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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance

A new approach to project finance

Case study

Using a range of our specialised Innovation capabilities allowed us to be more efficient and deliver a portfolio of nine projects in record time that otherwise would have been dealt with by different counsels.

For this project, we advised the lenders in relation to the due diligence and financing of six wind farms forming part of Windplan Groen and also advised three other Windplan Groen wind farms regarding their due diligence. Such a complex matter gave us the perfect opportunity to leverage several of our innovation capabilities to enhance the matter delivery, generate efficiencies for our client and save valuable lawyer time by allocating the right work at the right level. This led to a positive impact on the commercial outcome and delivery quality.

Windplan Groen is a large Wind Energy project forming part of an overall plan to generate 100% of the Dutch province of Flevoland’s electricity through wind energy and contribute to the country’s goal of generating 16% of all energy in the Netherlands sustainably by 2023. 



The challenge

The traditional approach to project finance involves running in parallel a due diligence process and drafting and negotiating finance and project documents. Since this matter involved six separate financings under one umbrella, most of the finance and security documents, such as facility agreements, security documents and due diligence reports, were similar. The question was how to leverage the work across all six projects simultaneously to avoid duplication of effort?


The solution

Our Continuous Improvement specialists worked with our partners during the pitch phase to develop a well-organised approach to deliver the work. The deal team  developed a value-based pricing model based on maximum efficiency. 

A Legal Project Manager (LPM) was assigned to this project to coordinate the multiple workstreams, resources and delivery. They acted as a focal point for our legal team, the client and other transaction parties. Our LPM managed the scope, ensured information flowed effectively across the different groups during the transaction, kept an overview of the status for each project and presented a consolidated view of the big picture. They also provided commercial updates and financial management of the matter across a complex fee structure.  

The LPM then brought in our other innovation capabilities and introduced digital solutions at the appropriate stages of the matter. We engaged our Delivery Centres to draft documentation and assist with signing and closing activities. We used our checklist management solution, Transact, which allowed us to have one secure online platform where documents and Conditions Precedent could be accessed and approved. Despite additional time spent on instructions, the overall set up did result in the deal team spending more time on the actual deal itself than on the administrative items. 


The result

Clifford Chance's integral team of lawyers and innovation professionals worked together to deliver a highly complex transaction in an efficient, timely manner and within budget. This coordination and alignment of the different teams involved allowed the firm to add real value to our client's matter. The most appealing aspect was that we were able and willing to take over the entirety of their projects and run them in parallel. We developed templates for one of the more complex projects and adapted them with minimal changes for the others.

The fee structure of the project presented a mix between fixed fees for specific deliverables and blended rates without a cap for financial closing. This approach allowed us to maximise efficiencies in the project delivery generating an attractive commercial proposal to the clients whilst achieving an above average profitability and recovery.

The result could not have been achieved if legal and innovation professionals had not worked closely together towards the same goal of providing the best service possible to our clients.

Discover Legal Project Management

Your most important matters need dedicated project management. Our team of Legal Project Managers (LPMs) work with lawyers and clients to handle the most complicated stages of legal operations, to turn complexity into clarity.

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