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Project finance

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Meet the team

With locations worldwide, including locations in many of the world's financial and energy centers, our project finance group is well-positioned to offer its clients fully-integrated legal representation on a wide range of domestic and international projects and transactions. Their extensive experience includes representing entities in many different roles, including multilateral and other lenders, sponsors, developers, institutional investors, contractors and operators in all areas relating to structured and project financing.

Most secured financing transactions and restructurings involve a broad range of issues requiring experience in many areas of law. In response to these complexities, and to provide effective representation to clients, we are able to draw on its vast pool of legal experience in related fields of service, including energy, dispute resolution and litigation, corporate, environmental, public finance, real estate, equipment finance, bankruptcy and tax.

Full range of services: From project conception to project completion and beyond

Our project finance team has significant experience in helping clients navigate the complexities on each phase of a transaction, including:

  • preliminary evaluation and due diligence
  • interfacing with local counsel and host country negotiations
  • drafting, reviewing and negotiating project documents, term sheets, financing agreements and security documents
  • overseeing the disbursement process, including satisfaction of conditions of disbursement
  • advising during operational period

Our project finance team has assisted clients with structuring and documenting numerous types of financing, including non-recourse and limited-recourse debt, bonds, equity, quasi-equity, mezzanine debt and numerous combinations and variations on the foregoing, together with various forms of credit support. In addition, our lawyers have extensive experience in debt restructuring—both inside and outside of bankruptcy.

Our strong commitment to providing superior client service is reflected in the way we selectively and efficiently staff projects. At the core of this client-focused staffing is the belief in cultivating project teams that develop an in-depth understanding of our clients, their industries and their individual projects. Our project finance team's success in its top-down approach to client service is apparent as recipient of the Client Choice Award, recognizing us as the top law firm for client service in the United States. Nominated by Fortune 1000 companies around the world, this award is given by the International Law Office, the official online media partner to the International Bar Association (IBA) and an international media partner to the Association of Corporate Counsel.

In step with clients, on top of the trends

Our project finance lawyers remain at the forefront of global project trends in both established and emerging markets. We are able to assist our clients in assessing and managing the many variables that can affect the outcome of a project, including the political, social, legal and other risks that are inherent in complex, large-scale projects and cross-border transactions. Additionally, these lawyers are well-versed in the developing technologies and industry trends that shape the development and execution of a project.

International presence and experience

Our project finance team has a wealth of experience assisting clients with international investments. Their intimate knowledge of typical local law issues, international jurisdictions, governments and industries allows us to assist our clients in structuring and financing projects. There are members of the project finance team located in each of our overseas locations. In addition to these lawyers, we have cultivated relationships with law firms and lawyers in most of the countries where clients have typically pursued projects. Working closely with host-country lawyers, we help clients manage the inherent financial, political and legal risks associated with non-recourse and limited-recourse international projects.

We have significant experience representing clients in many of the most active regions for project development and finance, including Latin America, Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East. In many regions of the world, such as India, Pakistan, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, we have the experience and track record in project finance that is second to none.

We also have been successful in tying our various location together, both through technology and the development of strong working relationships among our lawyers, in order to maximize our ability to efficiently and effectively service our global client base. We have locations world-wide. From currency controls, to international tax issues, to individual government regulations, Norton Rose Fulbright's lawyers have the knowledge and linguistic capabilities to devise and implement creative, effective and cost-efficient solutions on behalf of our international clients.

Commitment to client service

Our strong commitment to providing superior client service is reflected in the way we selectively and efficiently staff projects. At the core of this client-focused staffing is the belief in cultivating project teams that develop an in-depth understanding of the clients, their industries and their individual projects. The success of our top-down approach to client service is apparent as a recipient of the Client Choice Award, recognizing us as the top law firm for client service in the US. Nominated by Fortune 1000 companies around the world, this award is given by the International Law Office, the official online media partner to the International Bar Association (IBA) and an international media partner to the Association of Corporate Counsel.

Project experience

Our project finance lawyers have represented clients in connection with numerous types of project and asset financing, including:

  • construction and commercial real estate development
  • equipment finance (including aircraft and ships)
  • financial markets and banking projects
  • hospitality
  • independent power projects
  • industrial and manufacturing projects
  • information technology companies
  • LNG projects
  • oil and gas facilities
  • sports and entertainment facilities
  • petrochemical projects
  • power transmission and distribution projects
  • renewable energy projects
  • telecommunications projects
  • transportation infrastructure (including port facilities, railways, airports and toll roads)
  • water treatment and desalination projects

Managing project risk

One of the more significant values that the lawyers' experience brings to a transaction is an understanding of the issues that confront lenders, governments, sponsors, investors and end-users when planning, financing and constructing non-recourse and limited-recourse projects. Their experience with projects all over the globe has given us insight into effective means of managing many types of project risks, including, for example:

  • current or potential restrictions on currency exchange and repatriation
  • local law limitations to the achievement of perfected security interests
  • gaps in insurance coverage and risks associated with natural and political force majeure events
  • difficulties enforcing foreign judgments and arbitral awards in host countries

Our breadth of experience allows us to effectively advise clients on the best means to structure and negotiate project, sovereign, finance and security agreements in order to maximize our clients' interests, as well as to develop and implement strategies to address various project risks, including such strategies as hedging arrangements, credit support and political risk insurance coverage.

Because a typical project finance transaction will involve numerous major actors (host governments, multilateral lenders, commercial lenders, sponsors, construction companies, suppliers, local utilities, etc.) and involve various contracts involving the laws of different jurisdictions (often New York, English and host country law, among others), sometimes in several different languages, it is essential that legal representation be capable of addressing all these issues simultaneously and frequently under tight deadlines. Our experience allows us to accurately assess and anticipate the staffing needs of each project, allowing us to effectively and efficiently utilize its vast resources in a cost effective manner.

Awards and accolades

  • Best Law Firms, national ranking for project finance law, US News & World Report and Best Lawyers, 2016
  • Chambers Global, USA: Projects: LNG, Chambers & Partners, 2016
  • Chambers Global, USA: Projects: PPP, Chambers & Partners, 2016
  • Chambers Global, Latin America-wide: Projects, Chambers & Partners, 2016
  • Chambers Global, USA: Projects: Oil & Gas, Chambers & Partners, 2016
  • Chambers Global, USA: Projects: Power, Chambers & Partners, 2016
  • Chambers Latin America: Latin America-wide: Projects, Chambers & Partners, 2017
  • Chambers USA, Nationwide Projects: LNG, Chambers & Partners, 2016
  • Chambers USA, Nationwide Projects: Oil & Gas, Chambers & Partners, 2016
  • Chambers USA, Nationwide Projects: PPP, Chambers & Partners, 2016
  • IFLR 1000, leading North American law firm for project finance, Legal Media Group, 2016
  • International Legal Alliance Summit & Awards, Best US Law Firm, infrastructure and energy, Leaders League, 2016
  • International Legal Alliance Summit & Awards, silver award for project finance, infrastructure and energy, Leaders League, 2015
  • Legal 500 Latin America, International Firms: Projects and Energy, The Legal 500, 2015
  • Legal 500 US, Nationwide: Project Finance, Advice to Lender, The Legal 500, 2016
  • Legal 500 US, Nationwide: Project Finance, Advice to Sponsor, The Legal 500, 2016
  • Legal 500 US Awards, Team of the Year: Project Finance, The Legal 500, 2014, 2015