Chadbourne has one of the largest project finance practices of any law firm in the world. It was counsel in more than US$30 billion in project finance transactions in 2014. Eighty-three lawyers work full time in the core project finance group, and another 40 are engaged more or less full time in energy transactions. The project finance lawyers are based in three offices in the United States (New York, Washington, Los Angeles) and seven offices outside the US (London, Warsaw, Istanbul, Dubai, Johannesburg, Mexico City and Sao Paulo).
Sixty percent of the time of the lawyers in the core project finance group was spent on renewable energy projects in 2014. Half the renewable energy work in 2014 was on projects outside the United States, principally in Latin America, eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The firm has worked on roughly a third of the installed wind capacity and on close to half the large-scale solar projects in the US, and has done more than four dozen master financing facilities for solar rooftop companies. It has been counsel on slightly more than half the federal loan guarantees issued for renewable energy projects by the US Department of Energy. It is also prominent in the geothermal, fuel cell, biomass, landfill gas, hydroelectric and biofuels markets.
The firm is also well known for its work in emerging markets. For example, it has handled projects in 48 of the 54 countries in Africa. Chadbourne regularly acts as counsel to multilateral lending and export credit agencies who tend to be the first movers in such markets, and has a special expertise political risk insurance, currency convertibility, arbitrations and other topics that are factors in emerging markets deals.
Chadbourne has dominated the market in LNG liquefaction project financings, acting as counsel on five of the six LNG liquefaction projects that have been financed to date in the United States.
It also has an extensive deal list in other infrastructure projects, including conventional and nuclear power plants, gas pipelines, electric transmission facilities, toll roads, bridges and other public-private partnerships.
Chadbourne hosts a well-regarded Global Energy and Finance Conference, now in its 27th year, which attracts an unusually high-level audience of CEOs, CFOs and general counsels, as well as project sponsors plus managing directors at banks and private equity funds that finance the sector. It also publishes the Project Finance NewsWire, reaches 43,000 readers.