Herbert Smith Freehills

Energy & Natural Resources Department

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Foreign desks Handles a wide array of energy projects, including LNG, hydroelectric and wind farm developments in the Philippines. Strong track record advising on the construction and finance of greenfield power projects. Acted for First Gen Hydro Power on the procurement and engineering of the 30 MW Puyo hydroelectric power plant. Toby Anderson is a key contact for clients.

Notable practitioners

David Ryan is acknowledged for his M&A and projects work within the sector, particularly on energy infrastructure transactions. One client observes: "He's just a very high-quality lawyer, but he also has a very strong ability to understand the commercial side of the deal and offer more than just legal processing but commercial advice. He is a good lawyer, a good negotiator and a nice guy as well."

Ian Williams possesses considerable international expertise and is regarded as "a North Asia specialist," advising major Japanese and South Korean investors in the Australian mining industry. One source says: "I would speak well of him. He's good fun to deal with and a key adviser to Japanese in-house lawyers."

Jay Leary is considered by one interviewee to be the "most brilliant, knowledgeable and commercially savvy lawyer in the Australian mining space." He has expertise across mining and infrastructure transactions and development projects, and another source confirms: "The skill and gravitas he brings is second to none. He can see the strategic sense across the business and makes sure that everything threads together. He provides that level of authority and has unbelievable knowledge about the way we operate."

Robert Merrick is highly regarded in the market for structuring major transactions within the sector as well as finance and commodity trading. One referee observes: "He has a good and detailed understanding of commercial drivers. He worked with resource companies in Western Australia and has very good corporate knowledge. His advice is commercial and pragmatic, his manner is quite persuasive and engaging, and he is always happy to give recommendations and clear direction rather than sit on the fence."

Stuart Barrymore is an "exceptional partner" and widely considered a standout for oil and gas projects, with particular expertise advising on LNG project developments in Australia, Papua New Guinea and Africa. He is regarded as a leading adviser across the commercial, regulatory and development aspects of such projects.