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Clifford Chance Again Scores Top Marks at the LatinFinance Project & Infrastructure Finance Awards

4 October 2016

Clifford Chance Again Scores Top Marks at the LatinFinance Project & Infrastructure Finance Awards

LatinFinance magazine announced the winners of its 2016 Project & Infrastructure Finance Awards at a dinner on September 29 in New York. Clifford Chance was one of the two most honored international law firms, each with seven recognitions, for its advisory role for the "most impressive transactions and institutions in a field critical to the region's economic progress."

Clifford Chance was a recognized law firm in the following categories:

  • Best Road Financing and Best Infrastructure Financing – Andes  Clifford Chance acted as advisor to Goldman Sachs in arranging a unique package to fund the Pacifico 3 highway, the first-ever 4G toll road project to be financed internationally and the first project bond ever in Colombia. The US$650 million (COP$2.17 trillion) financing involved an elaborate combination of bank loans and bonds, which LatinFinance confirms set the deal apart for double recognition this year.

    Clifford Chance has established a market-leading reputation for successful multi-source project financings in Colombia and elsewhere in Latin America. In addition to Pacifico 3, the Firm recently advised Goldman Sachs on toll road financings for the Cartagena-Barranquilla and Alto Magdalena projects, and will continue to lead the way as more Colombian toll road projects appear on the horizon.

    Key team members: Partner Gianluca Bacchiocchi (New York), with associates Guido Liniado (New York), Luis Maria Clouet (New York), Mariana Estevez (New York), Alejandro Espitia (Madrid) and Greg Kahn (New York).

  • Best Transport Financing and Best Bond  In another transaction that earned multiple awards, Clifford Chance advised on Peru's first subway project,  representing Metro de Lima Linea 2 S.A. and its sponsors in a US$1.15 billion bond financing – the largest-ever infrastructure securitization from Peru and the largest for a Peruvian public-private partnership executed in the global capital markets. The innovative multi-source financing structure also included US$800 million in a separately structured facility with an export credit agency, and multilateral and commercial institutions. With respect to the bond financing, LatinFinance reported that "investors flocked to the bond trade after a global marketing campaign."

    The Firm's Latin America practice has closed three major Peruvian infrastructure financings in the past year, drawing on its extensive experience with the legal and regulatory frameworks that pertain to capital markets transactions across the region.

    Key team members: Partner Gianluca Bacchiocchi (New York), with partners Clifford Cone, Gareth Old, Jay Gavigan and Jonathan Zonis (all from New York); counsel Anja Pfleger (São Paulo); and associates Diego Harman (New York) and Jeffrey Susskind (São Paulo).

  • Best Port Financing The Firm advised IDB, IFC and the China Co-Financing Fund for Latin America and the Caribbean in the US$260 million financing of the Manzanillo port in Mexico. LatinFinance cited the transaction's far-reaching implications for Mexico's port city, which is now well placed to "corner foreign trade" in the country's growing automotive industry.

    Key team members: Partner Catherine McCarthy, with associates Alberto Haito, Patricio Abal and Alan Sakar Azuara (all from Washington, D.C.).

  • Best Renewable Energy Financing Clifford Chance advised IDB and BBVA in Uruguay's Colonia Arias wind farm project. LatinFinance highlighted the deal's hybrid financing structure, which introduced new options for renewable energy funding in Latin America. The structure included two financing tranches covering 80% of the total package, with IDB as lender for the majority "A" tranche and BBVA covering the "B" tranche. Notably, the remaining 20% was raised via an IPO in the local market using a "public trade entity" – only the second such offering in Uruguay's history. Looking forward, LatinFinance remarked that the project sponsor, Administración Nacional de Usinas y Trasmisiones Eléctricas (UTE), plans to "mirror the debt and equity combo structure in its next renewables financing."

    Key team members: Partner Fabricio Longhin, with associates Patricio Abal and Ignacio Imas Innella (all from Washington, D.C.).

  • Best Infrastructure Financing – Brazil Clifford Chance advised Natixis and a syndicate of other lenders providing Seaborn Networks with funding for Seabras-1, the first-ever submarine fiber optic cable network directly linking New York and São Paulo. The Firm's work stands out for bringing a project finance structure to a traditionally difficult asset class, and for structuring the first such financing backed by an export credit agency – in this case, the French agency COFACE. Seaborn CEO Larry Schwartz remarked that the financing could serve as a "model for financing other subsea cable projects around the world."

    Key team members: Partner Catherine McCarthy, with associates Lauran Smith and Laura Marriott (all from Washington, D.C.).

Over the past three years Clifford Chance has earned 16 recognitions for its advisory work on deals that are named winners of LatinFinance's Project & Infrastructure Finance Awards. The 2016 results are the Firm's strongest so far.

Clifford Chance has been recognized for decades as a preeminent law firm in Latin America, and globally is ranked "Band 1" in more cross-border tables than any other firm in the Chambers Global 2016 directory. The Firm has consistently led the way in developing successful, innovative financing structures for a diverse client base, including commercial and investment banks, multilateral and bilateral development institutions, and export credit agencies. The Firm's lawyers understand the region's distinct business, legal and regulatory landscapes and provide expertise that cuts across the full range of capital markets, project finance, structured finance, banking, corporate and litigation practices. They pride themselves on their ability to develop pioneering solutions that align with the unique characteristics of the Latin American market and the changing needs of clients.