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Energy Finance

The strength of our energy finance team is based on combining our culture of multidisciplinary collaboration around the globe with our deep experience in and understanding of both energy and finance markets. We work with our clients to support all of their financing needs, from efficiently executing simple single lender loans to complex project financing, to developing innovative strategies to solve the most sophisticated financing challenges in the market. Our team’s diverse background, which includes former bankers, developers, and regulators, provides us with the practical experience to craft financing solutions that will succeed through changing markets and related disruptions.

In transactions spanning five continents, we have represented administrative agents, lenders, and borrowers in various debt facilities (senior secured syndicate groups, mezzanine, unitranche, second and third lien, specialty and distressed), equity sponsors (developers, independent power producers, energy funds, financial institutions), private equity, hedge funds, utilities, OEMs, EPCs, infrastructure funds, and tax equity investors in virtually every type of energy finance transaction.

The clients we advise include independent power producers, utilities, energy service companies, developers, debt facilities, tax equity investors, and infrastructure, private equity, and hedge fund managers. Our energy finance team provides representation in multibillion-dollar loan deals, creates sophisticated financing plans, prepares and negotiates agreements, and advises on policy, regulatory, investment, and tax matters.

We regularly advise and support clients across a broad range of key sectors, including:

  • Oil and Gas
  • Liquefied Natural Gas
  • Electric and Utilities
  • Renewable Energy

Capabilities

Oil and Gas

In the past 12 months, our team has represented agents, lenders and investors in more than US$15 billion dollar oil and gas loans, and in the past five years, our lawyers have represented agents, lenders, and investors in more than US$50 billion in loans.

  • Upstream: Our upstream oil and gas finance lawyers have represented agents and lenders in syndicated transactions, lead banks in club transactions, as well as individual lenders in oil and gas E&P loans. Our clients include both foreign and domestic financial institutions, specialty lenders in distressed transactions, as well as DIP lenders in chapter proceedings.
  • Midstream: Our midstream finance lawyers have represented agents and lenders in syndicated transactions for over 10 years, including more than US$5 billion in facilities in the past 12 months. Our clients include both foreign and domestic financial institutions. Our understanding of regulatory issues and experience working with DOE, FERC, and other regulatory agencies allows our team to quickly assess issues throughout the lifecycle of the project.
  • Downstream: Our downstream lawyers have represented lenders and sponsors in downstream lending transactions. We are focused on the finance issues and legal requirements applicable to structuring, developing, constructing, and operating economically and legally independent oil and gas refining projects, as well as liquefaction projects and facilities.
Liquefied Natural Gas

We are active in operating Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export projects, as well as LNG export projects in development. We have structured, documented, and implemented a range of financing plans to bring to fruition a vast range of onshore and offshore LNG projects across the value chain from upstream project development and liquefaction to shipping and downstream regasification for secured lenders, project developers, purchasers, contractors, engineering and construction companies, insurers, and ship-owners, among others. We work closely with our LNG clients and lenders, contractors, and developers to create sophisticated financing plans. Our deep experience in public-private partnerships enhances our ability to address the scope, complexity, and community infrastructure needs of LNG projects.

Electric and Utilities

Our firm serves as a one-stop shop for the full range of energy project financing needs, from legal due diligence to preparation and negotiation of agreements for a wide variety of financing structures. We have represented lenders, developers, tax equity investors, independent power producers, investment funds, and utilities. Financing for electricity projects requires a deep understanding of how policy, regulation, and markets shape project economics. Our power finance team includes lawyers with deep experience in energy policy, power markets, FERC, and state utility regulation. We also draw on our depth of experience in power and utility specific investment management and tax matters to support our financing work. We understand the issues in hedges, power purchase agreements (including synthetic and virtual PPAs), EPC agreements, environmental and land use permitting, real estate documents (for single site and linear infrastructure), and the interrelation of mineral title issues on projects and other key transaction documents that affect project economics and financing options. We have a deep, practical understanding of the issues that can impact future revenue – not just in the short term, but many years after the initial financing.

Renewable Energy

Our lawyers have deep industry and market experience and insight that they draw upon when counseling clients across the renewable energy spectrum. Our team regularly represents developers, lenders, tax equity, and other equity investors in financing transactions for wind, solar, hydro, biomass, biofuels, geothermal, energy storage and transmission, and distribution projects. We understand the myriad of financial incentives and tax benefits that exist for renewable energy projects and what is required to qualify for those incentives. We also understand and are actively engaged on policy and regulatory matters, including tax law and trade issues. We have represented clients in financing numerous independent power projects, ranging from utility size and distributed solar and wind to biomass and battery storage. As a result, we are uniquely positioned to review and evaluate the complicated and industry-specific diligence for these energy projects and their investment incentives from a practical industry perspective.

Our renewable energy lawyers have extensive experience in structuring, documenting and implementing:

  • Conventional project finance sourced from developers, project sponsors, and commercial banks
  • Institutional investments
  • Tax credit investment transactions
  • Tax increment financing
  • Virtual power purchase agreement and hedge financing
  • Taxable and tax-advantaged debt
  • Project and municipal bonds
  • Securitizations
  • Restructurings

Our multidisciplinary energy team also has experience with energy and natural resource restructuring and bankruptcy, public finance, multilaterals, public private partnerships, trade finance, and capital markets.

Commodity Risk Management Derivative Transactions

Our commodity risk management and derivatives experience focuses on advising the Derivatives Desk of our lending clients with respect to transaction structuring, credit and collateral document analysis, Dodd-Frank issues analysis, and other derivatives-related matters. We also advise lender and investor clients with respect to documentation, regulatory, and counterparty issues in hedging of commodity prices, interest rates, and foreign exchange risk across a wide range of regions, currencies, and industries. We are also experienced in financing of energy traders and other companies involved in energy commodity trading and physical energy derivatives, including ISDA-based hedging and derivative transactions.

Restructuring

Our bankruptcy, insolvency, and restructuring lawyers are often integrated from the outset of a project, regardless of whether the project is deemed “distressed” at inception. Intercreditor relations are reviewed by a member of the team with deep restructuring experience at the beginning of a transaction, not just when the transaction begins to show signs of distress. This type of proactive approach is a hallmark of K&L Gates. Leveraging the restructuring experience of our team at appropriate times in the life cycle of a project can be critical to long-term positive outcomes for lenders and investors.

Lawyers with workout experience across multiple energy sectors assist lenders and investors with financially challenged projects. Our deep understanding of the upstream oil and gas development space and energy finance market has led multiple financial institutions, specialty and distressed lenders, and investment funds to select K&L Gates as their restructuring counsel, including entire special asset portfolios for individual and syndicate lenders. As part of our services, we include oil and gas restructuring training for members of client special asset teams.

Capital Markets

We have a leading capital markets practice and represent energy companies, investment banks, investors, servicers, trustees, rating agencies, and other participants in an array of energy-related capital markets transactions from our offices across the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Middle East.

In addition to serving as energy company counsel, we provide experienced representation on all kinds of public securities offerings and related transactions. Our energy finance team regularly supports investment-grade and high-yield corporate debt offerings, sovereign bond issuances, securitization and structured finance transactions, hybrid securities, funded and unfunded structured credit products, medium term note and commercial paper programs, liability management transactions, and municipal bond offerings.

Multilateral, NGO, and Government Supported Finance

Our lawyers work closely with government agencies, NGOs, and multilateral finance institutions to support a wide range of energy and resource projects in Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Russia/CIS. This includes working with the U.S. Agency of International Development, the World Bank, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Asia Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Green Climate Fund, and several countries’ export credit agencies. Our global reach, deep understanding of energy markets, and wealth of experience integrating complex financing tools has helped companies, lenders, and investors effectively and efficiently finance energy and infrastructure projects all over the world.

Our lawyers have the commercial experience, market knowledge, technical and regulatory experience, and project management skills to support all aspects of PPP projects as well. They advise on all phases of the project—from the initial concept, structuring, and development through bidding, financing, and construction—for investors, vendors, landowners, general contractors, operators, and equipment suppliers.

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