter, Peter Zaman, who has almost 20 years of experience in climate finance, is advising the World Bank, the Government of Singapore, and the International Emissions Trading Association on the establishment of the Climate Action Data Trust. The trust aims to set up a major carbon market data registry that will increase trust in carbon data and enhance climate ambition.

Zaman also recently led the team assisting Lestari Capital with a $1bn deal to help establish the Rimba Collective, one of the largest private sector-enabled forest conservation initiatives launched in Southeast Asia with the aim of protecting and restoring over 500,000 hectares of forest in the region over 25 years, starting in Indonesia.

The firm’s dedicated Sustainability Hub hosts articles on topics such as the energy transition, sustainable transport, and new ESG regulation.

Jo Garland  | Australia

Peter Zaman  | Singapore

Han Kun Law Offices

China

Full-service Chinese firm Han Kun Law Offices has particular expertise assisting major clients in the power and electric vehicle industries on innovative structured financings and new energy acquisitions.

Advising on an innovative financing deal which provides vital private investment to support China’s growing renewable energy sector, Beijing-based real estate investment specialist Rong Fang acted for State Power Investment Group Jiangsu Power Co on its issuance of the RMB7.5bn SPIC New Energy REIT. The REIT, which holds a 500 MW wind portfolio as its underlying assets, is the first marine wind power generation infrastructure REIT in China.

Fang also advised renewable energy investor Beijing Energy International on its issuance of the RMB2.8bn Zhonghang Jingneng Photovoltaic infrastructure fund, which became the first solar plant infrastructure REIT in China. The Jingneng REIT serves as an innovative solution which helps finance the client’s 400 MW solar PV portfolio.

Assisting with the raising of capital in the new energy vehicle sector, the Beijing office’s capital markets team advised EV manufacturer NIO on its listing on the Singapore Exchange. Also within the EV industry, a cross-office team represented luxury vehicle manufacturer Lotus Technology on its de-SPAC and $5.4bn-valued business combination with L Catterton Asia Acquisition Corp, with the matter raising funds to finance the client’s pivot toward electric vehicles.

A further key individual is Shanghai-based asset management and financial services expert Yin Ge, who contributes deeply to the firm’s thought leadership offering regarding ESG regulation and investment trends.

Alongside working to develop an environmental consciousness among staff, the firm’s internal ESG committee leads the implementation of energy-efficiency measures throughout its offices. Following the successes of these policies in controlling and reducing internal carbon emissions, the firm expects to become carbon neutral by the end of 2023.

Rong Fang  | China

Yin Ge  | China

Herbert Smith Freehills

Singapore

In Singapore, Herbert Smith Freehills stands out for its work in the renewable energy area.

Rupert Baker in the Singapore projects and energy practice is currently advising a multi-jurisdictional consortium of developers and private capital investors on their bid to develop infrastructure to generate and import green electricity into Singapore from Indonesia. The project is expected to import 1.2GW of green electricity by 2027 and 4GW by 2035 and is worth circa $1bn.

Glynn Cooper, also a member of the Singapore projects and energy practice, is assisting GIC on its ongoing investment and funding rounds in respect of Greenko, one of India’s largest renewable energy companies.

Globally, the firm has committed to reducing its carbon emissions to net zero by 2030. Across its offices it is involved in a number of local and global environmental initiatives, such as national recycling week, Office Green Teams, CitySwitch, Green Office, Earth Hour, and World Environment Day.

Rupert Baker  | Singapore

Glynn Cooper  | Singapore

Hive Legal

Australia

Australian firm Hive Legal’s highly active and specialised climate change and energy practice regularly handles impactful work facilitating the renewable energy transition and has expertise in carbon and climate change reforms and compliance schemes.

In an ongoing highlight, Andrew Brookes is leading the team advising on all legal aspects of the Victorian Government’s Energy Innovation Fund program, worth circa $100m, which provides State Government funding for renewable energy projects to be undertaken within Victoria.

Another of the firm’s notable clients is Climate Friendly, a company which aims to achieve a more productive and sustainable land sector that contributes to a net zero emission Australia by 2050. It does this by supporting farmers and foresters to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions and regenerate landscape through carbon farming. The firm has been assisting the client with the development of its trading documentation in order to sell Australian Carbon Credit Units to a range of corporate buyers.

Brookes has lectured on the regulation of carbon markets in the Masters of law programmes at both the University of Melbourne and the University of Sidney , and special counsel Katherine Lake has had several articles published on international and domestic climate change policy and legal developments.

The firm is a corporate member of the Carbon Market Institute.

Andrew Brookes  | Australia

Katherine Lake  | Australia

Hogan Lovells

Australia

Hogan Lovells’ Australian office stands out for its expertise in the area of sustainable finance.

Notably, the team recently advised Aware Super, one of Australia’s largest funds with AU$150bn assets under management committed to renewable energy and climate-solution opportunities, on its investment in the new renewable energy platform Intera. It also recently assisted Australian-based asset manager Crescent Capital Partners with the establishment of its seventh fund, with a total capital commitment of circa AUS $1bn, which targets mid-market portfolio companies with strong decarbonisation potential. In yet another impactful highlight, the firm acted for Adamantem on its $350m Environmental Opportunities Fund, which aims to finance companies that will help deliver decarbonisation solutions and aims to invest in Australian and New Zealand businesses that focus on clean energy, natural capital, and the circular economy.

Globally, the firm is a founding member of the Taskforce on Nature Related Financial Disclosure, the biodiversity-version of the pivotal Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). It is also a signatory to the UN Business Ambition for 1.5°C and Race to Zero.

Internally, the firm developed an ESG governance structure which includes an ESG Global Core Team, a Global ESG Board of around 40 cross practice leaders, and an ESG Alliance of over 300 lawyers and other members of the firm.

Singapore

Hogan Lovells’ Singapore office stands out for its expertise in the areas of renewable energy and green bonds.

Notably, in an ongoing multijurisdictional matter the team is advising Northland Power and Yushan Energy on the project development of the circa 1GW Hai Long 2 and 3 offshore wind farms in Taiwan which, once complete will be one of the largest in the region.

In another global highlight, led by key individual and co-head of the Asia international debt capital markets practice Andy Ferris, the firm recently assisted RHB Bank, one of the largest banks in Malaysia, with its medium-term note programme to enable the bank to issue green bonds pursuant to its green bond framework.

The Singapore team has also been involved in some impactful pro-bono work. A local team is advising the NGO Global Mangrove Trust in Singapore, which is using blockchain technology to monitor the development of the restoration of mangroves in Indonesia. The NGO is also pioneering what is considered one of the world’s most efficient blockchain platform for funding blue carbon forestry.

Additionally, the firm often participates in ESG and sustainability events. Recently, its Singapore office collaborated with the Energy Council to organise an event discussing the energy transition in Southeast Asia.

Globally, the firm has developed an ESG governance structure which includes an ESG Global Core Team, represented across Asia Pacific by Singapore-based Ferris; a Global ESG Board of around 40 cross practice leaders; and an ESG Alliance of over 300 lawyers and other members of the firm.

The firm is also a signatory to the UN Business Ambition for 1.5 and Race to Zero.

Hong Kong

Hogan Lovells in Hong Kong stands out for its work in the area of climate policy development.

In an impactful, ongoing highlight, the team is acting for Civic Exchange, an independent Hong Kong public-policy think tank, on the development of a global carbon neutrality legal framework. The firm’s work includes conducting legal and policy research in Hong Kong, Singapore, the EU and UK, as well as supporting the client’s engagement with the Hong Kong government, advising on strategies, and convening a coalition incorporating the legal sector, NGOs and legislators to foster discussions around how the government might establish a relevant framework in the area.

Other notable highlights include the firm’s ongoing work advising Gree Energy on various issues associated with its mission to decarbonise the food supply chain, such as helping the client achieve B-corp status; as well as its recent work assisting Standard Chartered Bank of Hong Kong with a number of sustainability linked loan facilities, with values ranging from 25m to 1.7bn.

Globally, the firm is a founding member of the Taskforce on Nature Related Financial Disclosure, the biodiversity version of the pivotal Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). It is also a signatory to the UN Business Ambition for 1.5 and Race to Zero.

Internally, the firm has developed an ESG governance structure which includes an ESG Global Core Team, a Global ESG Board of around 40 cross practice leaders, and an ESG Alliance of over 300 lawyers and other members of the firm.

Andy Ferris  | Singapore

JSA Law

India

The ESG and Climate Change team at multi-practice Indian law firm JSA Law is notable for its experience advising leading public and private sector clients across all aspects of clean energy deals, providing particular expertise regarding project documentation, financing and development, and transactions within the renewables space.

For the government of India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the New Delhi office assisted with the development of the country’s first offshore wind project off the coast of Tamil Nadu. Within the matter the firm advised on the tender documents, project agreements, and legal and regulatory frameworks and risks.

In a high-value deal, Gurugram-based power sector specialist Vishnu Sudarsan advised the lender consortium on project development, regulation, and the INR1708 crore financing provided to Ayana Renewable Power for the development of a 300 MW wind project in Karnataka.

The firm also assisted STT Global Data Centres with agreements regarding a wind-solar hybrid project, supporting the client in meeting its electricity demand through renewable sources. The firm performed due diligence of the project, before advising on the structuring, negotiating, and finalising of the power purchase agreement.

Renewable energy company Candi Solar sought the firm’s advice on the acquisition of a 3811 kWp portfolio of rooftop solar assets. Besides helping the client deliver solar solutions to Indian SMEs, the firm also assisted with reviewing, structuring, and finalising the documents regarding a sale of power from its ground-mounted solar projects to an SME offtaker.

As part of its offering of thought leadership concerning renewable energy, the firm’s online knowledge hub actively publishes on incentives and opportunities within the green hydrogen space. Elsewhere, the firm’s JSA Live series has recently featured video explainers on key trends in the clean energy transition and on ESG considerations in real estate transactions.

Vishnu Sudarsan  | India

JunHe LLP

China

Chinese commercial law firm JunHe LLP is certified as carbon neutral by the China Quality Certification Centre, owing to the success of its ESG business unit in implementing energy conservation and emissions reduction initiatives throughout its internal operations.

Complementing its internal carbon-reduction commitments, the firm is experienced in advising on leading green financings and investments. Shanghai-based project finance specialist Fang Yi acted for the National Green Development Fund – a carbon neutral fund launched jointly by state ministries and the Shanghai municipal government – on its RMB2bn investment into an investment platform holding over 400 park-based solar PV plants.

Yi also represented the National Green Development Fund in its RMB2.2bn investment into the Lijiang Hei Bai Shui River Diversion Lijiang Dam Water Ecology Restoration Project, with the matter crucial to the preservation of local wildlife and biodiversity.

A Beijing-led capital markets team advised China Power on its issuance of RMB800m green technology innovation panda bonds. The proceeds of the bonds will help finance the development of clean energy projects in Kazakhstan, thereby supporting the integration of green targets and low-carbon development within the Belt and Road Initiative.

A cross-office corporate team assisted key client China Power in its transition toward becoming a green, low-carbon energy supplier. The firm acted for the client in its RMB7.453bn acquisition of 23 clean energy project companies from China Power, encompassing a 2160 MW portfolio which significantly boosts the client’s energy transition profile.

Working closely with a fundraising venture which seeks to spread awareness of green ideals among the Chinese population, the firm is the joint sponsor of the Beijing Green Special Fund for Carbon Neutrality. The fund is a public platform which finances initiatives and programmes which promote carbon sequestration and emission reductions, helping work toward the Chinese state goal of carbon neutrality by 2060.

Fang Yi  | China

Juris Corp

India

The ESG team at multi-practice Indian law firm Juris Corp has a breadth of expertise related to the green transition, with particular experience advising clients on financings and regulations in the renewable energy and electric vehicle sectors.

Mumbai-based green project finance expert and key contact Saurabh Sharma advised the lenders in relation to their provision of a $736m green loan to finance Reliance Industries’ acquisition of photovoltaic manufacturer REC Solar. The cross-border financing is vital in supporting Reliance, a major Indian energy conglomerate, in its transition plan and ‘new energy vision’ to lead in PV manufacturing.

In the electric vehicle sector, the Delhi office advised EODB Services on central and state-level laws, regulations, and policies surrounding the National Highway for E-Vehicles pilot project. The project will incentivise the transition to clean transport solutions by building and operating EV-accessible highways between Delhi and Agra, and Delhi and Jaipur.

Acting in the nascent hydrogen sector, the firm also assisted a global bank in providing a $15m financing to an energy sector borrower. The facility supports the transition of the Indian energy sector by funding the expenditure of a plant which will supply hydrogen and co-produced steam to an offtaker.

The firm’s ESG team is designed to boost partners’ awareness of developments in the sustainability sphere, with its members conducting fortnightly knowledge-sharing presentations which augment their general expertise in the field. The firm is also legal counsel for the ISDA trade association in India and participates actively in the publications and presentations of the association’s ESG Working Group, which aims to raise financial sector cognisance of green trends.

Internally, the firm is committed to practices which reduce waste and support circular economy principles, such as eliminating single-use plastics in favour of reusable alternatives.

Saurabh Sharma  | India

K&L Gates

Australia

K&L Gates in Australia has an active renewable energy practice with a focus on solar and wind projects. Sydney-based James Durnall is a key contact in the firm’s energy, infrastructure and resources practice, and stands out for his work on clean and renewable energy transactions.

A Sydney-based team is currently advising a CPB, UGL and Hyundai joint venture on the Central West Orana Renewable Energy Zone project, which is expected to be NSW’s first renewable energy zone, combining energy generation such as wind and solar energy to deliver power to homes and businesses. In another ongoing highlight, the firm is acting for Wollar Solar Development on various aspects of the Wollar Solar Farm (with a value of circa AU$282m), which once completed will have a capacity of up to 280MW. Also in the renewable energy space, the firm is assisting BJCE Australia with the development of the Biala Wind Farm, a 110MW onshore wind power project.

Some of the firm’s local pro bono clients include the Environmental Science Center, the Sustainable Remediation Forum (SURF), the Center for Sustainable Energy, and the NGO Climate Steps.

At a global level, the firm has published a Global ESG Handbook, which navigates the way in which investors evaluate companies based on ESG and sustainability criteria, as well as having established an ESG Website Portal, which provides regular updates on topics including sustainable agriculture, sustainable investing, and renewable energy.

Taiwan

K&L Gates’ Taipei office has long-term experience advising clients in Taiwan’s energy sector on their novel and innovative renewables projects and on major acquisitions which support the decarbonisation of their portfolios.

For key client Lightsource BP, Billy Chen advised on the acquisition of Hui-Meng Energy, a project company which is developing a 150 MW fishery solar PV project in Taiwan. The deal marks the client’s entrance into East Asia and supports the government’s policy initiative to push the development of new renewable energy technologies.

Also in the solar power sector, the firm is advising green independent power producer NEFIN in its acquisition of Guangxi Energy, a project company currently developing a 50 MW fishery solar PV project in Taiwan. The acquisition will accelerate the development of the project and further support the government’s vision for the Yunlin area to become a leading solar power zone.

For renewable energy investor Northville, the firm acted in its investment and acquisition of shares in Wave Power Renewables, a company focused on harnessing the energy of wind waves to produce clean energy.

Chen has been key to the firm’s renewable energy thought leadership, having authored articles on topics such as energy laws regarding Taiwan’s solar-powered fishery projects. The firm’s cross-office efforts also include a global ESG handbook which helps clients in navigating the changing landscape of ESG regulations and sustainability trends.

To reduce its operational emissions, the firm has globally introduced recycling and composting programmes and switched to energy-efficient equipment.

James Durnall  | Australia

Billy Chen  | Taiwan

King & Wood Mallesons

Singapore

In Singapore, multi-service firm King & Wood Mallesons has substantial expertise across the areas of renewable energy and sustainable finance.

Notably, the firm is advising ENGIE on a number of legal matters relating to its green power solution for enterprise customers across APAC with a focus on green energy generation and green certificates.

In a multi-jurisdictional matter, Michael Lawson, who specialises in energy and resources, is assisting a US private equity fund with the sale of $1bn worth of renewable energy assets in Asia.

Globally, the firm is engaged in thought leadership in the sustainability space, often publishing articles on topics such as carbon trading regimes around the world (written by key contact Lawson), and conducting business with purpose.

The firm is certified as carbon neutral under the Climate Active accredidation. It has also committed to setting net-zero targets (encompassing both near and long-term targets) in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement and validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Michael Lawson  | Singapore

Krishnamurthy & Co

India

Full-service Indian law firm Krishnamurthy & Co is notable for its renewable energy expertise, with Mumbai-based Rukmini Roychowdhury a key contact on financings and transactions which support the development of the country’s solar power sector.

For key client Tata Cleantech Capital, the firm advised on the granting of a rupee term loan facility to FPEL Mega Solar to part finance the design, construction, development, operation, and maintenance of rooftop and ground-mounted solar projects across Gujarat. The matter is noteworthy for helping finance the expansion and diversification of the state’s renewable energy capacity.

In the green hydrogen space, the firm assisted investment fund Hygenco Green Energies with its $25m fundraising, supporting the client’s business in the production and deployment of green hydrogen, nitrogen, and ammonia.

Acting for RWE subsidiary Renewables Solar Holding, the firm also handled the sale of Solar Holding India and Solar Holding Poland to Star Aeliana 1. The transaction included provisions to ensure good management in the renewable energy sector by requiring the client to invest €8m into RWE Solar India, and by including financial incentives for the purchaser to fulfil the target company’s financial and operational obligations.

Alongside being a zero-plastic business, the firm makes a positive contribution to national biodiversity through supporting the planting of trees across India (over one thousand trees in 2022). The firm financed these projects across nine Indian states in recent years, helping offset global emissions while providing rural communities with a sustainable income source.

Rukmini Roychowdhury  | India

LeeSalmonLong

New Zealand

New Zealand-based litigation firm LeeSalmonLong often assists NGOs in bringing forward impactful public interest environmental cases.

Notably, in an ongoing highlight, David Bullock and others are advising Michael Smith on two claims concerning climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, one against the Government of New Zealand and the other against seven New Zealand industrial emitters of GHGs and producers of fossil fuels. The client alleged that the defendants have breached common law and public obligations owed to him, other indigenous people and future generations by failing to take more action to mitigate climate change.

The firm also acted for Greenpeace in a successful challenge to consents for a new seabed mining operation in New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone. The ruling prevented the dredging of 50m tonnes of iron-sands from South Taranaki coast.

Another notable client who seeks the firm’s advice on a pro bono basis is the Environmental Law Initiative.

Outside the practice, Bullock regularly publishes and presents on environmental law matters. He is also a doctoral candidate at the University of Toronto, researching the interface of tort law and climate change.

David Bullock  | New Zealand

Linklaters

Hong Kong

Linklaters’ Hong Kong office is trusted by governments and financial sector companies to advise on landmark sustainable finance offerings. Additionally, the firm has established a multi-disciplinary Asia ESG steering committee, with partners from the Hong Kong litigation and projects teams supporting clients in driving sustainability across the region.

Acting for the joint lead managers and the trustee, the firm assisted on the government of the Hong Kong SAR’s HKD800m tokenised green bond offering. The bond, as a green capital market transaction which includes digital asset innovation, is a novel approach to sustainable fundraising.

In a multi-tranche offering, the firm advised the Hainan provincial government on its RMB1.2bn blue bond and RMB3.8bn total sustainability bond issuance. With Hainan province having the largest maritime area in China, the funds raised from the blue bond will be used for the province’s ocean-related projects, while funds from the two sustainability tranches will contribute toward water sustainability and biodiversity conservation.

For the Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation, structured finance specialist Karen Lam advised on a novel infrastructure loan-backed securities offering. The issuance included $100m secured sustainability bonds, with the proceeds funding the purchase of eligible loans under the client’s social, green, and sustainable financing framework.

A key contact for thought leadership within the firm, Lam joined a panel session at Earth Forum 2023 – organised by Friends of the Earth and the Financial Services Development Council – on embracing fintech to support ESG developments and promote green finance.

Internally, the firm’s Hong Kong Environment Committee – led by the Head of ESG Regional Development in Asia, Gilly Hutchinson – seeks to integrate sustainability deeply into the office’s operational strategy. The committee raises awareness of climate change and how to combat sustainability issues, organises learning workshops and outreach activities including tree plantings, and coordinates office-wide initiatives like reducing waste.

Japan

Linklaters’ Japan office stands out for its work advising significant clients in the green transition space, acting on innovative clean energy mandates for major Japanese companies including Mitsui and Jera, and leading renewable energy players like Ørsted and Northland Power.

For sustainable infrastructure investor Actis, the firm assisted the client in launching its $500m renewables platform, Nozomi Energy. Subsequently, advising on the platform’s first investment in Japan, the firm handled the acquisition of 100% of the shares of wind power developer and operator Hergo Japan Energy. The mandate is significant in the development of Japan’s renewable energy sector, with the client’s platform targeting 1.1 GW of onshore wind and solar power generation by 2027.

Hirofumi Taba, a key contact in the firm’s energy and infrastructure practice, is a member of the Finance Working Group of the Japan Hydrogen Association and the Japan Offshore Wind Task Force of the Global Wind Energy Council, providing the firm a voice on issues in the development of innovative renewable projects.

Lawyers in the office’s Tokyo ESG Working Group are actively engaged in the firm’s global thought leadership offering, having recently contributed to an article on pan-Asian developments in the low-carbon hydrogen sector.

A further key area of expertise is ESG developments in the financial sector. Capital markets contact Motoyasu Fujita is a member of ISDA Japan’s ESG Working Group, which discusses legal and regulatory issues concerning ESG-related products like voluntary carbon credits and sustainability-linked derivatives.

With a Science Based Targets-approved commitment to reduce scopes 1 and 2 emissions by 70% and scope 3 emissions by 50% by 2030, the firm is working to reduce the carbon footprint from its electricity usage. Accordingly, the Tokyo office has recently transitioned to ensure that its power supply originates from solar, wind, hydroelectric, and other renewable sources.

Singapore

Linklaters’ Singapore-based teams make a significant contribution to the firm’s Asian green energy practice, with experience advising on market-leading renewable energy sector acquisitions and project development mandates.

For key regional client Actis, corporate partner Robert Elliot advised on the acquisition of a majority interest in Southeast Asia-focused renewables platform Levanta, which holds an in-development portfolio of 300 MW onshore wind projects. The acquisition allows the client, a sustainable infrastructure investor, to help scale the target into a 1.5 GW renewable platform and consequentially accelerate the region’s energy transition.

Key capital markets contact Amit Singh advised India-focused renewables group Continuum Green Energy with the private placement of $400m senior notes. The transaction supports the client in expanding its profile in the energy transition market, furthering the progress of the region’s decarbonisation journey.

Demonstrating the firm’s experience with impactful sustainable finance mandates, the capital markets team also advised the Republic of the Philippines on its issuance of $1.25bn global bonds, whose proceeds will be invested into green and social expenditures listed under the government’s sustainable finance framework.

The Singapore office’s Sustainability Committee, co-led by Elliot alongside Laure de Panafieu, seeks to implement sustainable practices while raising awareness of climate change among staff, with recent engagements including learning workshops and beach clean-ups.

Additionally, the office hosted an ESG client leadership roundtable breakfast, providing an overview of predominant sustainability trends and the challenges within the region’s net-zero transition. Members of the funds and energy teams also delivered a client seminar on transition finance, speaking on opportunities and challenges within the green transition alongside potential innovative finance structures.

Financial regulation partner Peiying Chua contributes strongly to the firm’s thought leadership, having published articles on ESG regulations and the confluence between data platforms and green finance.

Gilly Hutchinson  | Hong Kong

Karen Lam  | Hong Kong

Motoyasu Fujita  | Japan

Hirofumi Taba  | Japan

Robert Elliot  | Singapore

Amit Singh  | Singapore

Peiying Chua  | Singapore

Laure de Panafieu  | Singapore

Luthra and Luthra Law Offices India

India

Alongside the specialism of its ESG practice group in renewable energy financings, transactions, and investments, full-service law firm Luthra and Luthra Law Offices India has also established a Green Project committee which implements sustainable operations and funds tree planting activities towards becoming a carbon neutral firm by 2025.

Delhi-based project financing key contact Karan Mitroo advised Renewable Power as borrower of an INR7760 crore facility which will support the financing, construction, and operation of a 400 MW energy project. As a novel approach to clean energy generation, the round-the-clock project – with renewable generation and battery storage plants across Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Karnataka – required a cross-state knowledge of legal and regulatory compliance.

Also experienced in renewable energy financings is Girish Rawat, who acted for NIIF Infrastructure Finance as lender in providing an INR769 crore facility to refinance investments made in a 300 MW solar and wind project portfolio.

Demonstrating the firm’s expertise in renewable energy transactions, Avirup Nag assisted Arcelor Mittal in its bid to acquire Spring Energy, which possesses a 2.1 GW operational and 7.5 GW pipeline portfolio of renewable energy projects.

For energy transition platform and renewable energy IPP AMP Energy India, the firm advised on a $250m investment obtained through primary issuance of equity securities. The financing helps the client, which holds a 2.7 GW renewables portfolio across India, in providing energy transition solutions to its corporate offtakers.

Contributing positively to sustainability through allying with community organisations is engrained in the firm’s culture; late founding partner Rajiv Luthra started the Paani Foundation with Bollywood actor Aamir Khan to bring watershed management to thousands of Indian villages; and the firm is partnered with associations like the India Wind Energy Forum and Renewable Watch to share its insights on sustainability.

Karan Mitroo  | India

Avirup Nag  | India

Girish Rawat  | India

Maddocks

Australia

Multi-service Australian firm Maddocks has a multidisciplinary climate change practice for clients including government departments and agencies as well as the private sector.

Recently, the firm advised the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), on its objection to the stage 3 expansion of the Narribri underground coal mine, primarily on climate change grounds. The expansion project would contribute 455Mt of CO2 equivalent emissions just in scope 3 emissions.

In an ongoing matter, the firm is assisting Water Infrastructure NSW with the $1bn Safe and Secure Water Program which will help regional towns reduce risks and issues in connection with water quality, water security, and the environment.

Demonstrating its commitment to climate action and engaging its clients, in 2023, the firm undertook a survey of its local government clients to better understand how they are managing climate risk in an attempt to improve those efforts. It also recently held an event for clients discussing the new Australian government’s policies as they relate to climate risk.

The firm is a founding member of AusLSA, a movement of law firms and organisations committed to promoting sustainable practices across the legal sector.

Mayer Brown

Hong Kong

Out of Hong Kong, Mayer Brown provides clients with significant experience across green and sustainable financings as well as a deep thought leadership focused upon sustainability trends and best practices within Hong Kong’s commercial and financial sectors.

In the green financing space, the firm advised the lenders on a £675m green loan facility to HSH Financial Services Limited, led by real estate finance partner Jasmine Chiu which will refinance the construction and operation of real estate developments in London. The loan allows the lenders and target to deliver a positive environmental impact through fostering sustainable practices within the industry.

ESG finance specialist Francis Chen acted for key client HSBC as agent on a HKD8bn sustainability-linked loan provided to property developer K. Wah International Holdings. The financing aids the target’s ambitions to develop green buildings, boost green practices in construction, and mitigate its climate change impact toward supporting Hong Kong’s net-zero target.

Chen also advised HSBC as coordinator and agent on a $400m sustainable term loan provided to automobile manufacturer Geely Automotive. The facility was innovative in the market for combining both a green loan and a social loan structure.

The Hong Kong-based team is actively committed to sustainability thought leadership, authoring articles for the firm’s global Eye on ESG blog, writing reports on sustainable practices within private equity and asset management, and contributing to the Business Environment Council’s sustainability newsletter.

Crucial to the firm’s sustainability approach is its community engagement, which seeks to develop a culture of environmental conservation among staff  while supporting local sustainable development. Pursuing this aim, the firm organises beach clean-up and tree-caring initiatives alongside taking part in learning events run by WWF Hong Kong and maritime protection organisation A Plastic Ocean Foundation.

Francis Chen  | Hong Kong

Milbank

South Korea

Milbank’s South Korea office has particular expertise advising leading domestic and regional clients on investments and transactions which boost clean energy technologies and promote environmentally friendly practices.

In the electric vehicle battery sector, energy transition projects specialist David Gartside acted for the Export-Import Bank of Korea, K-SURE, and Euler Hermes in the $2bn financing for leading EV battery manufacturer SK On’s battery gigafactory plant in Hungary. The deal is significant for the scaling-up of EV battery production, with the plant scheduled to produce a 30 GWh battery scale from 2024.

For banking group ANZ and K-SURE, the firm advised on the provision of a $711m loan to finance Hyundai Motor Group and LG Energy Solution’s EV battery manufacturing project in Kawaarang, Indonesia. The deal importantly finances the borrowers’ transition away from internal combustion energies to become one of the largest battery businesses in Korea, while also providing a vital boost to the green economies developing in Korea and Indonesia.

In a $1bn matter, the team assisted construction company SK Ecoplant with its acquisition of a 100% stake in Singaporean eWaste and IT asset recycling and repurposing company TES Envirocorp. The acquisition supports the client in boosting and diversifying its zero-waste strategy into the IT lifecycle sector while creating a major battery recycling and plastics innovation player.

The firm’s global pro bono programme seeks to support organisations which promote environmental conservation and advance sustainable solutions. In the Asia Pacific region, the firm provides pro bono advice to the Smart Cities Network on tenders for their smart city projects in the region. The firm’s most recent advice for the network, which gathers representations from the ten ASEAN member states to collaboratively support smart and sustainable urban development, concerns new projects being launched in Cambodia and Thailand.

David Gartside  | South Korea

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

Japan

Japanese full-service law firm Mori Hamada & Matsumoto has a multi-disciplinary approach to its sustainability advice, providing clients specialised expertise from within its banking and structured finance, capital markets, climate change and emissions trading, and asset management practices.

Projects and energy specialist Takahiro Kobayashi advised Mizuho Bank, MUFG Bank, and the Development Bank of Japan as lenders in the project financing for the Kitakyushu-Hibikinada Offshore Wind Farm. The 220 MW project will be the largest wind farm in Japan, providing clean electricity for twenty years.

In a multi-pronged sustainable finance and clean energy acquisition mandate, the firm acted for Enex Infrastructure Investment Corporation in its green equity offering, before then assisting the client in using the offering’s proceeds to acquire both a wind power plant and a solar PV plant.

Capital markets lawyer Katsuyuki Tainaka acted for the Government of Indonesia as issuer on its JPY104.8bn blue Samurai bond offering. The bonds are aligned to the client’s attainment of its SDG goals and were offered in accordance with ICMA’s green bond principles.

Supporting the decarbonisation of a leading telecoms company, the firm also assisted NTT Finance in its $1.5bn green bond offering and in updating the NTT Group Green Finance Framework, which established the nature of the green projects which the bond’s proceeds would fund.

In 2022, the firm introduced its MHM Sustainability Policy. Alongside committing the firm to using its knowledge to engage in and help resolve sustainability issues, the policy establishes that the firm will help realise a sustainable society through identifying its business impact on the environment, engaging in initiatives to reduce its emissions footprint, and through continually adapting its carbon mitigation activities to keep pace with environmental programmes in society.

Takahiro Kobayashi  | Japan

Katsuyuki Tainaka  | Japan

Morrison Foerster

Singapore

The Singapore office of Morrison Foerster makes a significant contribution within the firm’s Asia-Pacific ESG Steering Committee, holding a particular expertise across impact investing, corporate net-zero strategies, and the green energy transition.

A key contact is energy and infrastructure projects lawyer Per Lindberg, who has deep experience advising developers, major corporate investors, and lenders across the structuring, development, construction, financing, and operation of renewable energy deals. Lindberg is also increasingly active advising clients on carbon mitigation projects, carbon credits, and renewable energy certificates.

Alongside the firm’s San Francisco and Hong Kong offices, the corporate team advised climate and energy policy-focused non-profit organisation European Climate Foundation on its investment in the Southeast Asia Clean Energy Facility fund. The fund seeks to catalyse $2.5bn of investments in the renewable energy market, furthering the energy transition by injecting capital in spaces which traditional markets do not cover.

The firm is keen on using its investment funds experience to help advance the incorporation of ESG into deals and operations in Asia. In November 2022, the firm published its inaugural Asia Funds ESG Report, which surveyed 100 leading Asia-headquartered funds to gain their insights on how ESG considerations are impacting their investments and their outlook on the wider market.

The firm’s Environmental Sustainability Committee – which proposes operational sustainability goals, formulates initiatives to meet them, and communicates with staff and stakeholders on sustainability topics – also seeks to educate and consult staff on the firm’s sustainability ambitions and emissions-reduction strategies.

Following a 2022 audit of its direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions, the firm is assessing its current footprint toward setting a near-term science-based emissions reduction target. Ahead of this, the firm has been reducing its carbon footprint through sustainable procurement choices and through purchasing renewable energy credits to mitigate its scope 2 emissions.

Per Lindberg  | Singapore

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

Japan

Full-service Japanese law firm Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu’s sustainability-related offering focuses on advising leading domestic companies in banking and finance industry deals which support the decarbonisation of the transport sector and business communities.

For MUFG Bank and Japan Infrastructure Initiative Co., project finance specialist Jiro Mikami assisted on the joint investment in hydrogen fuel developer and distributor FirstElement Fuel. The financing furthers the decarbonisation of the transport sector by funding the expansion of the target’s hydrogen retail business.

In an offering which will support the net-zero ambition of the rail sector, capital markets lawyer Yuichi Miyashita acted for East Japan Railway in its €750m green bonds issuance. The client’s sustainable finance framework was based on ICMA’s Green Bond Principles and focuses the proceeds of the green bonds on clean transport investments. The firm also provided the client with sensitive advice to minimise the risk of greenwashing and performed due diligence to ensure that the sustainability framework, green bonds, and the bonds’ alignment with the EU Taxonomy were not misleading.

MUFG Bank also sought the firm’s advice on its business alliance with insurance firm Tokio Marine and science-based climate consultancy Codo Advisory, whereby the companies will together provide a service to assist Japanese companies with the financing and strategy of their low-carbon transition journeys.

The firm’s infrastructure, energy, and environment practice contributes to green thought leadership, having published a book in 2022 on carbon neutrality legal practice. Additionally, energy specialist Kiyoshi Honda teaches renewable energy law at Musashino University and serves on the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry’s committee on sustainability and rechargeable batteries.

The firm has also joined the Japan Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, and in 2022 held a seminar discussing the legal strategies for leveraging climate change responses and enhancing corporate value.

Jiro Mikami  | Japan

Yuichi Miyashita  | Japan

Kiyoshi Honda  | Japan

Nishimura & Asahi

Japan

Full-service Japanese law firm Nishimura & Asahi has built an ESG practice which advises clients on climate regulation and strategy, green power projects, and sustainable financings.

Project finance lawyer Tomohiro Sato advised the lenders on Green Power Investment’s Ishikari offshore wind project, which features a 112 MW capacity and 100 MW battery storage component. The project is among Japan’s largest offshore wind and storage projects and will provide green electricity to Hokkaido Electric Power Network for twenty years.

For pension fund CPDQ, energy specialist Hiroyasu Konno served as local legal counsel in its investment into renewable energy company Shizen Energy, advising on renewable power regulations, project risks, and the investment structure. Through the JPY70bn direct infrastructure investment, the client will support and direct the target’s development of renewable energy projects.

In a deal creating a $3.5bn investment in the EV industry, the firm also advised Honda on its agreement with LG Energy Solution to establish a joint venture company in the US to produce lithium-ion batteries for Honda’s battery-electric vehicles. The deal is key within the client’s goal of being carbon neutral for all its products and corporate activities by 2050.

Helping decarbonise the Japanese steel industry, the team furthermore assisted leading steelmaker Kobe Steel with its investment in H2GS, an industrial-scale green steel plant which utilises green hydrogen and renewable electricity in production.

Lawyers in the firm’s ESG practice sit as experts on industry bodies discussing competition policy, carbon offset credits, and carbon capture and storage. The firm also operates a Sustainability Study Group to share knowledge with clients and stakeholders concerning climate change litigation, ESG investing, and the offshore wind and hydrogen sectors.

Helping boost staff engagement in sustainability, the firm sponsored Nikkeisha’s Corporate Food Loss Reduction Project, whereby the office salvaged food which would otherwise have been discarded to help promote food waste reduction.

Tomohiro Sato  | Japan

Hiroyasu Konno  | Japan

Norton Rose Fulbright

Hong Kong

Norton Rose Fulbright in Hong Kong stands out for its impactful work advising on projects that facilitate a green transition across APAC.

In a cross-jurisdictional matter, the team is acting for Gaw Capital Partners in connection with its investment in Maoneng Group’s portfolio of BESS and solar development projects across Australia, which are expected to provide a total of 1.9GW in battery storage and solar power generation, and explore new renewable energy opportunities.

In a recent highlight, a Hong Kong-based team advised a syndicate of 14 lenders arranged by HSBC on a circa HK$2bn term loan facility to Canvest Environmental Protection Group. This is the borrower’s second green loan and part of the proceeds of the facility is to refinance its first 2020 green loan facility. Also recently, the team advised a syndicate of banks on a sustainability-linked term loan facility valued at circa HK$4bn to Vantage Dragon.

Internally, the firm has committed to reaching a science-based target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The team is also actively engaged in sustainability-related thought leadership, which includes the firm’s ESG and Sustainability Insights newsletter, and its series ‘The Language of Green Demystified’, which explains commonly used acronyms, breaking down the ‘language of green’. The firm additionally has an Energy Transition YouTube channel, as well as an Energy Transition Newsletter and an Energy Transition Hub.

Thailand

In Thailand, Norton Rose Fulbright stands out for its work in the green finance space.

A Bangkok-based team advised Athena Power, a Singapore-headquartered renewable energy developer, on the joint venture with three special purpose companies in Thailand, including one of the country’s biggest utilities and power service providers.

It also advised the same client on the financing, development and operation of two solar farm projects in Ratchaburi Province and Kanchanaburi Province in Thailand with a total capacity of 128MW and a total investment value of circa $110m as part of the Energy Regulatory Commission in Thailand’s procurement of electricity from renewable energy projects.

The firm also regularly updates its clients with its ESG and Sustainability Insights as well as Energy Transition newsletters. Its thought leadership and engagement beyond client work is also evidenced by its Energy Transition YouTube channel, Energy Transition Hub, and its series ‘The Language of Green Demystified’, which explains commonly used acronyms, breaking down the ‘language of green’.

Internally, the firm has a global commitment of reaching a science-based target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Phi Finney McDonald

Australia

Specialist litigation firm Phi Finney McDonald often advises on ground-breaking environmental matters, and reinvests the proceeds of its commercial practice into public interest cases.

In an ongoing highlight, Brett Spiegel is leading a landmark climate change class action brought by First Nations leaders against the Commonwealth of Australia. The claim alleges that the Commonwealth breached its duty of care by failing to take reasonable steps, including establishing science-based emissions targets, to prevent the harms to Torres Strait Islanders, who face an existential threat from rising sea levels.

The firm is also acting as counsel in a shareholder class action against BHP surrounding an environmental disaster in Brazil. In 2015, the Fundão tailings dam at the Germano mine, which is operated by a joint venture of BHP and Vale, collapsed in what is considered one of the largest tailings dam ruptures ever recorded, resulting in BHP’s stock price plunging across all markets. The case alleges BHP violated continuous disclosure obligations and engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct, and that shareholders suffered loss as a result.

The firm is a part of the Climate Litigation Network, an international project which supports organisations, communities and individuals to use litigation to compel national governments to ramp up their climate mitigation ambition. In 2022, the firm signed an open letter urging governments around the world to take stronger climate action to protect people and the planet.

The team also frequently contributes to thought leadership and engages with academia, such as speaking at the Melbourne Law School’s Climate Litigation Workshop in 2023, and managing director Ben Phi recently publishing an article about ESG engagement and litigation.

All mentioned individuals are based in Melbourne.

Brett Spiegel  | Australia

Ben Phi  | Australia

Pinsent Masons

Australia

In Australia, Pinsent Masons’ environmental and planning practice, led by Sydney-based Kirstie Richards, advises clients in the renewable energy space and stands out for its work in the hydrogen and EV sectors.

In an ongoing matter, the firm is acting for Goldwind Australia, one of the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturers and renewable energy companies, on the Clarke Wind Farm in Queensland, a project which is expected to supply circa 450MW of energy in its first stage.

In a project which contributes to the move towards net zero and decarbonisation in the transport sector, the firm is assisting Zenobe Delivery with the trial of a fleet of zero emission electric buses, and one of the first fully electric bus depots in Victoria, Australia.

Recently, in the fast-growing hydrogen sector, the firm advised GFG Alliance on all structuring, financing, and other aspects of its $2bn expansion plans for a mine, port and manufacturing facility at Whyalla, and its transition to greensteel through the use of green hydrogen and renewable energy. The new plant will be fed by natural gas, in time transitioning to green hydrogen produced from GFG’s own renewable energy projects.

In Australia, the firm is an active member of the Clean Energy Council and the Energy Club WA. The team spoke at and sponsored a number of relevant events over the past year, including the Offshore Wind Conference Australia and the Connecting Green Hydrogen APAC Conference, both in 2022.

Globally, the firm has established a Climate Change and Sustainability Network (CCSN), an employee network for individuals across the firm to discuss thoughts, news and opportunities to mitigate environmental impact and promote a culture of sustainability across offices. The Australian CCSN issues regular newsletters outlining recent news, headlines, and thought leadership articles on climate-change related topics.

Singapore

Pinsent Masons’ Singapore office has expertise in renewable energy. Singapore-based James Harris has over 30 years of experience in energy and infrastructure projects.

Currently, he is advising the Asian Development Bank on the design and developments of the Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM) in Indonesia. This was announced at COP26 and aims to take over coal power or other fossil fuel generation assets while supporting the scale-up of renewable energy. The project could result in savings of 2GT of carbon emissions.

Harris is also leading the team in an ongoing multijurisdictional matter for the International Finance Corporation concerning its investment in Khan Bank’s $60m issuance of five-year green bonds, one of the first ever to be issued in Mongolia. The proceeds will be used for financing projects that support renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable buildings.

Locally, the team in Singapore has launched a 2023/2024 Renewables Projects Masterclass series, which takes clients through the best practices at each stage of the renewable energy project lifecycle.

In 2022, the firm launched a joint global survey with Queen Mary University of London on the future of international energy arbitration, which was sent to its clients in the energy sector, and in 2023, the firm’s Singapore and Hong Kong offices hosted a seminar to discuss the results.

Globally, the firm’s Climate Change and Sustainability Network (CCSN) engages employees across the firm to discuss opportunities to mitigate environmental impact and promote a culture of sustainability. The firm is also a founding member of the Sustainable Markets Initiative Legal Sector Taskforce.

Kirstie Richards  | Australia

James Harris  | Singapore

RIAA BARKER GILLETTE

Pakistan

Building off the firm’s long history advising on major power projects, the Pakistan offices of multi-practice law firm RIAA BARKER GILLETTE have leading energy sector expertise to support clients in their transition to renewable power generation.

Based in Lahore, energy practice head Hasnain Naqvee served as project company counsel to Korean special purpose company KOAK Power regarding the 229 MW hydroelectric project to be located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. For the project, which will provide low-cost and clean power to the region, the firm has assisted on EPC contracting, tender documents, and on the bidding process.

Another hydroelectric sector client is Azad Pattan Power, whom the firm advised as project company counsel for its 700 MW hydroelectric power generation facility. The $1.5bn plant will provide a significant expansion to Pakistan’s renewable energy capacity while protecting against the country’s recent power shortages.

In the solar power sector, the firm assisted the project sponsor with the sale of a pre-development 21.52 MW solar PV portfolio. The firm performed project due diligence focused upon the viability of the projects under Pakistan’s new competitive energy regime.

Supporting the decarbonisation of Pakistani industry, the firm also acted for a syndicate of banks in relation to a PKR6020m project finance facility to be provided to Etihad Power Generation to set-up a captive bagasse-powered co-generation power plant. The project will supply Etihad Alloys’ steel plant with clean electricity.

Hasnain Naqvee  | Pakistan

Rahmat Lim & Partners

Malaysia

Malaysian corporate law firm Rahmat Lim & Partners has adapted to the emerging sustainability landscape by launching its ESG & Public Policy practice, which offers multi-disciplinary expertise across ESG business strategies, renewable energy projects, and sustainable and green finance.

In an ongoing matter, projects specialist Kamilah Kasim is advising Citaglobal Berhad on its project to develop and operate solar power systems for twenty stations along the East Coast Rail Link project. The firm is advising on supply agreements, the power purchase agreement to sell the solar power generated to Malaysia Rail Link, EPC contracts, operation and maintenance agreements, and regulatory guidelines.

In a $500m deal supporting the growth of Malaysia’s hydroelectric power capacity, the firm assisted Don Sahong Power Company with the development, financing, construction, operation, and maintenance of a run-of-river hydroelectric project. Within the mandate, the firm drafted a supplemental power purchase agreement to reflect the expansion of the plant to a 325 MW capacity.

For AmInvestment Bank, the firm acted as principal adviser and Danajamin Nasional as Kafalah guarantor in relation to Econas Resource To Energy’s RM500m ASEAN Sustainability SRI Sukuk issuance. The issuance, aligned with regional and global green financing guidelines, will finance the development of waste treatment and waste-to-energy complexes.

To boost sustainable practices in the local community, the firm regularly holds seminars and training sessions for public-sector, financial, and corporate clients. In a recent seminar, the firm educated clients on trends in the renewable energy and carbon offset markets, ESG financing and structuring tips, rising green litigation risks, and how to integrate ESG provisions into contracts.

Since 2019, an internal Sustainable and Environment Committee has worked to boost the firm’s recycling efforts, procured environmentally friendly products, and educated staff on reducing consumption and waste.

Kamilah Kasim  | Malaysia

Russell McVeagh

New Zealand

Russell McVeagh is a multi-service firm in New Zealand that stands out for its work in the hydrogen and green bond spaces.

Notably, in an ongoing highlight, the firm is assisting Meridian Energy with its proposed project to build an innovative hydrogen and ammonia facility run on renewable energy in Southland. The project is one of the first proposed large-scale hydrogen projects in New Zealand.

In sustainable finance, the firm recently advised T&G Global on its financing documentation in relation to its first sustainability-linked loan worth NZ$180m. In another recent highlight, it acted for Genesis Energy on the issuance of its $285m NZX listed green capital bonds to New Zealand investors.

Internally, the firm has created a sustainability committee, which – among other tasks – organises seminars on sustainability issues. Additionally, in 2022, it launched its Renewables Blog, which discusses developments in the renewables sector and is edited by Mei Fern Johnson and Tom Gillespie.

The firm has also received the Toitu net carbonzero certification, demonstrating it is taking environmental action, reporting on its carbon impact and setting reduction goals.

Mei Fern Johnson  | New Zealand

Tom Gillespie  | New Zealand

S&R Associates

India

Full-service Indian law firm S&R Associates has an ESG practice which focuses on advising corporate, banking, and financial sector clients on renewable energy and carbon abatement projects, carbon sequestration schemes, and ESG compliance.

For rural clean energy service provider Husk Power Systems, New Delhi-based finance practitioner Divyanshu Pandey advised on an INR310m term loan facility provided by the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency as part of the lender’s assistance in scaling-up off-grid energy projects. The firm acted for the client in the structuring and regulatory conditions of the financing, which will support the construction and installation of 140 hybrid mini-grids across the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

From Mumbai, the firm acted for renewable energy solutions provider Suzlon Energy in its INR12bn rights issuance. The firm conducted legal due diligence and negotiated the issue agreement and other transaction documentation for the client, which is a leading wind component manufacturer and among India’s largest renewable operation & maintenance service providers.

The firm regularly provides pro bono training services for its clients across diverse sectors, specialising in the regulatory landscape surrounding e-waste disposal. Additionally, Prachi Goel and Arpita Garg widely contribute to thought leadership on the green transition with publications on topics including renewable energy, carbon market developments, the electric vehicle sector, green financing, and impact investments.

Internally, the firm is conscious to introduce measures which reduce its operational carbon footprint. It works with local waste management dealers to implement recycling practices that support a circular economy; staff are committed to reducing waste and have adopted a no single-use plastic policy; and the firm’s Mumbai office is LEED Platinum-certified, featuring a rainwater harvesting system, energy-saving lights, and energy-efficiency power systems.

Prachi Goel  | India

Arpita Garg  | India

Divyanshu Pandey  | India

SNG & PARTNERS

India

An SME member of the UN Global Compact Network India, full-service law firm SNG & PARTNERS supplements its client work across green finance by integrating sustainable practices into its own operations.

For green non-banking financial company Ecofy, the firm advised on the standardisation of credit documentation for its provision of electric vehicle and solar rooftop loans to individual and corporate borrowers. Additionally, the firm supported the client in its expansion into emerging green areas, helping draft ESG and carbon credit trading clauses.

In the green loan space, key Delhi-based banking and finance contact Amit Aggarwal advised Standard Chartered Bank and HSBC on an INR1150 crore green loan to real estate owner RMZ Infinity. The deal supports the client in financing its climate change mitigation and adaptation processes, and in its measuring and monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions.

Supporting the decarbonisation of Indian industry, the firm also assisted Dalmia Cement with an asset purchase agreement with Dalmia Bharat Sugar and Industries, whereby the client received a 16.5 MW wind capacity in order to produce cement using greener electricity sources.

Managing partner Rajesh Narain Gupta regularly contributes to thought leadership in the sustainability space, taking part in webinars on ESG frameworks and implementation, and authoring articles on legal challenges impeding India’s green finance market.

Through its membership in the Green Impact Group initiative, the firm is taking steps to reduce its operational carbon footprint. Alongside helping staff reduce waste and conserve resources, the firm’s improved recycling programme generates funds which are then donated to green NGOs. The firm is also associated with the Muktangan Educational Trust NGO, which provides students with a free environmental science-focused education.

Amit Aggarwal  | India

Rajesh Narain Gupta  | India

SRPP Ltd.

Thailand

Thai multi-practice law firm SRPP Ltd. has carved out specialisms in the clean energy and carbon markets within its M&A, and banking and finance practices.

Helping expand the availability of solar power within Thailand, banking and finance partner Passawan Navanithikul advised clean energy joint venture Thai Digital Energy Development Company on the reception of a BHT240m facility to finance the installation of a 10.7 MW rooftop solar portfolio on buildings located in Chiang Mai university.

The firm also acted for leading commercial bank Bangkok Bank Public Company in its provision of a $440m facility to Springhead Holdings, which will finance the acquisition of shares in Star Energy Group from BCPG Public Company. The target is the operator of a leading geothermal power plant in Indonesia, with the matter important in supporting the financing of a vital clean energy project within the region.

M&A partner Panuwat Chalongkuamdee advised PTT Public Company on its joint venture (Nuovo Plus) with Global Power Synergy, which seeks to invest across the battery value chain in order to support the government policy to promote electric vehicles and battery energy storage systems.

The firm also regularly produces thought leadership pieces to educate clients and the public on Thailand’s decarbonisation paths, with recent articles tackling the available carbon credit registration options and the voluntary emission reduction project registration criteria.

Internally, the firm introduced guidelines to ensure its operations are more environmentally friendly and efficient, focused on reducing paper usage, minimising plastic waste, and encouraging efficiency in energy consumption. As founding partner, Chalongkuamdee also encouraged staff to take part in the Khaoyai National Park volunteering programme, helping protect local biodiversity.

Passawan Navanithikul  | Thailand

Panuwat Chalongkuamdee  | Thailand

SSEK Law Firm

Indonesia

The multi-disciplinary ESG practice at Indonesian corporate law firm SSEK Law Firm regularly advises clients on waste and ocean-based projects with a positive environmental and social impact. The firm boosts this expertise by providing staff with ‘green training’ concerning the emerging renewable energy and carbon trading spaces, provided by senior associate and environment and climate change specialist Aldilla Suwana.

In an innovative circular economy mandate, the firm assisted PT Systemic Lestari Indonesia on its Project STOP, a local government-level initiative to collect and recycle plastic waste. For each ton of plastic waste collected or recycled, a verified plastic credit is issued, which will be sold on global markets to finance the maintenance of the scheme. This novel approach to financing recycling programmes seeks to become a template that can be replicated across Indonesia to address the country’s plastic waste issues.

In a landmark electric vehicle deal, the firm advised Hyundai Motor Group and LG Energy Solution in their $1.1bn transaction and joint venture with state-owned enterprise Indonesian Battery Corporation to establish an electric battery cell manufacturing facility in Indonesia. The firm advised on tax regimes, incentives, and frameworks for the project, which supports Indonesia’s goal to become a regional hub for the entire electric vehicle value chain.

The team also acted for Mirova Natural Capital’s Sustainable Ocean Fund as a lender in a secured ESG-linked financing for an Indonesian sustainable fishing company.

Alongside publishing its own thought leadership concerning developments in the renewable energy industry and regulations on carbon trading within the forestry sector, the firm regularly provides an Indonesian perspective on emerging ESG developments for global law firms and industry associations.

Aldilla Suwana  | Indonesia

Shearman & Sterling

Hong Kong

A founding member of the Net Zero Lawyers Alliance, Shearman & Sterling has pledged to cut its emissions by 50% by 2030 and discloses its Scope 1 and 2 emissions to the Carbon Disclosure Project. The Hong Kong office regularly engages with clients in emerging green markets at a regional and global scale.

A team led by Asia regional managing partner Lorna Chen, who heads the asset management and investment funds practice, is advising Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., limited (CATL) on a joint venture with the Indonesia Investment Authority to establish a green energy fund to invest across the entire EV supply chain in Indonesia and support the emerging market. The target transaction size is $2bn.

Chen also works closely with the firm’s US-based teams in connection with high value private investments in the forest carbon markets. 

Japan

Shearman & Sterling Japan is experienced in assisting clients with the establishment of large-scale renewables projects domestically and abroad.

Tokyo-based M&A partner Karl Pires worked closely with US-based colleagues in advising Osaka Gas and its US subsidiary OGUSA regarding the agreement with Oriden to develop a portfolio of more than 700 MWdc utility-scale solar and storage projects throughout the US. Etienne Gelencsér, of counsel in the project development & finance practice, advises several clients who are first movers in the Japanese hydrogen market as well as the funds supporting its development.

The firm dedicates approximately 37,000 hours to pro bono matters globally. Environmental causes include supporting International Rivers, a non-profit which focuses on the environmental and local community protection of the Kunene River in Angola/Namibia as well as The Nature Conservancy.

Singapore

Shearman & Sterling LLP in Singapore is involved in pioneering green bonds and significant renewable energy transactions across the continent.

Together with colleagues in Japan and Hong Kong, a team led by head of capital markets Andrew Schleider advised Greenko Energy Holdings and Greenko Wind Projects in connection with a $750m offshore bond offering. This constitutes the first international green bond issuance to fund the construction of an energy storage project in India.

The team is also experienced assisting clients in emerging technologies. Of counsel and energy and infrastructure expert David Clinch leads advice on CCUS projects in Asia Pacific and works closely with head of the Singapore office Richard Porter on green  hydrogen transactions in the region.

The firm furthermore supports the energy transition through its membership in “Collaborative Initiative for Action” (CIfA), a group organised by the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Energy Institute.

Lorna Chen  | Hong Kong

Karl Pires  | Japan

Etienne Gelencsér  | Japan

Andrew Schleider  | Singapore

David Clinch  | Singapore

Richard Porter  | Singapore

Shin & Kim

South Korea

South Korean multi-practice law firm Shin & Kim stands out for its ESG Center, which draws together its multi-disciplinary expertise to advise clients on ESG regulations, sustainability reports, green and responsible investments, and ESG strategies.

ESG Center deputy head Sooyoung Song prepared an analytical report on overseas sustainability disclosure systems for the Korean Ministry of Environment. The report examined EU and US ESG disclosure-related laws and regulations, and analysed existing global certification and verification systems. Helping raise awareness of sustainability issues in the business community, Song also serves as an advisor to the Korea Sustainability Standards Board, which seeks to develop ESG disclosure standards for Korean companies.

For major clients Green Investment Group (Korea) and TotalEnergies Offshore Wind Korea, the firm advised on the sale of a 15% interest in five project companies, including the 1.5 GW Gray Whale offshore wind farm. The sale of the interest to leading renewable energy constructor SK Ecoplant is vital in ensuring that foreign clients gain a domestic partner to provide local investment and construction expertise.

Renewable energy expert Sang-Hyun Lee provided regulatory and legal feasibility advice to Samsung C&T, Doosan Enerbility, Namhae Chemical, and LG Chemical on the installation and operation of a novel clean ammonia-based hydrogen production facility. The project is an important piece of infrastructure which will help underpin the development of an ammonia and hydrogen value chain in Korea.

In November 2022, the firm enacted its ESG Charter, which sets out operational improvements to boost sustainability within its offices and provides staff a code of conduct on ESG issues. Alongside engaging staff on sustainability issues, the firm is currently gathering its environmental data with the aim of publishing a sustainability report and devising a data-led emissions-reduction plan.

Sooyoung Song  | South Korea

Sang-Hyun Lee  | South Korea

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Hong Kong

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s Hong Kong office provides diverse expertise within the green transition, assisting clients across the Asia Pacific region with large-scale renewable energy mandates and high-value transactions.

Acting for key client KKR, the firm advised on a $450m investment in renewable energy group Hero Future Energies. The deal, a leading industrial decarbonisation investment in the Indian market, supports the expansion of the target’s 1.6 GW renewable energy capacity and facilitates further efforts to promote the energy transition. The firm additionally assisted KKR with its INR40bn sale of Virescent Renewable Energy Trust to IndiGrid Trust, a renewable energy investment trust also sponsored by the client.

Advising the joint lead managers, the capital markets practice handled Korean electric utility KEPCO’s $800m total green bond offering, with the deal financing projects which support the client’s transition to renewable energy and thereby boost the decarbonisation of the South Korean economy.

In the energy storage sector, the firm acted for the underwriters in connection with the approximately $11bn IPO of rechargeable lithium-ion battery producer LG Energy Solution. The offering, a landmark deal in South Korea, provides significant finance to support the client’s production of batteries for leading players in the EV sector.

The firm’s Hong Kong office is located in a complex which obtained the BEAM Plus Platinum rating, certifying the location as a green building which is committed to sustainability and energy conservation. To further its positive environmental impact, the firm has introduced sustainability policies that minimise paper usage and incentivise eco-friendly procurement choices.

Sunshine Law Firm

China

Chinese energy, environment, and infrastructure boutique Sunshine Law Firm distinguishes itself for the carbon market expertise of its Green and Low-Carbon Business department, and for the experience of its Environmental, Resources, and Energy Research Centre in sustainable development, energy policy, and climate change.

A key client is Zhejiang Energy Carbon Asset Management, whom the firm advised on the development, construction, and operation of its Zhejiang Carbon Inclusive Platform. The client’s novel provincial-level platform has issued over 200 million carbon credits generated from biodiversity and recycling projects. The firm also assisted in establishing a collaboration with forestry groups in Northeast China, which will sequester carbon in order to generate carbon credits to trade on the client’s platform.

Also within the carbon management sector, the firm advised leading client Rio Tinto Trading on its first carbon-compensated iron ore cargo trade within China’s steel industry. The firm was consulted on the feasibility and legal risk of the carbon offset transaction scheme, which saw verified emissions reductions equivalent to the scopes 1, 2, and 3 emissions of the ore’s production and transportation be purchased and retired.

Supporting a provincial clean energy company in gaining operational funding, key energy contact Chuxing Dong advised Zhejiang Energy Leqing Power Generation Co on an RMB36.52m loan secured against its 969,856 tons of surplus carbon emission quotas. The matter is precedent for a low-cost, market-based solution for companies to gain further value from their carbon quota assets while pursuing their emissions reduction goals.

Eager to offset the emissions of its operations, the firm has purchased green electricity certificates commensurate with the energy consumption of its four offices since 2017. To more deeply instill a culture which values carbon neutrality, the firm organises expert lectures and participatory programmes to engage staff on key topics regarding carbon management and climate change.

Chuxing Dong  | China

SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan (SyCipLaw)

Philippines

In the Philippines, full-service law firm SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan (SyCipLaw) makes a significant contribution to the green transition through its ESG-focused client work and broad commitment to thought leadership.

In an innovative marine protection mandate, the firm advised UBS Optimus Foundation on its provision of a $500,000 facility to Blue Alliance, whose purpose is to promote the protection and restoration of marine ecosystems in the Oriental Mindoro province. Within the matter, the firm advised on tax implications and negotiated necessary corporate approvals.

Through pro bono foundation TrustLaw, the firm assisted B Corporation Smart Air in obtaining registration for its trademarks. The client creates affordable air purifiers for the Philippine market while holding workshops to educate people on protecting themselves from air pollution.

The firm’s environmental responsibility strategy has overseen the adoption of green guidelines to direct staff into reducing paper waste, minimising energy usage, and boosting recycling. The firm has also engaged in recycling and e-waste collection initiatives in order to further drive staff engagement with internal sustainability efforts.

Its ESG group seeks to actively contribute to green thought leadership, having recently produced publications on the issuance of SDG bonds in the ASEAN region and ESG investing; hosted a forum for its legal staff on how climate change impacts corporate governance; and presented a podcast on sustainability and ESG developments.

UMBRA - Strategic Legal Solutions

Indonesia

Indonesian multi-service law firm UMBRA – Strategic Legal Solutions has a significant presence in the renewable energy industry, advising clients on corporate and finance matters across the solar, wind, geothermal, and hydroelectric power sectors.

Projects and energy specialist Kirana Sastrawijaya represented state-owned electric utility PT PLN on all aspects of the 70 MW Tanah Laut wind farm. The project is innovative in the Indonesian market for its use of a battery energy storage system to improve reliability.

For infrastructure development investor PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur, the firm advised on the financing of the Blawan Ijen geothermal plant. For the project, which is among the first geothermal projects in East Java, the firm conducted legal due diligence on the borrower alongside advising on the financing structure and mitigation of legal risks.

In the solar power sector, the firm advised clean energy independent power producer Yinson Renewables in its acquisition of Indonesian solar PV company PT Ineco Solar Solutions. The deal, which marks the client’s entrance into Indonesia’s renewable energy sector, will support the target in expanding its projects portfolio while pursuing the government goal of increasing renewable energy to 23% of the energy mix by 2025.

The firm advised environmental charity ClientEarth in developing a Legal Guide for Institutional Investors on Climate Shareholder Resolutions in Asia. The guide, a collaboration between the client and the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change, helps institutional investors use shareholder resolutions to better engage with companies on climate-related matters.

Additionally, the firm contributes widely to speaking engagements concerning the green transition, with lawyers speaking at recent seminars concerning the energy transition, carbon trading opportunities, and renewable energy power purchase agreements.

The firm’s UMBRA Green Initiative seeks to reduce operational carbon emissions by minimising plastic and paper waste, adopting energy-efficient appliances and practices, and creating a robust waste management programme.

Kirana Sastrawijaya  | Indonesia

VDB Loi

Bangladesh

The Dhaka office of pan-Asian law firm VDB Loi is advising on a growing number of solar and wind power projects across Bangladesh. Utilising its corporate and transactional experience, the firm assists high-profile clients with innovative and influential matters that support the development of the country’s renewable energy capacity.

Across the region, Edwin Vanderbruggen is a key contact with strong experience in Bangladesh’s nascent renewable energy sector. In a deal worth over $70m, Vanderbruggen led the team in advising international client SCATEC on the legal and regulatory regime and requirements surrounding the restructuring of its 50 MW Nilphamari solar farm.

Also in the solar sector, for leading Chinese IPP and EPC Risen Energy, the firm is advising on the acquisition of a 200 MW in-development solar power project.

In a transaction worth over $300m, the firm is acting for major Chinese renewable generator State Power Investment Corporation in its acquisition of the 55 MW Mongla wind farm. Another client in the wind power sector is the Toyota Tsusho Corporation, whom the firm is assisting in its proposed $150m acquisition of the under-construction Muhuri Dam wind farm project. Across these deals, the firm advising on deal structuring, due diligence, and in negotiating the necessary transaction documentation.

The office also contributes to thought leadership on the state of Bangladesh’s renewable energy sector, with Vanderbruggen and Osman Goni writing on how difficulties in land acquisitions are delaying the development of Bangladesh’s over-700 MW solar project pipeline.

Cambodia

In Cambodia, regional law firm VDB Loi has significant experience acting on leading deals across the development of innovative renewable energy projects, with clients including major actors in the green transition like Solarpack and Total Eren.

Supporting Cambodia’s burgeoning renewable energy sector, Mariza Ung and key regional contact Edwin Vanderbruggen are advising The Blue Circle on the financial structuring, project development, and licensing of an 80 MW wind power plant.

For Prime Road Power, the firm acted as local counsel across all aspects of the financing, contracting, licensing, and taxation of the 60 MW Kampong Chhnang solar power project. The plant is the first in Cambodia to be organised as a public-private partnership – supporting the injection of international financing for local projects – and is helping boost the renewable energy capacity of the country’s national power grid.

Sharing the knowledge gained in advising on sustainable and green finance deals in Cambodia, the office has made an important contribution to thought leadership across Southeast Asia, writing on the practices, frameworks, and relevant institutions for clients who are implementing novel types of green finance.

Laos

Southeast Asia-based law firm VDB Loi positions itself in Laos as a leading advisor to the renewable energy sector, being able to leverage the regional expertise of key contact Edwin Vanderbruggen. Alongside its transactional and project finance work in the hydropower sector, the firm has notable experience advising on the diversification of the country’s renewable energy capacity through the emergence of solar power projects.

In an ongoing matter, the firm is acting for Chinese client Guangxi Guigan Electric Power as investor and co-developer of the 500 MW solar power plant in Sangthong district. For the project, which is vital in elaborating a regulatory precedent for renewable projects in Laos alongside supporting the emergence of a technical knowhow, the firm is currently assisting in the negotiations necessary to commence operations.

Bolstering its regional thought leadership contribution, the firm published a guide on implementing green finance in Southeast Asia, sharing its insight into the direction of renewable energy development in Laos and on the financial incentives available to potential investors.

Edwin Vanderbruggen  | Bangladesh

Osman Goni  | Bangladesh

Mariza Ung  | Cambodia

YKVN

Vietnam

Multi-practice law firm YKVN is actively supporting the development of renewable energy projects which further Vietnam’s transition to cleaner energy sources and help promote the country’s 2050 net-zero targets.

Acting in Vietnam’s nascent offshore wind sector, energy specialist Duong Thu Ha advised Bangkok Bank Public Company Limited and Bangkok Bank Public Company Limited Ho Chi Minh Branch on the $76.2m syndicated loan provided to finance the 48 MW Tra Vinh V1-2 Offshore Wind Power Plant Project. The project, which required a unique security package, is one of the three nearshore wind farms approved to boost Vietnam’s renewable energy capacity.

In the onshore wind sector, the firm advised regular client Export-Import Bank of Thailand on the $62.79m financing provided to the 50 MW HBRE Chu Prong Wind Power Farm Project. As the first wind power project in Gia Lai province, the project is vital to widening the access to renewable electricity in Vietnam.

Supplementing its expertise in the onshore and offshore wind sectors, the firm is also experienced in advising lenders on the financings of major solar power projects and in assisting leading banks on significant acquisitions in the renewable energy space.

Alongside an internal commitment to managing its e-waste and reducing its energy consumption, the firm makes an active contribution to local sustainability through its thought leadership offering. Key energy contact Truong Nhat Quang led the team in authoring the Vietnam section of the IFLR’s 2022 ESG Asia report, which focused on local ESG best practices, legislative and policy developments, and the emergence of green bonds within the market.

Duong Thu  | Vietnam

Truong Nhat Quang  | Vietnam

Zaid Ibrahim & Co (in association with KPMG Law)

Malaysia

Malaysian full-service law firm Zaid Ibrahim & Co (in association with KPMG Law) is keen to complement its expertise in the renewable energy sector by reducing its impact on the environment, with the firm’s Impact@KPMG target pledging to support clients in their decarbonisation journeys while reaching net-zero itself by 2030.

For Worldwide Holdings, a company wholly owned by the Selangor state government, the firm assisted with the EPC contract for two waste-to-energy facilities at Jeram Sanitary Landfill. The facilities, which will produce up to 25 MW of green energy, will reduce the area’s landfill footprint and greenhouse gas emissions while supporting the national aim to increase renewable energy generation.

Debt capital market lawyer Lilian Liew is leading a cross-practice team advising Malayan Banking Berhad as advisor and arranger to Solarpack Suria Sungai Petani’s RM305m ASEAN Green SRI Sukuk Wakalah issuance. The issuance finances the development of a 90.88 MW large-scale solar PV plant at Kuala Muda.

In the hydropower sector, the firm acted for electric power company TNB Power Generation in the issuance of RM1.5bn worth of Sustainability Sukuk Wakalah to fund the development of the 300 MW Nenggiri Hydroelectric power plant. The financing aids the expansion of Malaysia’s renewable energy capacity while supporting the client in the attainment of its 2050 net-zero target.

Alongside KPMG, projects department head Amin Abdul Majid is advising the World Bank on its consultancy services to the Malaysian government concerning the feasibility of introducing carbon pricing instruments in the country. The team analysed, compared, and assessed international regimes and regulatory requirements to ascertain the viability of introducing carbon taxes or emission trading schemes.

With its environmental sustainability policy, the firm is also committed to reducing its carbon footprint through sustainable procurement, prioritising green transition mandates, minimising waste, and setting up an annual emissions reduction target and reporting scheme.

Amin Abdul Majid  | Malaysia

Lilian Liew  | Malaysia

Sustainable conversations:

Olivia Hart and Rajesh Sreenivasan

Green Guide senior researcher Olivia Hart speaks to Rajesh Sreenivasan at Rajah & Tann about the interplay between technology, data and ESG in Asean.

Olivia Hart  and Loh Yong Hui

Green Guide senior researcher Olivia Hart speaks to Loh Yong Hui at Rajah & Tann about the drivers and challenges associated with the energy transition in the ASEAN region.

Olivia Hart  and Lee Weilin

Green Guide senior researcher Olivia Hart speaks to Lee Weilin, banking & finance partner and head of sustainability at Rajah & Tann, about sustainable finance trends and challenges in the ASEAN region.

Anushree Tripathi: Part 2

Green Guide editor Anna Bauböck speaks to climate change law consultant Anushree Tripathi about the opportunities created by a green, just and equitable transition in India.

Anushree Tripathi: Part 1

Green Guide editor Anna Bauböck speaks to climate change law consultant Anushree Tripathi about the challenges in connection with a green, just and equitable transition in India.