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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.

Norton Rose Fulbright launches NRF Covid Resolve platform

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has today launched NRF Covid Resolve, a new online legal framework and process for expedited dispute resolution.

COVID-19 has made it difficult for many companies to perform some of their contractual obligations, giving rise to a high number of corporate disputes, particularly relating to the application of force majeure and change in law provisions.

Commercial contracts usually prescribe formal, lengthy and costly modes of dispute resolution. In the current crisis, the overriding need in many cases is to ‘get back to business’ quickly in a way which is still fair to all parties. ADR is being actively encouraged to avoid a deluge of post-COVID-19 litigations.

At the same time, due to the wider financial impact of the pandemic – particularly in the energy sector with the oil price crash – many in-house legal departments are under pressure to conserve legal spend.

To tackle this challenge, a taskforce of energy and disputes lawyers at Norton Rose Fulbright worked with NRF Transform – the firm’s global change and innovation programme – to develop NRF Covid Resolve. It is a dispute resolution process supported through a single online platform, that aims to achieve an outcome for each dispute within four to six weeks. The process can be used for both disputes between companies, or for disputes between companies within the same group, operating in both civil law and common law jurisdictions. Its fixed price allows users to effectively plan and control their budgets.

Parties may opt for a mediation process only, a mediation process followed by documents only arbitration or an arbitration only. The mediators and arbitrators are selected from a pre-agreed panel of independent sector specialists available through the platform.

Anne Lapierre, Norton Rose Fulbright’s Global Head of Energy and developer of NRF Covid Resolve, commented: “The energy industry faces unprecedented challenges from COVID-19, compounded by the wider transformation of the sector as it undertakes the essential transition away from fossil fuels. As such, we feel it our duty to come up with practical solutions to help clients get back to what they do best as quickly as possible. Our unique solution to managing the influx of disputes will do exactly that. Taking this product from conception to launch in under two months is an achievement in which our energy and disputes lawyers should take great pride.”

Neil Q Miller, a London-based energy disputes partner, said: “Businesses, governments, judiciary and commentators have all emphasised the need for a different approach to resolve the volume of potential claims arising from COVID-19. Many such disputes are not suited to lengthy, procedurally burdensome and costly traditional dispute resolution methods, with businesses being damaged by the impasse created from managing many live disputes with no way of efficiently resolving them. NRF Covid Resolve allows clients through their legal departments to adopt a fast track process and effectively plan, manage and resolve these claims whilst controlling external legal spend, which is a priority now more than ever.”

David Carter, Chief Product Officer for Norton Rose Fulbright and global lead for NRF Transform, commented: “The impact of COVID-19 meant clients needed a solution rapidly or it would be too late to help. Our outstanding team of NRF Transform product managers, legal designers, business analysts, solutions architects and developers delivered a technical solution matching our lawyers’ vision. Simplicity was key; the intuitive platform is easy to access and navigate.”

The platform will be rolled out first to clients in the energy sector, with plans for the mediator and arbitrator panel to expand over the coming weeks so clients in all sectors can benefit.