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Norton Rose Fulbright EMEA Chair, Farmida Bi, is awarded CBE

Norton Rose Fulbright’s Chair of Europe, Middle East and Asia, Farmida Bi, has been made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2020 for services to the legal profession and to charity. Farmida is also Chair of the Trustees of The Patchwork Foundation.

The CBE is awarded to individuals for having a prominent role at national level, or a leading role at regional level. CBEs are also awarded for distinguished and innovative contribution to any area.

Peter Scott, Managing Partner, Europe, Middle East and Asia, said: “The firm is delighted for Farmida. She is a lawyer who specialises in innovative and market leading transactions, particularly in Islamic finance, and is a passionate advocate for social justice, who has worked tirelessly to champion social equality both within the firm and in our wider communities. It is great to see that Farmida’s work in the legal profession and her efforts to support the positive integration of disadvantaged and minority communities have been recognised.”

Farmida Bi recognised in HERoes 100 Women Executives List

Norton Rose Fulbright’s Chair of Europe, Middle East and Asia, Farmida Bi, has been recognised in HERoes 100 Role Women Executives List 2020. This is the second time Farmida has been included in the list. The list, supported by Yahoo! Finance, showcases business leaders who are breaking down barriers in the workplace and seeking to drive workplace equality and inclusion.

Farmida is also the firm’s European Head of Islamic Finance. She has more than 20 years of experience in capital markets and Islamic finance transactions, advising on English and New York law.

Farmida has been included in the HERoes 100 Women Executives List based on her work done internally and externally to champion women, and her recent and significant business achievements. As Chair of the firm’s Partnership Committee and Audit Committee as well as a steering group member of the firm’s Women’s Network (WIN), she has worked to recruit more women to management positions, created spaces for meaningful discussions and organised successful inclusion-focused events.

A leading individual for Islamic finance and for debt capital markets in Legal 500 UK 2020, Farmida commented:

“To be included in this list for the second consecutive year is an honour, especially alongside such talented women. At Norton Rose Fulbright, we remain dedicated to creating a workplace which is diverse and inclusive. We value diversity and the opportunities it provides to widen our horizons and understand our clients, and each other.”

Farmida has previously been listed in Financial news Most Influential Women in Europe Finance (2019) and was recognised as an “Outstanding Practitioner” at the International Financial Law Review Women in Business Law Awards. She was also listed in The Lawyer’s Hot 100 2019.

Deloitte announces 2019 Technology Fast 500™ EMEA rankings

A company from the UK tops Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™ rankings for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), which was released today. The list is compiled by Deloitte’s regional Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) industry group.

Overall, this year’s Technology Fast 500 list for the region features winners from 22 countries, with an average growth rate of 1,258 percent in 2019, compared to 969 percent in 2018.

Revolut is the number-one ranked company on the 2019 EMEA Technology Fast 500 list.

“When Revolut was founded in 2015, we had a vision to build a sustainable, digital alternative to traditional big banks. Our mission now is to help our customers improve their financial health, empower them to have more control, and promote financial cohesion across the communities in which we operate” says Nik Storonsky, Founder & CEO of Revolut.

“We’re delighted to top the ranking. 12 million people now use Revolut to manage and improve their finances, and our growth reinforces the point that people are looking for alternative ways to manage their money.”

Nikolaas Tahon, EMEA Fast 500 Lead Partner commented “This year’s Fast 500 list is led by organisations demonstrating unprecedented growth, reflecting the continuing evolution in technology. We are aware that the current environment is a complex one for many organisations, particularly as leaders work out their future strategy. Deloitte congratulates Revolut as well as all other winners and we’re excited to see their continued achievements in the next year.”

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.

Pinsent Masons grows its Financial Services offering in Dubai

Multinational law firm, Pinsent Masons, has appointed Banking & Finance partner Matthew Escritt to lead the firm’s Banking & Finance practice in the Middle East, based in Dubai.

Matthew joins from Norton Rose Fulbright, where he has been for the past 19 years, with the past eight spent as partner in the banking and finance team. During this time he has worked in London, Moscow, Bahrain, Singapore and Dubai.

Matthew is a banking and finance specialist, advising on all areas of structured cross border finance, including syndicated lending acquisition, development finance, asset finance, vendor finance, and structured trade and commodity finance. He is familiar with both conventional and Islamic finance funding structures. He also advises on financial restructuring and insolvency mandates. Based in Dubai, he will be leading the Banking & Finance practice in the Middle East (within the Finance & Projects group) and will focus primarily on clients in the Financial Services sector.

Commenting on Matthew’s appointment, Michael Watson, head of the Finance & Projects group at Pinsent Masons said: “Matthew’s reputation precedes him and we look forward to welcoming him as head of our banking and finance practice in Dubai. His experience and expertise will greatly strengthen the practice, enabling them to deepen relationships with existing clients as well as developing new ones. His appointment is another fantastic addition to our growing international capabilities.”

Alexis Roberts, head of the Financial Services sector at Pinsent Masons added: “Matthew’s appointment is a pivotal one in increasing our financing bench strength and will enable us to better support our clients within the Financial Services sector. His breadth of experience and the clients that he’s worked with will allow us to grow our offering across the sector. We greatly look forward to him joining the team.”

Matthew Escritt, head of Banking and Finance in the Middle East added: “I am excited to have been given the opportunity to lead Pinsent Masons’ Banking & Finance practice in the region and to be part of an international team tasked with growing a strategically important practice area to complement the firm’s existing strengths. It will also ensure that we are able to provide vital, full-service support to our clients as they navigate today’s challenging business environment. Given the diverse talents of the individuals involved and the well-known strengths of the existing practice I am confident that we are well placed to achieve our goals.”

Adding to the growing multinational Finance & Projects group, Matthew’s appointment follows that of Anthony Morton in Frankfurt, James Harris in Asia, Jim Hunwick in Sydney and Eran Chivka in Paris.

Kirkland Advises Sterling Group’s $2 Billion Oversubscribed Fund V

Kirkland & Ellis counselled The Sterling Group, an operationally focused middle market private equity firm, on the closing of Sterling Group Partners V, LP (together with its parallel fund, “Fund V”). Fund V was oversubscribed and closed at its $2 billion hard cap. The majority of Fund V’s capital was committed by returning investors. In addition, The Sterling Group, welcomed several new investors that expanded the firm’s investor base in the United States, the Middle East and Asia.

Read the company press release from Sterling Group

The Kirkland team was led by investment funds partners Matt Nadworny and Brian Delaney and associates Christine Wilson, Samara Sanderson, Nathan Wolcott, Nathan Judd and Josh Wilson; tax partner Stephen Butler and associate Victoria Chang; and employee benefits partner Liz Dyer.