Projects, energy and infrastructure teams recognised at IJGlobal Awards

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright received Global Legal Adviser of the Year, Asia Pacific Legal Adviser of the Year and North America Legal Adviser of the Year accolades on July 13, 2020 at the IJGlobal Awards 2019, which recognised the best energy, infrastructure and mining deals and firms from around the world over the past year.

A leading publication for the energy and infrastructure market, IJGlobal also honoured the firm with 13 Deal of the Year awards for transactions completed in Asia Pacific, Europe & Africa, Middle East & North Africa and North America.

Nick Merritt, Norton Rose Fulbright’s Global Head of Infrastructure, Mining and Commodities, commented: “These accolades affirm our position as a market leader for project finance work in the infrastructure and energy sectors. We would like to congratulate all of our clients on their wins, and we are pleased to have been able to make a positive contribution to each and every of the named projects. We have had a strong year advising on many first-of-its-kind type projects and are grateful for the industry recognition from our peer group which continues to recognise our global scope and knowledge in the development and financing of ever more complex projects around the world.”

Anne Lapierre, Norton Rose Fulbright’s Global Head of Energy, said: “Being recognised for our involvement in a wide range of highly complex projects in oil, gas and renewables is a testament to the strength of our global team. While this year may present challenges to our clients, we remain committed to helping them achieve their objectives related to global projects.”

The firm advised on 13 award-winning transactions at the IJGlobal Awards 2019:

Asia Pacific

  • Asia Pacific Telecoms Deal of the Year – Kacific-1 Satellite
  • Advised Kacific Broadband Satellites Group on credit facilities totalling US$160 million to finance the construction, launch, ground system and initial operation for Kacific-1, a Boeing-built next-generation high-throughput Ka-band satellite. Led by Nick Merritt.
  • Asia Pacific Hydro Deal of the Year – Tina River Hydro
  • Advised Korea Water Resources Corporation and Hyundai Engineering Company Ltd as sponsors on the 15-MW Tina River Hydro Development Project. The deal marks the first large-scale infrastructure P3 project in the Solomon Islands. Led by Nick Merritt.
  • Asia Pacific Waste Deal of the Year – East Rockingham EfW
  • Advised a group of five senior financiers on the East Rockingham EfW project, which will be the second waste-to-energy facility in Western Australia aimed at addressing Australia’s growing waste crisis. The project was developed by a consortium led by Tribe Infrastructure Group, New Energy Corporation and Hitachi Zosen Inova. Led by Jo Crew.

Europe and Africa

  • European Portfolio Refinancing Deal of the Year – Project Keane Refinancing
  • Advised Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners on the Refinancing of an entire portfolio of onshore wind assets, which includes 17 360-MW projects in Ireland. Led by Rob Marsh.
  • European Refinancing Deal of the Year – Beatrice Offshore Wind
  • Advised a consortium of lenders on the senior debt refinancing of the Beatrice offshore wind project in Scotland. The consortium comprises 29 commercial and institutional lenders and 24 hedging banks. Led by Rob Marsh.
  • European Restructuring Deal of the Year – Irish Schools Bundle 5
  • Advised DIF infra 4 Limited as shareholder of Inspiredspaces Bundle 5 (Ireland) Limited on the restructuring and financing of completion works in relation to the Irish Schools Bundle 5 PPP project. Led by Mark Berry.
  • African Refinancing Deal of the Year – Société Ivorienne de Raffinage
  • Advised Africa Finance Corporation on the debt financing of Société Ivoirienne de Raffinage under a multi-currency long-term credit agreement for approximately US$675 million. Led by Anne Lapierre.
  • African Power Deal of the Year – Bridge Power
  • Advised the lenders to the Bridge Power Project in Ghana, sponsored by General Electric, Endeavour Energy and the Quantum Group. The project is a fast-deployment dual-fuelled LPG and natural gas power project, comprising approximately 400 MW of combined cycle power generation technology. Co-led by Martin McCann, Charles Whitney, Dan Metcalfe and Dan Giemajner.

Middle East and North Africa

  • MENA Water Deal of the Year – Taweelah IWP
  • Advised lenders, including Natixis, Siemens Bank and Mizuho Bank, to the successful bidding consortium, led by ACWA Power, on the US$1.2 billion Taweelah desalination independent water project (IWP) in Abu Dhabi. Led by Jo Emerson-Taqi and Paul Mansouri.

North America

  • North America Battery Storage Deal of the Year – Lāwa’i Solar and Energy Storage
  • Advised Societe Generale as lenders on the financing of the combined 20 MW solar PV and 20 MW/100 MWh AES Lāwa’i Solar and Energy Storage Project in Kauai, Hawaii – the largest operational solar and storage system in the world. Co-led by Ben Koenigsberg and Jim Berger.
  • North America Utility Deal of the Year – ESAP Modernisation Project
  • Advised the Department of Justice in providing procurement advice and transaction support services to Public Services and Procurement Canada for the Energy Services Acquisition Program’s Energy Service Modernisation P3 project. Led by John Naccarato.
  • North America Wind Deal of the Year – Clearway Repowering
  • Advised Clearway Energy on the US$381 million repowering of two Texas wind farms – the 161 MW Wildorado wind farm in Oldham County and 121.9 MW Elbow Creek wind farm in Howard County. Co-led by Rob Eberhardt and Jim Berger.
  • Latin America Water Deal of the Year – BRK Ambiental
  • Advised sponsor BRK Ambiental Participações S.A in relation to the BRL denominated IDB financing provided in respect of BRK’s wastewater infrastructure project in Recife and Goiana in northeast Brazil. Led by Charlie Johnson.
  • At last year’s awards, IJGlobal recognised Norton Rose Fulbright as Legal Adviser of the Year – North America (private sector) and the firm advised on 18 Deals of the Year. The year prior, Norton Rose Fulbright was named Global Law Firm of the Year and Europe and Africa Law Firm of the Year, while advising on 15 Deals of the Year.

Konexo celebrates its one-year anniversary

Konexo, developed by Eversheds Sutherland, today celebrates the one-year anniversary of its official launch.

During this time, the practice has advanced its position through continued global expansion across Europe, Asia, and most recently the United States. It has also strengthened its capabilities in areas including digital transformation, managed legal services, and trade mark and design law.

Konexo works with global clients across multiple sectors including banking and financial services, telecoms, and diversified industrials, offering clients a breadth of services underpinned by cutting-edge technology such as AI and robotics.

Investing in top talent continues to be a strategic priority. Significant hires include Babar Hayat, Head of Technology and Transformation, who leads the digital transformation practice, while Brett Aubin, Managing Director, heads regulatory response managed services focusing on LIBOR transition services and other repapering projects. Trystan Richards recently joined as Legal Services Director, and will support managed service relationships and repapering projects across the global client base.

Earlier this year Konexo launched Resourcing+, an evolution of its existing resourcing service which was rolled out across its global network. Resourcing+ gives clients immediate and high quality legal talent without having to commit to specific timeframes. Clients using the service include Nestlé UK Ltd, Pernod Ricard UK Ltd and Lion Pty Ltd.

This month, Eversheds Sutherland’s UK Branding Group permanently moved to Konexo. Led by Kate Ellis, it comprises specialist trade mark and design lawyers, attorneys and paralegals. The team provides a dedicated service and acts as ‘one stop shop’ for clients throughout the full lifecycle of a brand.

Graham Richardson, Head of Konexo, said: “We set out to challenge the market and offer clients something different. I am so proud of everything we have achieved so far and I’m especially proud of the team for their drive, hard work and tenacity. As we look to the coming year there will be some testing times ahead. However, by combining our talent, technology and expertise, I am confident that we are well placed to meet those challenges and the needs of our clients.”

Duane Morris Welcomes Corporate Partner Anastasia N. Kaup

Anastasia N. Kaup has joined Duane Morris LLP as a partner in the firm’s Corporate Practice Group in its Chicago office. Prior to joining Duane Morris, Kaup practiced at Mayer Brown LLP.

“Anastasia is a hard-working, highly skilled lawyer with a strong commitment to her clients and her fellow attorneys,” said Matthew A. Taylor, CEO and Chairman of Duane Morris. “She is a great fit with our collegial and collaborative culture and the level of client service we strive to achieve at the firm.”

“The addition of Anastasia to our strong and growing Corporate Practice Group will deepen our bench in our very busy national commercial finance practice,” said Brian P. Kerwin, chair of the firm’s Corporate Practice Group. “Her skills and sophisticated transactional experience will be very beneficial to our private equity practice as well.”

“We’re excited to welcome Anastasia to the Chicago office and the firm,” said John Robert Weiss, managing partner of the Duane Morris Chicago office. “She has an impressive skill set, a team-oriented approach and she’s an excellent personality fit with our office, which has been recognised as one of the best places to work in Chicago.”

Kaup has represented financial institutions, funds and other corporate clients in financing transactions across the private equity, real estate, hedge fund, private credit and distressed lending spaces. Kaup structures, negotiates and documents complex financing transactions domestically and internationally at all levels of the organisational structure, with specific focuses on fund finance, sponsor finance and financing in distressed situations. Her fund finance experience covers a wide spectrum of transactions to meet the financing needs of various types of funds at every phase of their existence. She also assists with the analysis and negotiation of investor documents with institutional, governmental, high-net-worth and sovereign wealth investors. Kaup has represented private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies in nearly every industry, as well as lenders to such entities, in a wide array of financing transactions. Kaup also has significant experience counselling clients in distressed situations, in bankruptcy as well as out-of-court restructurings, and has represented clients in some of the most complex restructuring cases in the last decade. She has negotiated and documented countless transactions involving multiple creditors and has substantial knowledge of intercreditor and subordination arrangements and agreements. Kaup’s experience with transactions during downturns as well as growth cycles distinctively positions her to assist clients with a broad range of financing-related needs at any time.

Kaup is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School (J.D., cum laude, 2010) and the University of Utah (honours B.S., cum laude, 2008).

Dentons closes second supermarket portfolio sale

Dentons has closed its second supermarket portfolio sale for the John Lewis Partnership in the space of a week. The freehold of six Waitrose supermarkets have been acquired by real estate investment trust Supermarket Income REIT for £74.1m. The stores, which will continue to trade as normal, will be leased back to Waitrose for 20 years (with a tenant break at year 15).

Located in Eastbourne, Edenbridge, Ely, Oundle, Sandbach and Sudbury, the stores have an average gross internal area of 32,000 sq ft.

Last week Dentons advised the John Lewis Partnership on the sale and leaseback of five Waitrose Limited stores to property investor LondonMetric for £62 million.

Deepa Deb, head of Dentons’ UK Real Estate practice commented, “This is the second portfolio sale of supermarkets we have closed for longstanding client the John Lewis Partnership in the space of a week. All of these Waitrose stores have a solid trading record and it evidences that the investment market in supermarkets remains strong in the current climate.”

Deepa Deb was assisted by associates Amy Smith, Alexis Condie, Rachel Dunn and Calum McKenzie.

Over the past year, Dentons’ UK Real Estate team has advised on several high profile transactions such as Doosan Babcock’s continued occupation of its site in Renfrew (billed as Scotland’s largest industrial property deal in 2019), Sports Direct’s sale and leaseback of its Derbyshire distribution centre, and the sale of the Hampton by Hilton at Bristol Airport to Ability Group.

Dentons has launched several tools for businesses over the past few months to help with real estate issues related to COVID-19 across England, Wales and Scotland, including the COVID-19 Interactive Agreement Tool Kit and COVID-19 Interactive Lease Tool Kit. See all insights and resources on Dentons’ global COVID-19 hub.

Hogan Lovells advises Ingredion on its £185 million acquisition

International law firm Hogan Lovells has advised NYSE-listed firm Ingredion, a leader in the plant-based ingredient solutions market, on its £185 million acquisition of PureCircle, a London-listed producer of stevia sweeteners. The acquisition advances Ingredion’s specialties strategy for sugar reduction and will support future sales growth.

The takeover was implemented by way of a scheme of arrangement with PureCircle shareholders having the option to receive cash or shares in the Ingredion Bidco. Ingredion have also invested a further US$130 million into PureCircle by means of an equity injection, and a result of this acquisition will control 75 percent of PureCircle. The transaction was announced in April, though completion was subject to the satisfaction of a number of conditions, including obtaining antitrust clearance in the United States.

The corporate team was led by corporate partners Maegen Morrison (in London), together with Bill Curtin and Richard Parrino, based in Washington, D.C. They were supported by teams in China, the United States, Belgium and London across a variety of practice areas including antitrust, corporate, data protection, employment, employee share schemes, IP, real estate, and pensions.

Commenting on the deal, partner Maegen Morrison said: “It has been a pleasure to work with Ingredion on its first public acquisition in the UK. The transaction is yet another example of the breadth and depth of our global practice and our ability as a firm to work seamlessly across jurisdictions and practices, in close conjunction with our client’s legal and deal teams, even when working remotely.”

Global Head of M&A, Bill Curtin added: “We are honoured to serve as M&A counsel to Ingredion, drawing upon our ability to execute cross-border transactions in regulated industries and by providing our global resources to promote our clients’ continuing success.”

Pinsent Masons hires real estate regulatory and investment partner

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has hired real estate funds regulatory and investment specialist Dorothee Atwell into its Frankfurt office.

Dorothee is a funds regulatory lawyer advising on regulatory aspects of transactions and fund formation to institutional investment managers investing into real estate in Germany and abroad.

Dorothee joins from investment company Universal-Investment where she developed innovative structures for complex real estate transactions working closely with asset managers and custodians. Dorothee is also admitted to the bar in the UK and United States.

Dr. Wolfram Pätzold, Head of Real Estate Germany at Pinsent Masons said, “Dorothee is a recognised expert in real estate investment and regulatory law and will be a valuable addition to the development of the firm’s real estate offering in Germany.”

Rainer Kreifels, Head of Germany and member of the global board at Pinsent Masons said, “Dorothee’s appointment follows our continued commitment to expand the firm’s Frankfurt office which opened in 2019. This is particularly true of our real estate and financial services teams following the appointment of Antony Morton in May. Dorothee’s expertise spans across both real estate and financial services sectors and is a natural fit for the firm.”

The growth of Pinsent Masons in Germany underlines the success of its sector focus approach. Last year, its German real estate practice doubled in size. With the addition of Dr. Tobias Nuß and Katharina von Hermanni joining the partnership in 2019 and additional associates joining the team, the German real estate practice now comprises 13 lawyers in Munich, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf. The German Financial Services Team now comprises 8 lawyers in Munich and Frankfurt.

Pinsent Masons is one of the top 50 law firms in Germany. With three locations in Germany (Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich) the firm focusses on the technology, life sciences, energy, real estate and financial services sectors.