Watson Farley & Williams LLP > Madrid, Spain > Firm Profile

Watson Farley & Williams LLP
MARIA DE MOLINA, 4
28006 MADRID
Spain

Spain > Projects and energy Tier 1

The energy practice at Watson Farley & Williams LLP, which earns plaudits for its ‘high level of expertise’ and ‘exceptional technical competence’, has positioned itself as a reference firm in the structuring and negotiation of transactions for the acquisition of large portfolios, and in the financing (both domestic and cross-border structures) of renewable projects in all their stages. ‘Exceptional both from a technical and human point of view’, María Pilar García Guijarro heads the sizeable practice, which includes finance expert Rodrigo Berasategui and David Diez, who focuses on the regulatory side of the practice.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Knowledge of the sector both from a regulatory point of view and knowledge of the business environment is exceptional.’

‘Calm, business-oriented specialist in the renewable energy sector.’

‘The WFW Projects and Energy team has exceptional technical competence. In addition, it participates in numerous projects and advises diverse clients, which allows it to be permanently up-to-date with the “state of the art” and in contact with the different administrations. The combination of both factors is key in this sector, particularly in a regulatory context such as the current one. Additionally, the degree of seniority within the firm is very high.’

‘One of the aspects that we value the most about WFW is the accessibility and empathy of the most senior profiles. At the individual level, we highlight the contribution of David Diez. He is the person of reference for us within WFW. Beyond his level of professional competence, which is outstanding, we’d highlight his degree of involvement with the client and the absolute availability to attend to any request.’

‘High level of expertise in all topics related to energy projects promotion, including planning, real estate and energy.’

‘María Pilar García Guijarro has an exceptional level of both commercial and legal qualities, and substantially contributed to the successful completion of the transactions she was involved with.’

‘It is a very dynamic team. They cover all areas of the sector with reasonable rates. Quality of service “magic circle” at reasonable prices. Very proactive in proposing solutions and alternatives to problems.’

‘María Pilar García Guijarro, exceptional both from a technical and human point of view. Absolute availability and always proactive attitude.’

Key clients

Bluefield Partners

Cerberus Capital Management

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec

Capital Dynamics Ltd

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP)

CPPIB (Canada Pension Plan Investment)

Falck Renewables

Helios Energy Investment

Macquarie Capital

Noy Infrastructure & Energy Investment Fund

Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust plc

Ontario Pension Trust

Plenium Partners

Predica Enérgies Durables

REEF Development

Sonnedix

T-Solar

Work highlights

  • Advised CIP on the acquisition, from Forestalia Group, of a portfolio of renewable wind assets under development with an aggregate capacity of c.1,130MW, located in Aragón, Spain.
  • Advised CDPQ on its acquisition from Q-Energy of a large-scale photovoltaic brownfield operating portfolio with a total capacity of  216MW located in several Spanish regions.
  • Advised Natixis as underwriter and sole coordinator on the green project financing of the 138MW San Serván photovoltaic  plant being developed by Fotowatio Renewable Ventures in Spain.

Spain > Capital markets: Debt Tier 3

Highlighted by a client for its ‘deep knowledge of the market and its standards and mechanisms', Watson Farley & Williams LLP's debt capital markets offering is an increasingly prominent part of its wider banking and finance practice, reflecting a shift to alternative project funding in the Spanish market. Rodrigo Berasategui is the primary contact and has notable experience in the funding of renewable energy projects. Antonio Cáneva, Cheng Zhou and Juan Vicente Barquilla make up the senior associate team.

Practice head(s):

Rodrigo Berasategui

Testimonials

‘Total satisfaction with the work carried out by the WFW team, both for their knowledge in the matter, and for their attention and involvement.’

‘I would highlight its high level of qualification and ability to resolve incidents, as well as its personal attention and treatment. I would like to specifically mention the lawyers Juan Vicente Barquilla and Rodrigo Berasategui.’

‘Deep knowledge of the market and its standards and mechanisms. Negotiation skills with lenders. Empathy with all parties to seek agreements.’

‘Rodrigo Berasategui is a true number 1 in Spain. A lot of knowledge, a lot of experience, a lot of relational skills and a lot of empathy to solve problems. He is one of those who solves problems, does not create them. Very pro-deal.’

Key clients

Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure

Westbourne Capital

Q-Energy

ADIF

Banco Santander

Work highlights

  • Advised Natixis as underwriter and sole coordinator on the €64m green project financing of the 138 MW San Serván photovoltaic plants being developed by Fotowatio Renewable Ventures in Spain.
  • Assisted Q-Energy with private placement and English law governed bonds listed in the Quotation Board of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and consisting of two tranches.
  • Advised ADIF-Alta Velocidad on its EMTN annual renovation of the EMTN programme with the Central Bank of Ireland and Euronext.

Spain > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 3

Watson Farley & Williams LLP, originally founded in London, is geared to support on a variety of deal types, from share and company acquisitions, disposals and auction sales through to joint ventures, restructuring and project development. María Pilar García Guijarro is principally focused on the energy and infrastructure sector, with a track record of supporting on major deals in Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

Practice head(s):

María Pilar García Guijarro

Other key lawyers:

Ana Lorenzo; Gonzalo Aranzabal

Testimonials

‘Professionalism, agility, dedication, diligence. The WFW team combines those qualities that are decisive when it comes to carrying out a successful business operation.’

‘Availability and professionalism. Business vision that allows aligning the client’s objectives with the firm’s actions. It translates into a very high efficiency in the legal process and therefore ensures the success of the operation.’

‘They must know not only the most advantageous and efficient rule in order to implement transactions, but also the most interesting negotiation conditions for the client based on the client’s profile and strategy. I think that the added value that the WFW team provides lies in its ability to advise commercially and economically, in addition to offering the best legal coverage.’

‘I recommend the team for its vision of the business, based on experience and the ability to put itself in the client’s situation beyond legal aspects. The constant availability of the partners, and especially the managing partner of the firm, who have supervised the smooth progress of the negotiations at all times.’

‘WFW team always demonstrated a deep knowledge of the market and its players which helped a lot my company in successfully growing in the country. The attention to the clients needs and the reliability are some of the key factors which make WFW one of the preferred firms to work with.’

‘Maria Pilar Garcia Guijarro is a serious and competent professional with great communication and negotiation skills. Passionate but also very rational when the situation requires. Very goal driven.’

‘It is a very competent team as well as commercial, they face problems from a practical point of view, proposing solutions and alternatives. They are proactive and decisive. Great experience in the energy sector and especially renewables.’

‘Office with international support, first-line service on par with other large offices of the Magic Circle  but at reasonable prices and a very close treatment. Especially good in negotiation processes where they are proactive and very collaborative with our corporate legal teams.’

Key clients

Bluefield Partners

Cerberus Capital Management

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec

Capital Dynamics Ltd

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP)

CPPIB (Canada Pension Plan Investment)

Falck Renewables

Helios Energy Investment

Macquarie Capital

Noy Infrastructure & Energy Investment Fund

Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust plc

Ontario Pension Trust

Plenium Partners

Predica Enérgies Durables

REEF Development

Sonnedix

T-Solar

Work highlights

  • Advised Grupo T-Solar Global and its M&A advisors in relation to the due diligence tasks for the potential sale of Grupo T-Solar Global and thus, its portfolio of renewable assets in Spain and Italy.
  • Advised CIP on the acquisition, from Forestalia Group, of a portfolio of renewable wind assets under development with an aggregate capacity of c. 1,130 MW, located in the autonomous community of Aragón.
  • Advised CDPQ on its acquisition from Q-Energy group of a large-scale photovoltaic brownfield operating portfolio.

Spain > Environment Tier 3

Watson Farley & Williams LLP ‘s ‘extensive practice in the field of renewable energy and the environment makes the firm’s advice complete and global‘. Highly regarded environmental law expert Luis González García brought his practice to the firm in September 2020, building on the firm’s traditional strengths in energy and projects. He joined David Diez, who has broad experience across regulated sectors, environment, energy and public law; the pair can regularly be found advising on complex environmental law aspects connected with major energy and real estate projects and acquisitions.

Practice head(s):

Luis González García; David Diez

Other key lawyers:

Lidia Fernández; Paula Pérez; Alejandro Martínez

Testimonials

The WFW Environment team has enormous technical competence. In addition, it participates in numerous projects and advises various clients, which allows the firm to be permanently up-to-date with the “state of the art” and in contact with the different Administrations. The combination of both factors is key in the energy sector, particularly in a regulatory context. Additionally, the degree of seniority within the firm is very high.’

I highlight Luis González for his treatment with the client, his ability to anticipate problems, his professionalism and his high degree of knowledge of the regulations and jurisprudence.’

The team is multidisciplinary, perfectly organised, they always know who to derive the requirement within the team to be able to give a good answer. Adaptability to the needs of the project, the client, the financial institutions, etc. Pro-active and pro-business vision.’

Comprehensive knowledge of the energy sector and the problems associated with it. State-of-the-art monitoring of matters and both legislative and jurisprudential developments. Fast communication and great availability. Its extensive practice in the field of renewable energy and the environment makes the firm’s advice complete and global.’

‘David Díez Marcos and Luis González García stand out in practice both for their knowledge of the sector and for their involvement in the search for the best solution for the client.’

The WFW team perfectly combines a high legal knowledge with an extraordinary keeping of the sectorial news. David Diez and Luis Gonzalez are great lawyers who have intervened in the main due diligence and project finance processes for renewables in Spain since 2006, with high knowledge of environmental matters surrounding energy.’

Key clients

Caixabank

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP)

GREENALIA BIOMASS POWER SL

Noy Infrastructure & Energy Investment Fund (“Noy Fund”)

Dos Grados Capital, S.A.

Sonnedix

Bluefield

Villar Mir Energía, S.A.

Tayan Energy

Unión Española Fotovoltaica (UNEF)

Spain > Transport: Other transport Tier 3

The maritime, aviation and transport group at Watson Farley & Williams LLP acts for major national and international aircraft lessors, banks, and financiers and purchasers of rolling stock in the rail sector. Areas of focus for the department include insolvency, regulatory compliance, restructuring leases, aircraft mortgages, aircraft repossessions, operating leases and warehouse financing. Led by transport finance expert Alfredo Cabellos and supported by senior associate and aviation specialist Laura Cadenas, the team’s client portfolio features Macquarie Rotorcraft Leasing Holdings and Deutsche Bank.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Macquarie Rotorcraft Leasing Holdings Limited

Avolon Aerospace Leasing Limited

Era Helicopters

Deutsche Bank

Banco Santander

Work highlights

  • Advising a syndicate of five banks led by Deutsche Bank on the restructuring of the Spanish debt of a Brazilian port, in a complex ECA-backed, cross-border transaction.
  • Advising Dunas Capital Group, a Spanish venture capital investment group, on the acquisition of a new Airbus A321LR NEO aircraft to be leased to Transportes Aéreos Portugueses (TAP).
  • Advised Alpha Trains on the Spanish aspects of its multimillion multi-jurisdictional financing.

Spain > Transport: Shipping Tier 3

The maritime, aviation and transport group at Watson Farley & Williams LLP is sought by shipowners, charterers, P&I clubs, investors and foreign and domestic banks for advice on a host of matters. These include maritime infrastructure, insolvency and restructuring, loans, container shipping and logistics, commercial contracts, vessel finance and purchase, and sustainability. An expert in transport matters, Alfredo Cabellos leads the team, with key support provided by counsel Jose María Pery and senior associate Laura Cadenas.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Highly qualified team in the area of maritime transport. They have been able to identify the client’s needs well, offering us very good advice.’

‘Alfredo Cabellos has provided services to us, coordinating appropriately with the different teams. Laura Cadenas is an expert in corporate law.’

‘Excellent on cross-border work, and a great attitude in the sense that everything can be solved.’

‘Alfredo Cabellos has a commercial understanding that is rare among lawyers, and the great ability to always somehow someway get a deal through even when others may give up.’

Key clients

Alsaker

Havila Kystruten AS

Edda Wind AS

Caixabank

DNB

Nordic Trustee

Scale Gas, SL

Work highlights

  • Advising Havila Kystruten in the defense in court of its interest in Spain.
  • Advised Santander in relation to a €99m ship finance ECA-backed financing for the Government of Morocco, starting a line of sovereign-based financings.
  • Advised Edda Wind, the offshore wind company within the Norwegian Ostensjo group, on vessels and tax leases.

Spain > Private equity Tier 4

The ‘magnificent’ team Watson Farley & Williams LLP focuses the bulk of its attention on the energy sector. Practice head María Pilar García Guijarro is highly experienced in deals within the renewables, natural gas, electricity and infrastructure fields, operating across MBO, LBO, asset, portfolio and divestment transactions, among many others. The client roster is notably varied, encompassing private equity, pension, global infrastructure, investment, closed-end and dedicated funds.

Practice head(s):

María Pilar García Guijarro

Other key lawyers:

Ana Lorenzo; Gonzalo Aranzabal

Testimonials

‘Market knowledge, depth of expertise, quality of team.’

‘Maria Pilar is a force of nature; you want her on your side. Easily one of the best lawyers in Spain.’

‘Magnificent office, adequate size in relation to service / cost, exceptional availability and very proactive when looking for solutions and alternatives to each problem.’

‘María Pilar García Guijarro: excellent skills and closeness in the deal. Exceptional availability and spirit of collaboration at all levels of the organisation.’

Key clients

Bluefield Partners

Cerberus Capital Management

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec

Capital Dynamics Ltd

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP)

CPPIB (Canada Pension Plan Investment)

Falck Renewables

Helios Energy Investment

Macquarie Capital

Noy Infrastructure & Energy Investment Fund

Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust plc

Ontario Pension Trust

Plenium Partners

Predica Enérgies Durables

REEF Development

Sonnedix

T-Solar

Work highlights

  • Advised Grupo T-Solar Global, owned by private equity firm I Squared Capital, on the due diligence tasks for the potential sale of Grupo T-Solar Global and its portfolio of renewable assets in Spain and Italy.
  • Advised CIP on the acquisition, from Forestalia Group, of a portfolio of renewable wind assets under development with an aggregate capacity of c. 1,130MW, located in the autonomous community of Aragón.
  • Advised CDPQ on its acquisition from Q-Energy group of a large-scale photovoltaic brownfield operating portfolio.

Spain > Real estate and construction Tier 5

From financing and funding to dispute resolution and insolvency, the team at the Madrid branch of international firm Watson Farley & Williams LLP assists local and overseas investment funds, financial entities and lenders on matters throughout a property’s life cycle. Led by Pablo San Gil, whose specialisms include structured finance and asset-based lending, and backed by leveraged acquisition expert and senior associate Ignacio Cacho, the group’s client base includes CaixaBank and Banco Santander.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Very qualified and professional team that involves everything necessary to carry out operations.’

‘Great involvement and management by the partners.’

Key clients

CaixaBank

Frux Capital

Credit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank

Banco Santander

Banco Sabadell

BNP Paribas

Arcano Partners

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A

Bankinter

Banco Pichincha de España

Jar Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised a banking syndicate formed by Banco Santander, BBVA, Bankinter and Banco Pichincha de España for the sale and leaseback transaction to be executed by the borrowers, over 27 supermarkets to be purchased from Mercadona, as seller and tenant.
  • Advised Banco Santander in connection with a financing granted in favour of Vivenio Promoción, wholly owned by Vivenio Residencial Socimi, for the development and construction of a residential project.
  • Advising CaixaBank on a financing to a special purpose vehicle fully owned by Vita Group for the development and construction of two assets located in Barcelona with 8000 and 13.000 sqm.

Spain > Tax Tier 5

Luis Soto spearheads Watson Farley & Williams LLP's tax offering, specialising in M&A and asset finance, particularly in the renewable energy and transport sectors. Regarding the latter, the team is ‘very specialised in the maritime sector', where it assists with complex financial products offered in the Spanish market. Soto’s experience in renewable energy-sector tax work pre-dates his joining the firm over ten years ago, and he has a strong reputation among companies in the photovoltaic industry.

Practice head(s):

Luis Soto

Testimonials

‘Very specialized in the maritime sector.’

‘I would highlight the technical specialization and availability / speed in the management of the service.’

‘Luis Soto and his team are not only professionals with a very high technical level, they are also exceptional on a personal level.’

Key clients

Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust

Helios Energy Investments

Funds advised by MEAG (Munich Re Asset Management)

Kenergy

Noy Infrastructure & Energy Investment Fund

Cubico

Saeta Yield

CaixaBank

Edda Wind

Work highlights

  • Advised Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust on the tax aspects of a 175 MW photovoltaic portfolio under development in southern Spain from Jinko Power Spain.
  • Assisted Helios Energy Investment with the tax implications of its financing restructuring.
  • Assisted funds advised by MEAG on the debt acquisition of Roadis group.

Spain > Banking and finance Tier 6

Watson Farley & Williams LLP's ‘highly professional and responsive team' has a strong reputation in the project finance space, particularly in energy, while maintaining a broad offering that also covers acquisition finance, asset finance and restructuring. Practice head Rodrigo Berasategui advises public and private developers, sponsors, insurers and specialised funds on a range of financing schemes in energy and infrastructure. Jose María Anarte is also a key contact.

Practice head(s):

Rodrigo Berasategui

Other key lawyers:

Jose María Anarte; Pablo San Gil; Ignacio Cacho

Testimonials

‘WFW’s banking and finance team is characterized by its willingness, good delivery, adaptability and commercial focus.’

‘Good lawyers who know the sector well and the type of operations we work with.’

‘Very qualified and professional team that involves everything necessary to carry out operations.’

‘The closeness and understanding of the operation as well as the key points to manage with the team of internal lawyers. Pablo San Gil and Ignacio Cacho.’

‘I would highlight José María Anarte for his commercial approach and reasonableness in negotiations, capable of understanding the client’s needs and priorities and adapting to them, with a pro-deal vision. From a personal point of view, I would also highlight that he is a very empathetic person, with an always positive attitude and impeccable treatment.’

‘Dedicated and highly professional and responsive team.’

‘As strengths I believe that the generation of trust, knowledge of the client and the counterpart of the commercial business, their needs and versatility of working with teams from outside Spain, when necessary. It compares favorably with other firms since this trust and knowledge (client and product) generates the speed of execution of the operations that we need.’

‘Closeness and knowledge of the different stakeholders of the market in general. Specialization, agility, transparency and long-term vision of the relationship beyond the specific needs of a specific operation.’

Key clients

Investec Bank

Banco Santander

Banco de Sabadell

Sonnedix

Østensjø Rederi

Edda Wind

Intership

Banca March

KFW

Compañía Española de Financiación del Desarrollo (Cofides)

Novo Banco

BBVA

Natixis

CaixaBank

Edmond de Rothschild

Work highlights

  • Advised the lenders and arrangers on the €732m refinancing of a 120 MW thermo solar portfolio of three concentrated solar power (CSP) plants in Spain owned by Q-Energy.
  • Acted for Saeta Yield in the €273m and €261m refinancing of some facilities agreements related to two CSP plants.
  • Advised Cubico Sustainable Investments on the refinancing, via a green loan, of the Moron and Olivenza CSP projects in Seville and Badajoz, Spain.

Dedicated to client care, industry focus and investment in our people
We are an international law firm advising on complex transactions and disputes through local knowledge and an integrated international network.  We have a strong sector focus, combining our technical excellence with deep industry knowledge across energy, transport and real estate.

Our business exists to help our clients achieve their goals, partnering with them to meet the challenges they face today and will face tomorrow.

Our values rest on developing deep and long-lasting relationships externally and internally through respect, sharing, communication and integrity.

We strive for excellence in all that we do and view investment in our people as key to achieving our business goals and values.

Our teams are integrated across legal disciplines and offices delivering consistently high levels of service locally and in combination across borders.

History: Sector focus has been at the heart of our strategy since we opened for business in 1982.  Having started life as an asset finance boutique focusing on the maritime and aviation industries, our transport focus quickly expanded to other supply-chain led industries, most notably, renewable and conventional energy and real estate and associate infrastructure across these industries.

Through our offices around the world, we provide a full suite of services within our core sectors enabling us to deliver exceptional value to our clients.

Facts

  • Founded 1982
  • 170+ partners
  • 550+ lawyers
  • 17 offices

Senior Partner: George Paleokrassas
Managing Partner: Lindsey Keeble

Global Sector Heads:
Aviation: Jim Bell, Charles Viggers
Energy: Malte Jordan, Henry Stewart
Maritime: George Macheras, George Paleokrassas
Mining & Commodities: Jan Mellmann
Oil & Gas: Chris Kilburn
Real Estate: Felicity Jones

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 María Pilar García Guijarro photo María Pilar García GuijarroMaría has more than 20 years of experience in the energy and infrastructure…
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