I work in the Energy and Infrastructure Finance team advising lenders and sponsors on a number of project, acquisition, borrowing base and other structured financings in the UK, Europe and Africa. My spectrum of work spans from advising on UK infrastructure projects to upstream oil & gas financings in the North Sea and Africa.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7074 7857
Best brains in ...
Upstream oil & gas financings. This is a new practice area for Wragge & Co and a sector on which we have now advised banks and sponsors in a range of jurisdictions including Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana and the North Sea.
Highlight of your career so far?
Advising BNP Paribas on the Okoro field refinancing in Nigeria. This was Wragge & Co's first deal in the upstream Oil & Gas sector, a first in Nigeria and a first instruction from the leading bank in the sector, BNP Paribas. We have not looked back since having recently advised BNP Paribas, Standard Bank, HSBC and other lenders on upstream oil & gas financings in Nigeria, Egypt and the North Sea.
Most challenging job you've ever done?
Advising the Project Company on its financing of the £2.8 billion Birmingham Highways PFI project. Not only did we have to negotiate with a group of six banks at time when the recession had fully kicked-in and the finance market was deteriorating rapidly, we were also working against the clock to ensure we reached financial close before the general election. We ended up closing on the day of the general election with only minutes to spare before the hedging market closed. The Wragge & Co team worked through the night to reach financial close - it was technically, administratively and physically challenging.
What about outside the UK?
As mentioned above, the majority of my work involves banks, companies and assets located outside of the UK, usually in Africa or the North Sea. One particular transaction comes to mind - the Sea Dragon Energy financing. We advised BNP Paribas and HSBC on this transaction which was the first new financing for either bank back into Egypt following the Arab Spring. We undertook the deal against a backdrop of massive political uncertainty and risk.
What's your definition of going the extra mile... And when have you done it?
To me, going the extra mile is having the willingness and enthusiasm to build long standing relationships with clients. Clients expect every law firm to provide good technical advice but it's getting to know our clients personally and understanding their drivers, aims and targets on any transaction that gives us the edge and makes us stand out. From asking the right questions at the beginning of a transaction to ensure it is structured correctly, to simple things like personally checking that a client preparing a bid in our office had everything they needed. I always strive to offer the client a tailored, personal service. Building these relationships means clients come back to work with us time and again, further strengthening the relationship - they often recommend us to others.