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Clifford Chance

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Fabricio Longhin

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Clifford Chance

Work Department

Banking & finance, Energy & resources, Rail, Transport & logistics


Fabricio Longhin advises developers, commercial banks, multilateral organizations, export credit agencies, infrastructure and energy funds and institutional investors in all aspects relating to the development and financing of energy and infrastructure projects in Latin America and the US.

Latin America: International firms

Banking and finance

Within: Banking and finance

Clifford Chance has deep experience in a range of jurisdictions and financing products, and the practice has developed a strong roster of agency lender, commercial bank and sponsor/borrower clients. Moreover, with deep expertise in project finance, acquisition finance, asset finance for corporates, trade finance and capital markets-linked transactions, the firm is consistently at the forefront of growth sectors. It has achieved real prominence in Argentina, where it helped the government to shape the tender process for its PPP programme, and is now advising a range of bidders for upcoming PPP initiatives. This follows the firm’s key success in Colombia where it has been at the forefront of the government’s fourth generation (4G) toll road programme and in a number of private sector financings. In Peru, it has impressed in energy, toll road and other infrastructure projects, and in Chile it has undertaken various roles in headline renewables project financings. Brazil is also a market where the firm has had a significant presence for many years, with the practice working on a series of major restructurings and refinancings during the nation’s recent period of economic and political difficulties; it is now seeing a solid pipeline of new money financings. The established São Paulo team recently advised a syndicate of five Brazilian lenders on a $235m debt restructuring of leading Latin American petrochemical and plastics company, Unigel Group; the restructuring involved a novel approach involving a corporate reorganisation and an acquisition financing to deleverage the group, with the financing comprised of four syndicated export prepayment facilities and six bilateral loans. In another key deal, the firm advised Bancolombia and Banco Agromercantil de Guatemala (as arrangers and lenders) on a $340m syndicated secured loan to Renace to repay an existing $300m bridge loan to finance the development of the Renace II and Renace III hydroelectric power plants in Guatemala. Other key clients include Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Goldman Sachs, Citibank, SMBC, JP Morgan Chase, IFC, Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas, OPIC and Mizuho. Jay Gavigan has an excellent record in Latin America, especially in acquisition finance and syndicated credit along with project finance and restructurings. ‘Very nice guy to deal with’, Chris Willott, is recommended by clients for restructuring expertise – especially in Brazil where he was based for many years, although he is equally adept in new money financings. Gianluca Bacchiocchi has a tremendous profile in project finance, especially in capital markets-linked financings in Peru and Colombia. In Washington DC, Fabricio Longhin takes much of the credit for the firm’s strong connection to IDB and its recent success in Colombia and Argentina. Also in Washington DC, Catherine McCarthy and Lori Ann Bean are noted for their agency-lender and commercial bank relationships; both are frequently involved in Latin America deals. Restructuring partner Jennifer DeMarco has become an experienced figure in the Latin America market and, at the associate level, senior associate Guido Liniado is impressing the market. All named individuals are based in New York unless stated. Charles Adams has transferred to Milan.

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Capital markets

Within: Capital markets

Clifford Chance has broad geographical coverage and wide-ranging product experience. Having once been primarily tied to the Brazilian market, it maintains its significant presence while also having become a key player in key markets such as Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico. The firm has pioneered a number of growth areas such as green bonds, infrastructure funding through the capital markets, and the recent advent of the FIBRA-E securities structure in Mexico. With its excellent connections to Argentina through a number of senior Argentine lawyers (such as prominent energy and infrastructure finance partner Fabricio Longhin), the firm is at the forefront of a reawakened capital markets segment in the jurisdiction. It also reinforced its capital markets standing with the hire of Argentine native Hugo Triaca from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. In Brazil, it continues to advise on an impressive pipeline of deals, thanks to its excellent client portfolio of corporate issuers and banks. The firm also remains at the forefront of project bonds and infrastructure financings through the capital markets and is active in the FIBRA sector, where it continues to leverage its knowledge of the REIT market in the US and its local experience in Mexico. In addition, it has exploited its global expertise in green bonds to lead the market in Latin America: a team led by up-and-coming São Paulo counsel Patrick Jackson advised major Brazilian paper producer, Klabin, on its inaugural $500m green bonds issuance. In another headline deal, the practice group advised state-owned petroleum company Petroperú on its first-ever $2bn international bond offering; this was one of the largest corporate bond offerings in Latin America in recent years. In sovereign work, it also represented Citigroup Global Markets (as lead manager and global coordinator) in four bond offerings by the Republic of Ecuador with an aggregate value of $4.75bn. The team is ‘bigger, more experienced, more creative and more thoughtful’ than competitors, according to one client; others praise the ‘incredibly value-adding service’ that is ‘worth every penny’. Key partners include São Paulo managing partner Anthony Oldfield who has an excellent record in advising Brazilian issuers, and co-head of Americas capital markets Jonathan Zonis who impresses in multiple product and geographic areas, including sovereign bonds. Gianluca Bacchiocchi is a leader in project and infrastructure bonds, and hybrid financings involving capital markets components, while Anand Saha is an experienced Latin America capital markets specialist with an especially strong record in Brazil, where he was based before transferring to New York. Per Chilstrom is another key name, while Jake Farquharson is a prominent partner in the Mexican FIBRA space. Counsel Anja Pfleger Andrade is another pivotal figure in São Paulo. Alejandro Camacho has retired from the partnership.

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Projects and energy

Within: Leading lawyers

Fabricio Longhin - Clifford Chance

Within: Projects and energy

Clifford Chance further cemented its formidable position in project bonds and capital markets-driven financings with the hire of New York partner and Argentine native Hugo Triaca from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. The firm, which has ‘great lawyers’, continues to impress with its connections to key investment and commercial banks such as Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, HSBC and BNP Paribas, and also maintains a leading multilateral agency (MLA) practice in Washington DC. The firm has a wealth of Latin American natives working at senior, mid- and junior level, and covers the product range from classic project finance to capital markets fund raisings. It advised Argentina’s Ministry of Finance on the design and implementation of its PPP programme and subsequently represented a number of investors, developers and prospective lenders on projects to be developed under the programme. The firm is also involved in multiple renewable energy projects in Argentina. It continues to be the dominant force in Colombia, where it was engaged on the refinancing of El Dorado airport and seven on-going fourth generation (4G) toll-road financings. Peru is another key market, where it has worked on the headline Lima Metro, Red Dorsal and Longitudinal de la Sierra projects. It is a market leader in Uruguay and Paraguay projects, including renewables and PPP projects, and has a strong presence in other key markets such as Mexico, Brazil and Chile. The firm has advised key parties in a series of Colombia’s 4G road projects, including advising key client Goldman Sachs on the multi-source financing for the Ruta al Mar private-initiative toll road, featuring both bonds and loans. It also advised Altán Redes, a consortium backed by Morgan Stanley and the World Bank, on the 20-year PPP contract to build an open-access wholesale wireless network that will cover more than 92% of the country’s population; it is the first PPP agreement to be executed in the Mexican telecoms industry. In another headline deal, the firm advised the lenders on the $380m financing of the expansion of Line 1 subway in Lima, Peru. Washington DC partner and Argentine native Fabricio Longhin is dedicated to Latin America, with an especially strong record in Argentina and Colombia, including in Colombia’s 4G road programme and Argentina’s RenovAr renewable energy initiative; he is ‘a skilled lawyer’, ‘very business oriented’, ‘lenders like him’ and ‘he has cornered the Argentine market’. New York partner Gianluca Bacchiocchi, who is a ‘smart guy’, ‘incredibly responsive’, ‘one of the best lawyers on the street’ and ‘more knowledgeable and thoughtful than anyone’ according to one client, is a leading name in project bonds, hybrid and multi-source financings, particularly those involving securitisation-type structures; he has an especially strong record in Colombia and Peru. Madrid partner José Guardo is also a key member of the team, having pivotal roles in projects ranging from Mexico down to Argentina. Washington DC partners Catherine McCarthy and Lori Ann Bean are frequent advisers to MLAs and commercial banks on Latin America projects. Former São Paulo partner Chris Willott, who is now in New York, continues to focus on Brazil and the Southern Cone jurisdictions. Senior associate Guido Liniado, who is highly acclaimed by clients, is recognised for Colombia and Argentina projects, while Washington DC senior associates Alberto Haito and Jessica Springsteen are also recommended. Christopher McIsaac, the former co-head of the Americas energy-and-infrastructure group, has retired.

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United States: Finance

Project finance

Within: Project finance

Clifford Chance stands out for its expertise in Latin American project finance mandates, acting for both lenders and sponsors. Fabricio Longhin and Gianluca Bacchiocchi, who is based in New York, advised the Government of Argentina on the structuring and documentation of its public-private partnerships program, launched in 2017 through the Undersecretariat of Public-Private Partnerships (UPPP). Bacchiocchi and New York-based Jonathan Zonis also advised Goldman Sachs and a group of Colombian lenders on the $708m multi-source and multi-currency financing for the 491km Ruta al Mar toll road project in Colombia. Elsewhere, senior counsel David Evans and New York-based David Brinton advised KEPCO and COPA in the acquisition of 235MW of solar generating assets in California; Lori Ann Bean is advising OPIC in connection with a $200m loan to be provided to Kipeto Energy to finance the development and construction of a 100MW wind power generation project in Kajiado, Kenya; and Catherine McCarthy, who is experienced in transport sector deals, advised the IDB Group, Proparco and DEG in relation to the financing of the Port of Posorja in Ecuador, sponsored by DP World. Guido Liniado in New York was promoted to partner in 2019, and senior associates Alberto Haito and Jessica Springsteen are also recommended. Named individuals are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

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United States: Industry focus

Energy: renewable/alternative power

Within: Energy: renewable/alternative power

Clifford Chance has energy-sector expertise in finance, capital markets, corporate transactions and M&A, with a focus on the Latin American market. Key figures in the team include Washington DC-based Fabricio Longhin, New York-based David Brinton, who leads the Americas corporate practice and Lori Bean, who is instructed by multilateral and development finance institutions in Washington DC. Longhin and the New York-based senior associate Guido Liniado acted for various entities of the Albanesi Group, as borrowers, in the financing of the 133MW Arroyo Seco cogeneration plant and the refinancing of 170MW Timbúes cogeneration plant in Argentina, which involved the execution of a dual-tranche $395m credit agreement. Also in the New York office, Hugo Triaca joined the team from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, and Thais Garcia was promoted to partner.

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