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James McLaren

Projects Partner, Hong Kong SAR

“I am an energy and infrastructure expert, spanning projects, project finance and M&A deals. I have advised on major projects in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, demonstrating a vast knowledge of the sector. I have an excellent understanding of commercial drivers and a key ability to bridge different legal, cultural and practical approaches to ensure successful execution of complex transactions.”

Overview

Experience 

Professional Experience

Overview

James is one of the Firm’s four global energy sector leaders and a partner in the Energy & Infrastructure Group.

Based in Asia for over 10 years, James has advised on the development and financing of many significant energy and infrastructure projects across the region as well as acquisitions and disposals in the energy and infrastructure sectors.

James has advised on many ‘first in country’ projects in Asia and has a particular focus on oil and gas, renewable energy and transportation infrastructure transactions.  He is recognised as a market leader in the emerging offshore wind market in Asia Pacific.

Before moving to Hong Kong, James was based in the firm’s Dubai office between 2006 and 2009 and in the firm’s London office between 2009 and 2011. He has also worked in-house for a major energy company, providing him with further practical insights into the sector.

Work highlights

James has led on a wide range of market-leading project financings and corporate transactions. These include advising as lead partner:

Multilateral financings:

  • a financial consortium of eleven international and local Taiwanese banks on a 16 year project financing together with a guarantee provided by EKF, Denmark’s Export Credit Agency for the 128MW Formosa I offshore wind project
  • wpd AG on the €2.7bn project financing of the 640MW Yunlin offshore wind farm project in Taiwan, the financing group comprised a total of 19 international and local Taiwanese banks and three ECAs including EKF, Euler Hermes and Atradius
  • the lenders and ECAs in connection with the debt financing of the Formosa 2 offshore wind farm project in Taiwan
  • International Container Terminal Services, Inc. and Victoria International Container Terminal Ltd in respect of the A$398m multi-sourced project financing of a container terminal in Webb Dock, Melbourne, Australia
  • the lenders (including Export-Import Bank of Korea, Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance) on the financing of the expansion of the Jorf Lasfar coal-fired power project in Morocco
  • the Chinese lenders on a variety of large-scale power and oil and gas project financings in Indonesia, Pakistan and Kazakhstan
  • PT Medco Power Indonesia and Ratchaburi Electricity Generation Holding PCL as sponsors on the project financing of a 275MW Gas Fired Power Plant Project in Riau province, Indonesia

Energy development and M&A transactions:

  • a bidder on their potential bid to acquire an interest in Equis Energy (now Vena Energy), which holds a portfolio of renewable assets including solar, wind and hydroelectric power operations in Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, Australia, India, Indonesia and the Philippines
  • PETRONAS on a number of upstream oil and gas investments and divestments across Asia
  • an international sponsor on the development and financing of a US$10bn refinery and petrochemical project in China
  • Korea National Oil Corporation on the negotiation of three significant oil and gas concessions in Abu Dhabi
  • China Southern Power Grid on its joint acquisition (with CLP Power Hong Kong) of a 60% interest in Castle Peak Power Company, the largest transaction in the energy sector in Hong Kong in recent years
  • CLP and Hong Kong Electric on the development of an FSRU Project in Hong Kong

Experience 

James is an active member of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN) and regular speaker at renewable energy conferences. James has recently been ranked in the top 100 Legal Power List by a word about wind in recognition of his involvement in the development of the offshore wind market in Asia.

Professional Experience

James holds Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Law degrees (with Honours) and a Graduate Diploma in Energy and Resources Law from the University of Melbourne, Australia.