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Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

Sarah Devine

Work 202-662-4516
Norton Rose Fulbright

Work Department



Latin America: International firms

Banking and finance

Within: Banking and finance

Norton Rose Fulbright has exploited its extensive international network to make inroads into the increased capital flows from Asia. It remains a considerable presence in project and infrastructure finance, trade and commodities finance, and hybrid financings involving the capital markets; the arrival of George Baptista from Mayer Brown in May 2018 has added significantly to the firm's Latin America capital markets expertise. The sizeable finance team in Sao Paulo is active across Latin America including in Brazil, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Uruguay and Argentina; it frequently works alongside colleagues in New York and Washington DC. The 'team is really well prepared and has a lot of expertise', 'looks into all details and doesn't miss anything'. Clients include Banco de Brasil, ING Bank, Banco Rabobank International Brasil, LATAM Airlines, Vale and Enel Brasil. Mining-sector finance is a growth area for the department and it advised Lundin Gold on its $350m senior secured project financing for the $1bn development and construction of the Fruta del Norte gold project in Ecuador. In another major transaction a team advised Braskem on a $1bn syndicated revolving credit facility, one of the largest syndicated financings provided for a Brazilian entity in 2018. The team is also experiencing an uptick in engagements from alternative lenders and debt funds, and continues to be active in the restructuring segment in Brazil. Charles Johnson is a leader in Sao Paulo, where he has a broad mix of syndicated lending, restructuring, project finance, and trade and commodities financing work. Fellow Sao Paulo partner Daniel Spencer is a big name in project finance throughout Latin America, while Silvia Fazio, Michael McCourt and Alison Baxter are also important figures in Brazil. Raquel Bierzwinsky splits her time between New York and Mexico City and has a fine record in Mexico project finance. Washington DC partner Sarah Devine advises a number of multilateral agencies and development banks on Latin America financings.

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Projects and energy

Within: Projects and energy

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP's Latin America team has a long history with the region. Perhaps best known for its excellent record in renewables, the practie group is also recognised for conventional power and transmission infrastructure. Its principal markets are Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru. The core Latin America group has worked hard to leverage the resources and expertise of the wider firm, including collaborating with colleagues in Toronto and London on mining finance engagements, and Milan lawyers on Argentine projects. It has close connections to a number of DFIs, MLAs and commercial banks, along with a range of sponsors. Clients include OPIC, IFC, IDB, North American Investment Corporation, Banco Nacional de Comercio, Macquarie Bank, Enel Green Power, Mitsubishi and Engie. Recent matters include advising the senior lenders on the $3bn restructuring of the 531MW Alto Maipo hydroelectric power project in Chile, which is sponsored by AES Gener; and Red Kite Mine on the debt funding of a lithium project in Sonora, northern Mexico. New York partner Raquel Bierzwinsky is admitted to practice in Mexico and has deep experience in Mexican projects, including in renewables and mining; she is 'an incredibly engaged and hands-on partner', 'an effective, fair and reasonable negotiator', 'has an in-depth understanding of the Mexican energy market' and 'her complete bilingual background is essential'. Sao Paulo partner Daniel Spencer is another hugely experienced practitioner in power and infrastructure projects throughout the region. Mexico City managing partner Hernán González Estrada is another pivotal member of the group, most notably in renewables and mining. New York's Todd Alexander is also prominent in renewable energy projects in Mexico, Chile, Peru and Argentina; while in Washington DC, Peter Fitzgerald is recommended for conventional power, LNG-to-power, and renewables, and Sarah Devine for projects across the region, including DFI-led financings in Argentina. The firm closed its Bogota office in February 2019 with Leopoldo Olavarria transferring to the Mexico City branch. Washington DC senior associate Rachel Crouch is 'very smart and thorough without losing her commercial compass'.

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United States: Finance

Project finance

Within: Project finance

With experience acting for lenders and sponsors, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP is highly regarded for its experience in advising on finance mandates for renewable energy and conventional power projects. Tax equity deals are also a key area of focus for the team, where Robert Eberhardt in New York and Keith Martin in Washington DC, who is co-head of projects, are noted. Martin and Joseph Williams, who is also based in Washington DC jointly head the department, which also includes Noam Ayali, Robert Shapiro, Jeremy Hushon, who focuses on the financing of energy and infrastructure projects in emerging markets, Paul Weber and Sarah Devine, who regularly handles cross-border mandates. In New York, co-head of projects Benjamin Koenigsberg, Todd Alexander and Ikenna Emehelu are also recommended. Michael Yuffee joined Winston & Strawn LLP in February 2018.

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