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Double award win for WFW wind farm deals

13 February 2012

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Watson, Farley & Williams (“WFW”), a leading international law firm, has won two awards for recent project finance deals. Both involving offshore wind farms, the deals were named European Deals of the Year by Project Finance International, and Project Finance Magazine.

The first deal, Global Tech I, was a €1bn offshore wind farm project financing, on which WFW advised the mandated lead arrangers. At the time, this was the biggest finance deal in the German offshore wind market. Once completed, Global Tech I will comprise 80 wind energy turbines with a total capacity of 400 MW – enough to supply 445,000 households with renewable energy. The wind farm will be built in the North Sea, about 180 km north west of Bremerhaven, Germany. The offshore installation process is scheduled to be completed in 2013. It was named European Wind Deal of the Year at the Project Finance International awards in January 2012.

The WFW team was led by Hamburg partners Dr. Marcus Bechtel (Corporate) and Dr. Stefan Kilgus (Project Finance). They were supported by Hamburg partners Dr. Malte Jordan (Corporate), Gerrit Bartsch (Tax) and Verena Scheibe (Tax) as well as Hamburg associates Sven Fretthold (Senior Associate, Project Finance), Dr. Christine Bader (Senior Associate, Public Procurement/Corporate), Cathrin Krüger (Corporate), Stefan Hoffmann (Corporate), Alexander Schroer (Corporate) and Dr. Wichard von Hoff (Project Finance), and London associates James Rennard (Project Finance), Iris Wong (Project Finance) and Daisy East (Project Finance).

The second deal, Meerwind, was the project financing of a German offshore wind farm with total investment of €1.2bn. WFW advised the lenders for the wind farm in the German North Sea, which on its completion will be Germany’s largest comprising 80 wind turbines with a total capacity of 288 MW, producing sufficient power to service 400,000 households with electricity from renewable sources, and eliminating some one million tonnes of carbon emissions per year. This deal won European Offshore Wind Deal of the Year at the Project Finance magazine awards in February 2012.

The team was led by Hamburg partners Dr. Malte Jordan (Corporate/Energy) and Dr. Stefan Kilgus (Project Finance), supported by partners Gerrit Bartsch (Tax, Hamburg), Dr. Clemens Hillmer (Shipping, Hamburg), Eric Villateau (French security documentation, Paris), Charles July (English hedging documentation, London), and Hamburg associates Dr. Wolfram Böge (Corporate/Energy), Sven Fretthold (Project Finance), Dr. Wichard von Hoff (Project Finance), Falko Keller (Tax), Dr. Jan-Philipp Meier (Corporate/Energy), Manuel Johannes Rolfes (Corporate/Energy), Alexander Wojtek (Project Finance), Alexander von Grofe (Shipping) and London associates James Rennard and Michael Kruger (both Project Finance, English hedging documentation).

Both deals were run concurrently, which prompted one client to say: “It is a rare quality for a law firm to be able to handle two transactions of such complexity simultaneously. We are really impressed with Watson, Farley & Williams, who we believe have proven once again their leading position in the market with these deals.”

Evan Stergoulis, partner and head of Energy at WFW said: “We are extremely proud to have been recognised by these awards: they are testament to our excellent and extremely hard-working team, but also that we can really punch above our weight in a tough market. These deals were cutting-edge, and no other firm – even Magic Circle – has the sector knowledge and the manpower to run them both simultaneously. Congratulations to all involved.”

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