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Shearman & Sterling LLP

599 LEXINGTON AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY 10022-6069, USA
Tel:
Work +1 212 848 4000
Fax:
Fax +1 212 848 7179
Email:
Web:
www.shearman.com

Cynthia Urda Kassis

Tel:
Work +1 212 848 7969
Email:
Shearman & Sterling LLP

Work Department

Project Development & Finance

Position

Cynthia Urda Kassis is a senior partner in the Project, Development & Finance group and Head of the Mining & Metals group, of the international law firm Shearman & Sterling. She represents sponsors/borrowers and lenders in project, finance and joint venture transactions worldwide. She consistently ranks as a leading project finance lawyers by Chambers & Partners, IFLR 1000 and Legal 500 and has been named “Dealmaker of the Year” by The American Lawyer, “Projects/Energy Lawyer of the Year” by Chambers USA (Women in Law), “MVP in Project Finance” by Law360, “Latin America Legal Star” by Latin Business Chronicle and “Project Finance Lawyer of the Year” by Who’s Who Legal, which also named her among the “most highly regarded individuals in the world” in the field of project finance”

Education

The American University, Washington College of Law, 1984; University of Notre Dame, M.A., 1981; University of Virginia, B.A., 1980


Latin America: International firms

Banking and finance

Within: Leading lawyers

Cynthia Urda Kassis - Shearman & Sterling LLP

Within: Banking and finance

Shearman & Sterling LLP’s long presence in Latin America has afforded it prime connections to lenders and borrowers, spanning key product areas such as acquisition finance, bilateral and syndicated loans, project finance, and restructurings and refinancings. The firm recently reinforced its finance capabilities in Latin America with the hire of counsel Roberta Berliner Cherman in São Paulo; a former associate at the firm, Cherman subsequently spent nine years as an in-house counsel at Brazil’s Itaú Unibanco. Recent work has seen the team advise the joint lead arrangers on a $1.5bn refinancing for Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and represent the lead arrangers on a $400m financing for Mexican multinational food manufacturing company Gruma, involving a $250m senior unsecured revolving credit facility and a $150m senior unsecured term loan facility. The practice has also impressed in restructurings and financings in Brazil, and has a market leading presence in energy, mining and infrastructure financings. Key clients include Banco BTG Pactual, Banco Santander Brasil, Banco Santander Chile and Caixa Econômica Federal. Denise Grant has a market leading presence in acquisition finance, most notably in Mexico, Chile and Peru, although she is equally adept in corporate loans and project finance; Grant has further experience in the Caribbean and is praised for her ability to prioritise issues and ‘maintain excellent relationships with her clients’. Global head of the firm’s project development and finance group, Gregory Tan is an industrious figure with a high profile in the region. Cynthia Urda Kassis is a leading name in the mining sector, but also has broader expertise in energy and infrastructure; she is regarded as ‘on point and nuanced’ in her approach, with one peer suggesting that she is the benchmark for young lawyers to aspire to and another highlighting that she is ‘delightful to work with’, ‘sticks to her guns when she needs to’ but is ‘willing to get things done’. Alexandro Padrés, a Mexican national, has a fine record in power sector financings in Mexico. Paul Epstein, a project development and finance specialist with Latin America experience, was promoted to partner in January 2018. All named partners are based in New York unless stated.

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Projects and energy

Within: Leading lawyers

Cynthia Urda Kassis - Shearman & Sterling LLP

Within: Projects and energy

Shearman & Sterling LLP has a broad-based practice, covering oil and gas, power, renewables, transmission lines, transport infrastructure, and mining and metals. Moreover it has widespread geographic coverage, including major jurisdictions such as Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Argentina, Ecuador, Paraguay and Bolivia. The Latin America team covers a mix of project development, project finance and project refinancings, including those involving capital markets issuances. It has an even balance of Latin American and international sponsor clients, along with a rich variety of lender clients, including commercial banks, private equity funds, sovereign wealth funds and pension funds. Recent mandates include advising Y-GEN Eléctrica and Y‐GEN II Eléctrica, the joint venture operations owned by General Electric and YPF, on the $220m financing of the construction of two gas-fired power stations in Argentina; this was the first project finance loan to close in Argentina for more than a decade. The practice also represented Carso Gasoducto Norte on the $545m non-recourse project financing of the 630km natural gas pipeline from Samalayuca, Chihuahua to Sásabe, Sonora in Mexico. Gregory Tan is global head of project development and finance, has a strong focus on Latin America, and delivers ‘a consistently good experience in terms of knowledge and an ability to be commercial in his approach’. Head of the firm’s mining and metals practice, Cynthia Urda Kassis is ‘a fixture on the Latin American scene especially in mining and oil and gas’, a ‘lovely human being who persuades and wins points through logic and reason rather than fist pounding’, she is ‘very smart, very constructive, and very capable and clever – clients love her’. Alexandro Padrés is Mexico and New York-qualified, and has an especially strong record in Mexican and Chilean renewable energy and mining projects. Robert Freedman provides further senior expertise in energy sector transactions. Associate Augusto Ruiloba is ‘a very good attorney’; ‘incredibly smart and business oriented’, he ‘knows how to deal with clients and people sitting across the table from him’.

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London: Projects, energy and natural resources

Mining and minerals

Within: Mining and minerals

The mining and minerals outfit at Shearman & Sterling LLP is jointly led by Jason Lehner in New York and Cynthia Urda Kassis in the London office and intervenes in corporate, financing, international arbitration and capital markets mandates. A team led by Trevor Ingram and David Dixter recently represented the underwriters as joint global coordinators on the $1bn rights offering by Sibanye, and M&A specialist Jeremy Kutner is currently assisting a major global mining company on the potential sale of a third of its interest in a South American coal mine. On the contentious front, Alexander Uff is representing two African subsidiaries of a global mining and exploration company as respondent in ICC arbitration proceedings brought by a South African contractor. Iain Elder , Nicholas Buckworth and counsel Anthony Lepere are key names to note in the project development and finance sub-team.

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United States: Finance

Project finance

Within: Project finance

Shearman & Sterling LLP has particular expertise in energy and infrastructure sector project finance mandates. Department head Gregory Tan advised Rose Capital Investment, alongside a cross-jurisdictional team, on its co-investment with the Development Bank of Japan, Highstar Capital and Ares Management for the acquisition of the Linden Power Project in New Jersey, and Alexandro Padrés acted for the commercial and development banks, including Bancomext, BBVA, Caixa, EIB, IDB, IDB Invest, MUFG and Natixis, in connection with the $1bn Enel Green Power portfolio project financing of three solar photovoltaic plants in Mexico. Elsewhere, Robert Freedman, who is focused on US power and renewables transactions, advised GE Capital EFS Financing as administrative agent, collateral agent, joint lead arranger, sole bookrunner and a lender, on the financing for the construction of the Persimmon Creek Wind Farm, a 200MW wind power generation facility located in Ellis, Woodward and Dewey Counties, Oklahoma. Cynthia Urda Kassis, who heads the metals and mining practice, and recently promoted partner Paul Epstein are acting for the US Department of Transportation, through the Federal Highway Administration, as transactional counsel in relation to a senior secured loan as part of the $2bn I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway Widening P3 project in Alabama. Denise Grant is also a key figure. Named lawyers are based in New York. Patricia Hammes recently retired.

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