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Most innovative North American law firms 2015: Enabling clients business

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Award level
Firm
Originality
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Total innovation score
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StandoutWhite & Case1010929Lawyers created the legal structures to enable multiple owners to finance Freeport LNG's natural gas liquefaction and export facility. Three separate entities own the three liquefaction trains (compressors) in what will be one of the world's largest LNG export facilities. Commended: Jason Webber
StandoutHogan Lovells991028In what has become a model financing, the firm advised on the first securitisation of revenues from oil and gas royalties in Brazil to enable Rioprevidência to refinance its debt and fund pension liabilities.
StandoutMorrison & Foerster99927Acted on the project financing of Sikuki Harbour, the new national port of Greenland, carried out by privately placing, in the US, new secured notes from the company. It kept the flexibility in pure corporate / investment grade deals in a jurisdiction unfamiliar to investors. Commended Brian Bates
StandoutChadbourne & Parke99826The firm acted for two syndicates of multiple lenders on Trains 2 and 3 of Freeport LNG's extension to its gas export facility, using a non-recourse financing approach to safeguard their investments from potential financial difficulties in other parts of the project.
Highly commendedAllen & Overy89825The firm devised the legal architecture for a novel public-private partnership to finance the replacement of 558 bridges in Pennsylvania. Commended Andrew Fraiser
Highly commendedPillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman98825Created a restructuring and recapitalising solution for Berger Group Holdings to enable global operating efficiencies, access to debt and equity capital and to protect outside investors while ensuring stability for Berger's employees. Commended Deryck Palmer
Highly commendedChadbourne & Parke89724The firm represented lenders on the financing of the Block Island offshore windfarm, navigating unique construction and regulatory challenges and securing community support to help open the door to greater renewable energy use in the US.
Highly commendedFreshfields Bruckhaus Deringer89724Advised KfW IPEX-Bank on the financial structuring of the world's first flex steel mill (costing $1.3bn) and creating a security package to satisfy the conflicting interests of the 50-plus parties involved. Commended: Melissa Raciti-Knapp
Highly commendedOrrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe88824Enabled the renovation of New York’s LaGuardia airport by guiding the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey through a complex, hybrid public-private partnership financing process. Commended: Young Lee
Highly commendedRopes & Gray98724In one of the first sales of a tax-efficient “Up-C” company, lawyers worked on the sale of Norcraft Companies, the cabinet manufacturer, to Fortune Brands Home & Security to allow pre-initial public offering stakeholders to receive an accelerated payout.
Highly commendedChadbourne & Parke88723Represented NRG Energy and its subsidiaries in the tax-equity financing of a $2.65bn portfolio of windfarms spread across eight states. Commended: Eli Katz
Highly commendedMorgan, Lewis & Bockius88723Represented Sempra Energy and its affiliate Cameron LNG on the financing of its new $10bn liquefaction plant. A structure that processes gas for a fee and passes through operating costs eliminates commodity risk and simplifies the financing.
CommendedKramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel97622Represented Credit Suisse in the securitisation of Sunrun's solar assets ($111m), using the cash flows from multiple tax equity transactions that were themselves restructured. Commended: Gilbert KS Liu
CommendedLatham & Watkins78722The firm advised a large group of international lenders in the project financing for the Cameron LNG project, obtaining debt guarantees for them during the construction period.
CommendedO'Melveny & Myers87722Advised LaGuardia Gateway Partners on the world’s largest public-private partnership development in the renovation of New York’s LaGuardia airport. Commended: Eric Richards
CommendedRopes & Gray78722Lawyers helped Dunkin’ Brands Group to refinance its credit facility with a new $2.6bn securitisation, saving costs and time by reusing a same special-purpose subsidiary from a previous securitisation.
CommendedKirkland & Ellis68721The firm fast-tracked the restructuring of the ITR Concession Company, which operated the toll road between Chicago and Ohio, allowing a conventional sale process to sell the asset.
CommendedPaul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison78621Preferred Sand's financial viability was secured by a complex out-of- court restructuring designed by the firm, which also ensured that the company's chief executive and founder remained the majority owner.
CommendedShearman & Sterling77620Despite the absence of clarity on the legal and regulatory regime for the natural gas sector in Mexico, lawyers enabled the financing of the Los Ramones pipeline from Texas to Mexico.
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