Veronica Relea > Latham & Watkins LLP > New York, United States > Lawyer Profile

Latham & Watkins LLP
NEW YORK, NY 10022-4834
United States
Veronica Relea photo


Veronica Relea is a partner in the Finance Department of the New York office of Latham & Watkins. Her practice focuses on representing commercial and investment banks, sponsors, developers and private equity firms in connection with the development, construction, operation and financing of energy, oil and gas and infrastructure projects (including LNG projects, fuel storage facilities, renewable energy assets and mining assets). She also has extensive experience in leveraged finance transactions, including acquisition financings, asset-based facilities, private equity transactions, mezzanine facilities and cross-border financings. Ms. Relea is also a member of the firm’s Latin America, Banking and Special Situations Practices.

Lawyer Rankings

Latin America: International firms > Banking and finance

(Next Generation Partners)

Veronica ReleaLatham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP has a fine record in project and infrastructure finance, along with acquisition finance, trade and commodity finance, and hybrid financings involving capital markets elements. Notably, the practice advised Mexican energy company Fermaca on the $815m hybrid financing of its 420km gas pipeline in the states of Chihuahua and Durango, Mexico; the transaction involved a commercial bank credit facility and the issuance of fixed-rate global notes listed in Singapore. This is one example of the firm’s strength in complex hybrid financings, bringing together its leadership in the energy and infrastructure segments and its deep experience in capital markets offerings. Other clients include Eletrans, AES Corporation, Barclays Bank and Société Générale. In another major transaction, the team advised Global Energy & Power Infrastructure Fund II on the debt financing linked to an oil refinery project in Mexico; lead partner on the deal Veronica Relea, a Puerto Rico native, is an emerging name in financings for project developers and lenders. Co-chair of the Latin America practice Antonio Del Pino has a fine record in both M&A and finance. Washington DC partner David Penna is an important figure in energy and infrastructure finance, as is Chicago and New York-based Roderick Branch in hybrid financings involving capital markets issuances. The firm’s deep commitment to the region has been enhanced in recent times with a series of lateral hires, most notably in Spain; this included the former Prime Minister of Spain José María Aznar, who joined the firm in 2018 as a special adviser and has strong connections and influence in the Latin America region. All named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Latin America: International firms > Projects and energy

Latham & Watkins LLP has an intense global focus on the energy and infrastructure sectors and this is very much in evidence in Latin America. Having strengthened its Madrid bench, the practice is now increasingly active on behalf of Spanish-based sponsors. Mexico, Chile and Colombia are particularly strong markets for the firm, which is noted for its connections to top Mexican law firms and its abilities in capital markets-driven financings and hybrid financings. In a key headline deal, the firm’s project finance and capital markets groups teamed up to advise Mexican energy player, Fermaca, on the hybrid refinancing of its 420km gas pipeline in the states of Chihuahua and Durango, Mexico; the deal involved a commercial bank credit facility and the issuance of fixed-rate global notes in Singapore. The practice also advised Eletrans, the leading Chilean player in the construction, operation and maintenance of power transmission facilities, on a private placement of senior secured notes to finance the construction and operation of dual 220KV high voltage electricity transmission lines in Chile; and AES Corporation and Grupo BAL on the $304m private placement of senior secured notes linked to the Mesa La Paz wind development project in Mexico. In another significant engagement, the firm advised Global Energy & Power Infrastructure Fund on the project debt financing linked to an oil refinery, again in Mexico. Co-head of the Latin America practice, Antonio Del Pino is noted for M&A involving energy and infrastructure assets. Co-chair of the firm’s global oil-and-gas group, Christopher Cross is another key figure in Latin America deals; while Chicago and New York-based capital markets partner Roderick Branch , a Mexico City native, is increasingly involved in energy and infrastructure financings throughout Latin America. Washington DC’s David Penna is global co-chair of the project development and finance practice and has a long track-record in the region, most recently on deals such as the previously mentioned Fermaca and Eletrans financings. Veronica Relea is another key project finance specialist. Washington DC counsel Luis Torres is ‘very technical, experienced and skilfull‘. All named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise. On a more sombre note, less than a year after his arrival as Latin America practice co-head from DLA Piper LLP, Juan Picón passed away in June 2019; he will be greatly missed.

United States > Finance > Project finance

(Next Generation Partners: Project finance)

Veronica ReleaLatham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP stands out for its ‘excellent expertise’ across sponsor and lender-side mandates; the team ‘understands client objectives and risk tolerances‘ and is ‘solutions-driven. Jonathan Rod, who co-chairs the project development and finance practice with New York and Washington DC-based David Penna (his ‘client attention is unparalleled‘), led advice for Brookfield Energy Marketing on the €96.4m financing for the Cerro Dominador project, a 110MW photovoltaic plant and a solar plant located in Santiago, Chile. Rod also advised Dominion Energy and Dominion Energy Cove Point LNG on the $3bn project financing in connection with the Cove Point LNG export terminal in Maryland, and Antonio Del Pino and Penna advised La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and CKD Infraestructura México (CKD IM) on the $1.4bn pending acquisition of 80% of a portfolio of eight wind and solar assets owned by Enel Green Power. Los Angeles-based Jeffrey Greenberg, counsel Kelly Thomason Self and Omar Nazif in San Diego are also recommended, as are Matthew Henegar, Warren Lilien, Veronica Relea and Eli Katz. Amy Maloney joined Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in October 2018. All named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise.