Chris Willott advises sponsors, borrowers, banks and multi-lateral institutions with respect to the development, construction and financing of projects across the energy and infrastructure sectors, with a focus on Latin America.
- Technip and OOG with respect to the US$600 million ECA and commercial bank financing of two ultra-deepwater pipe laying vessels, for charter to Petrobras for use in Brazil’s “pre-salt” offshore fields (2013 Project Finance Deal of the Year, Marine Money)
- Sumitomo Mitsui Banking in connection with the financing of the BTG Pactual's USD$758 million acquisition of Globenet's undersea telecom cable system from Oi (Private Equity Deal of the Year 2013, Latin Finance)
- BNP Paribas, HSBC and Santander on a USD$470 million long-term credit agreement with ODN TAY IV GmbH (a joint venture between Odebrecht Óleo e Gás S.A. and Delba Drilling B.V.) as borrower to finance the acquisition and upgrade of the ODN TAY IV drilling rig
- Schahin Engenharia on its USD$1 billion financing of two semi-submersible drilling rigs to be chartered to Petrobras
- Schahin Oleo e Gas on its USD$270 million project bond financing of the SC Lancer drill ship under charter to Petrobras
- Odebrecht Oil and Gas and BW Offshore with respect to their bid to provide an FPSO for charter to Petrobras
- Sete Brasil with respect to the construction and operating agreements related to 12 ultra-deepwater drilling rigs for charter to Petrobras
- Braskem with respect to the USD$2.5 billion Polimerica petrochemicals refinery project in Venezuela
- Kepco, Samsung and Techint on the development, construction and financing of the 433MW Norte II gas-fired power project in Mexico
- Santander Brasil and Santander Spain with respect to their USD$300 million loan to the State of São Paulo to fund its road building program. The loan is guaranteed by the Brazilian Federal Government an the World Bank's MIGA.
- IFC as lender in a USD$400 million A/B/Parallel loan facility extended to Itaú Unibanco, to finance a variety of projects relating to renewable energy, water capture and treatment, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction. The facility is the largest of its kind raised by a Latin American bank to finance these types of projects.
- The sponsors with respect to the development, structuring, construction and financing of a 180MW wind farm in northern Chile. The financing contemplates that the project may either operate on a merchant basis or a PPA-contracted basis. Wind turbines will be supported by Vestas. The financing will be provided by Chilean commercial banks and one or more ECAs
- IDB and the China Fund with respect to the 90MW Carape wind power project in Uruguay. The financing included a subordinated debt tranche from IIC and CIFI. The wind turbines were supplied by Vestas
- Acted for San Juan S.A. and Latin America Power with respect to the USD$380 million financing of the San Juan wind power project in northern Chile. The project is expected to be the largest wind farm in Chile upon completion, and is the first power project to be financed based upon the PPAs with Chilean distribution companies awarded in Chile's 2014 energy auction. Lenders included EKF, SEK, DNB Chile, Banco Security
Clifford Chance advises Atlas Mara and Union Bank of Nigeria on US$200 million financing
6 May 2020
Clifford Chance advises BTG Pactual on US$250 million secured acquisition financing in connection with the purchase of shares in Petrobras Oil & Gas B.V.
16 January 2020
Clifford Chance advises Klabin on two credit agreements to raise US$1,045,000,000
13 November 2019
Clifford Chance named "Best International Counsel – Projects" by Chambers Latin America
29 November 2017
Clifford Chance advises on complex Paranapanema restructuring in Brazil
10 October 2017
Clifford Chance advises Brazilian bank syndicate on Unigel restructuring
29 August 2017
São Paulo-based Clifford Chance team advises IFC on US$400 million "green" loan facility
29 January 2015
Clifford Chance advises Banco Santander on innovative financing of Brazilian highway development project
17 November 2014
Career and qualifications
- Carleton College (Bachelor of Arts) 1992
- Georgetown University Law Center (JD) 2000
- Georgetown's Walsh School of Foreign Service (MSFS) 2000
- Admitted as an Attorney-at-Law in New York and the District of Columbia 2001
Awards and citations
- Christopher Willott is adept at handling a range of Latin American finance matters, earning praise from commentators for his "great knowledge of the Latin American market." They go on to say: "He is very experienced in banking and finance, and it's always good to have him on a deal."
Chambers Latin America 2020, Banking & Finance – Latin America-wide
- Christopher Willott is held in high regard by market commentators, with one claiming: "He's a great international lawyer for financing work in Brazil." He advises on a wide range of financing mandates, with a focus on transactions in the energy and natural resources sector."
Chambers Latin America 2020, Banking & Finance: International – Brazil
- Ranked as a Leading Individual. Chris Willott is a giant of the Brazil financing market.
Legal 500 Latin America 2019, Banking and Finance – International Firms
- Full of praise for Christopher Willott's skills, one observer attests: "He's really very good - he speaks the language and is a very good negotiator; I like working with him a lot." Willott focuses his practice on the financing of energy and infrastructure projects in Brazil.
Chambers Latin America 2019, Banking & Finance: International – Brazil
- Christopher Willott is a respected figure in the Latin American banking and finance market, with one peer describing him as an "excellent lawyer." He has noted capabilities in project and corporate finance, as well as offering expertise in restructuring mandates. He regularly acts for banks and developers as lenders and borrowers respectively.
Chambers Latin America 2019, Banking & Finance – Latin America-wide
- Christopher Willott has been ranked in Chambers Latin America - Banking & Finance (Latin America-wide). Christopher Willott is noted by peers for his project finance work in the energy and natural resources sector. He frequently represents major lenders such as commercial banks, ECAs and multilateral organisations.
Chambers Latin America 2017 - Banking & Finance
- Christopher Willott has been ranked in Chambers Latin America - Projects (Latin America-wide). Brazil-based partner Christopher Willott has worked across the region on a notable range of infrastructure projects, including vessel finance and road networks. He recently advised the sponsors, lenders and project company on the development and financing of a wind farm in Chile which required consideration of New York and Chilean law.
Chambers Latin America 2017 - Projects
- Christopher Willott has been ranked in Chambers Latin America - Banking & Finance: International (Brazil). Based in São Paulo, Christopher Willott is noted for his "good commercial background" and for his project finance work, particularly in the energy sector. Clients enthuse: "He goes very deep into issues and is able to identify problems that are not clear from the outset."
Chambers Latin America 2017 - Banking & Finance: International
- Chambers as a leading lawyer for:
- Projects: Latin America Wide
- Banking and Finance: Latin America Wide
- Brazil, Banking and Finance: International
- LACCA as a "Recommended" lawyer for banking and finance in Brazil
- Who's Who Legal 2016 Banking—Finance/Brazil
- Latinvex as one of the top 100 lawyers in Latin America