Christopher Erckert > Mayer Brown > Washington DC, United States > Lawyer Profile

Mayer Brown
1999 K STREET, NW
WASHINGTON, DC 20006-1101
United States

Lawyer Rankings

Latin America: International firms > Banking and finance

Mayer Brown‘s deep commitment to Latin America has been in full evidence over the last decade with its association with Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown, created in 2009, and the launch of a Mexico City office in 2015. A large proportion of the Latin America practice centres on financings, including secured and unsecured financing, acquisition financing, project financing and structured finance. The firm has demonstrated particular prominence in bilateral loans, capital-markets driven financings and hybrid financings, and offshore oil-and-gas transactions. Clients include Banco Itau, Banco Santander, Citibank, Credit Suisse, Global Bank, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. The firm advised Empresas Publicas de Medellin (EPM), the multinational utilities company and leading multi-utility services company in Colombia, on a $750m syndicated credit facility. It also advised HSBC, as lender, on a $147m refinancing of a rig financing for Grupo México. Douglas Doetsch heads the Latin America practice and is at the forefront of securitisations and structured finance in the region. New York partner David Duffee is co-head of the global lending practice and has a solid record in acquisition and syndicated financings in Latin America. Washington DC partner Gabriela Sakamoto, a Spanish speaker who was born in Buenos Aires, has a major focus on Latin America and advises a range of commercial and agency lenders on financings in multiple jurisdictions. New York and Washington DC partner Christopher Erckert is a leader in project finance and structured finance, including hybrid deals, and is fluent in both Spanish and Portuguese.  Debora de Hoyos is also highly regarded, while restructuring partner Sean Scott is ‘able to coordinate with overseas offices and is both an outstanding attorney and a tough negotiator‘. Named individuals are based in Chicago unless stated otherwise.

Latin America: International firms > Capital markets

Mayer Brown remains best known for structured products, infrastructure and project bonds, and high yield debt. It is well plugged-in to the region through its dedicated Mexico City office and its presence in Brazil through Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown. Clients include Banco General, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Celeo Redes, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Global Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Sanepar. In Uruguay, the practice advised the note purchasers on a $114m senior private placement (and a subordinated private placement of a B-bond), to refinance the El Naranjal and Del Litoral solar power plants, as well as advising the investors on the $65m investment grade-rated project bond issued in the private placement market to finance Invenergy’s La Jacinta Solar project in the country’s Salto department. Other work included advising the underwriters on the $184m IPO by Brazilian financial institution Banco Inter. Chicago partner Douglas Doetsch leads the Latin America and Caribbean practice and has an excellent record in structured finance, securitisation and diversified payment rights transactions. Also Chicago-based, James Patti is another strong player in structured finance, securitisation and infrastructure bonds. David Bakst specialises in capital markets transactions by non-US issuers, including a number of Latin American businesses. Leader of the Latin America projects practice Christopher Erckert and Washington DC partner Gabriela Sakamoto are experienced names in project bonds and hybrid financings products. Latin America debt and equity capital markets specialist  George Baptista joined Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP in mid-2018.

Latin America: International firms > Projects and energy

(Leading individuals)

Christopher ErckertMayer Brown

Mayer Brown has a rich history of bank-led project finance work, coupled with a growing standing among DFIs, export credit agencies (ECAs) and project sponsors. It is also an accomplished player in project and infrastructure bonds, including private placement-driven financings. The Latin America practice is located across in multiple centres, most notably in Chicago, Washington DC, New York, Houston, Mexico City and in Brazil through Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown. The Brazil team recently led advice to GE Capital in connection with the $1.5bn financing of CELSE – Centrais Elétricas de Sergipe’s Porto de Sergipe I thermoelectric complex project in Barra dos Coqueiros; the largest cross-border, energy-related transaction in Brazil for some years, it was financed through a mixture of a bond issuance and multilateral lenders. The firm is a major player in the renewable energy segment right across Latin America and advised MUFG, Natixis and SMBC, as lenders, on the $135m financing of the expansion of the 133MW Los Guindos diesel-fired power station in southern Chile’s Biobío region. In the private placement segment, the firm represented the note purchasers in the $103m placement of senior secured notes and $11.5m subordinated secured notes to refinance the Naranjal and Del Litoral solar power plants in Uruguay; the structure builds on the firm’s previous work in private placement project bonds, including the Campo Palomas wind project in Uruguay. In the project bonds and private placement segment, New York and Washington DC partner Christopher Erckert  is a recognised authority, though he is also an experienced traditional project finance practitioner, particularly in the renewables sector. Houston partner Robert Goldberg is an experienced figure in Latin America power and renewables projects. London’s Ian Coles is a mining sector leader with considerable experience in Latin America. Houston’s Pablo Ferrante and Jose Valera are highly rated for oil-and-gas, LNG, power and renewables deals. Ariel Ramos  is a big name in Mexico City, while Barry Machlin and Douglas Doetsch are pivotal figures in Chicago. Washington DC’s Gabriela Sakamoto is an emerging talent and Eduardo Lima is a key name in Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown‘s Sao Paulo office.

United States > Finance > Project finance

Mayer Brown has a highly versatile and well-established team that covers a lot of the bases in the renewables, natural resources, and infrastructure sphere. In the latter, the team represents a mix of lenders, sponsors, and public sector entities on a range of transport, water, utilities, and social infrastructure matters. Chicago-based partner Joseph Seliga, who also leads the firm’s Government practice, is very active on this front, and is supported by partners such as Mitch Holzrichter and the highly experienced Barry Machlin who also represents lenders and sponsors on projects in the power, oil and gas, and telecoms sectors.  Renewables is another major focus for the firm, and global projects co-head Paul Astolfi and Houston’s Robert Goldberg are two of the main contacts on this front, regularly advising on all aspects of the project life cycle, including acquisitions and refinancings. The other string to the firm’s bow is its strong Latin America expertise, which is spearheaded by Christopher Erckert in Washington DC. Other up and coming partners include Stephanie Wagner and Nadav Klugman. All partners are based in Chicago unless otherwise stated.