Janet Butterworth

Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

Janet Butterworth

Janet Butterworth


Related services and key industries


Janet Butterworth is a structured finance and banking lawyer based in Paris.

Janet has recently re-joined our Paris practice in June 2014 (after spending 11 years with another Paris-based law firm), having qualified both as a solicitor and a French avocat in 1992. Janet advises both on English and French law transactions.

Janet has experience of domestic and international banking and structured finance transactions, with a particular focus on structured trade and commodities finance (including oil and gas, metals and soft commodities). She acts regularly for leading French and international banks and financial institutions, along with large trading houses, oil companies and multi-national companies on their trading activities.

Janet advises clients on different types of structured finance transactions (bilateral and syndicated), including: pre-export financing; borrowing base facilities; reserve based lending; letter of credit facilities; and related international security packages.

Janet also has vast experience of financing transactions in Africa, both in the English-speaking East African jurisdictions (Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Tanzania and Ethiopia), and in the sub-Saharan francophone countries subject to the 'OHADA' system of uniform laws (in particular, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Cameroon, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea Conakry, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon). Janet also has experience in North Africa in Mauritania, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.

Janet has also worked significantly on structured commodities financings transactions in the Middle East.

Professional experience

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  • Avocat au Barreau de Paris
  • Solicitor, qualified in England & Wales
  • Advising a large international trader on a US$120m prepayment agreement and subsequent amendment to the prepayment agreement for up to US$150m made in favour of an energy group based in Pakistan
  • Advising an international trader on a US$250m commercial prepayment agreement in favour of a Russian trading company for the sale/purchase of copper cathodes and the refinancing of the commercial prepayment by a syndicate of lenders via a US$250m syndicated term loan facility
  • Advising a large international trader on a US$185m prepayment agreement involving an energy trader and Petroci for the purchase of crude oil in the Ivory Coast
  • Advising a large international trading house on a €100m prepayment facility secured by offtake of refined petroleum products in favour of a refinery company in the Ivory Coast. The transaction included a prepayment agreement, a term sale and purchase contract and a supply contract. We also advised on the subsequent amendments to those agreements
  • Acting for a leading international trading company on an uncommitted facility of up to US$660m made available to it on September 28, 2015 by a group of international banks and financial institutions, including The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. as facility agent and National Bank of Abu Dhabi as security agent for the purpose of refinancing prepayments of cargos of crude oil from the DRC. We acted in the negotiation of the facility agreement and the related security package
  • Advising a large international energy trader in the acquisition of 100 percent of two borrowing base facilities in respect of their participation in a US$250m US Borrowing Base Facility and a US$750m Global Borrowing Base Facility in order to take over the lending positions of existing lenders in the two facilities
  • Acting for a large international energy trader on the renewal of three existing borrowing base facilities with borrowers based in multiple jurisdictions for Concentrated Metals, Refined Metals and a Peruvian Borrowing Base Facility. The security packages included an English law security deed, French law account balance pledge agreement, a New South Wales security deed and a Mexican law non-possessory pledge, as well as Swiss account pledges and a Dutch law security release and retake
  • Acting for an international agricultural trader on a US$100m syndicated Secured Borrowing Base Facility with a parent company guarantee. The security was taken over certain juice holding tanks in Belgium. The security package also included security over collection accounts located in the Netherlands
  • Acting for ING on the extension, amendment and restatement of a European borrowing base US$850m uncommitted revolving credit facility for a lead energy trader with cross-border aspects in 11 different jurisdictions across Europe, including security documents in 10 of the jurisdictions (and subsequent release of security in the relevant jurisdictions)
  • Acting for The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ as Facility Agent and a group of banks and financial institutions located in the Middle East on an amendment and restatement of a borrowing base facility entered into on February 26, 2013 for the storage of petroleum products in the United Arab Emirates. The transaction involved the drafting and negotiation of an English law facility agreement and accounts pledge and assignment of receivables and also security in the United Arab Emirates (chattel mortgage over oil stocks, holding certificates and promissory notes) and also liaising with foreign counsels and registration formalities
  • Acting for ING on the drafting and negotiation of a US$100m bilateral pre-export financing facility made available on August 27, 2014 to two borrowers in the British Virgin Islands and guaranteed by MHP SA Luxembourg. We also assisted in the drafting and negotiation of the related security package comprising English and Ukrainian law security documents
  • Advising a trading house on the structuring and implementation of a back-to-back US$250m secured pre-financing in favour of an oil exploitation company based in Ivory Coast (including cross-border aspects in Singapore, British Virgin Islands and Ivory Coast)
  • Advising a syndicate of lenders in the refinancing of the PSA Sines Terminais des Contentores port terminal composed of a €143m term loan facility and a €5m revolving credit facility. The transaction included a hedging structure with an ISDA schedule and an English law assignment over rights for the ISDA 2018
  • Acting for the lenders on the amendment and restatement of a US$650m senior secured facility made available to Etablissements Maurel & Prom (SA)
  • Advising a large international trader on a US$50m secured trade finance facility made available to a Hong Kong borrower and disbursement made onto an escrow account in Hong Kong subject to an Escrow Agreement. The Hong Kong escrow bank then paid funds to an oil producer and refiner in the DRC. Security included Borrower and Producer Deeds of Assignment under English law, an Account Charge registered under the Companies Ordinance in Hong Kong, and Pledge Agreements over equipment and products under DRC law 2018
  • Acting for a leading international trading company on an uncommitted facility of up to US$450m made available to it on July 22, 2014 by a group of international banks and financial institutions, including The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. as facility agent and Citibank as security agent for the purpose of financing cargos of crude oil from the DRC. We acted in the negotiation of the facility agreement and the related security package. We also acted on subsequent amendments to this facility in January 2015, September 2015 and March 2016
  • Advising a large international trader on a US$250m Bridge Facility Agreement to refinance its prepayments made available to Petroci with a bank in Mauritius, as well as waiver letters and extension requests under the Prepayment Agreement for the financing of petroleum products, 2016.

Alternative Resourcing Projects – Bilateral reviews and negotiations

  • Advising a large energy trading company on the renewal of bilateral trade finance facilities with a number of their relationship banks using alternative resourcing
  • Advising and assisting in negotiations for a large international bank on the implementation of general terms and conditions of correspondent banking services with 200 client banks using alternative resourcing.
  • English
  • French