Shearman & Sterling has announced that Christophe Asselineau will join the firm in Paris as a partner and will further bolster Shearman & Sterling's mining, energy and infrastructure practices in Africa's emerging markets.
"It is a pleasure to welcome Christophe to our firm," said Rohan S. Weerasinghe, Shearman & Sterling's senior partner. "He brings an outstanding reputation and years of experience to our well-established project finance group and reinforces our commitment to continue to grow the firm in key strategic areas."
Nick Buckworth, head of the firm's project finance group, added: "Christophe will help support our team's continued growth and success. He will work closely with our lawyers in France, the UK, the Middle East, China and the Americas to offer an integrated service to clients seeking to develop and finance projects in North and Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in the areas of mining, energy and infrastructure."
Shearman & Sterling's Paris office has significant experience in Africa. The firm's Paris lawyers have advised numerous African or international clients on their interests in Africa, notably in international arbitrations, mergers and acquisitions and capital markets transactions. The office also has a very strong finance practice, headed by Pierre-Nicolas Ferrand, focusing on asset financing, acquisition financing, real estate financing and projects. The addition to the team of Christophe will reinforce the Paris office's capabilities in the area of projects and boost Shearman & Sterling's presence in Africa.
Emmanuel Gaillard, managing partner of the Paris office and head of the firm's global international arbitration practice, said: "We're very pleased to have Christophe on board. His presence in Paris will help us to deliver a broader service to clients by building on the strong relationships we have developed with oil and gas, mining, and other clients operating in Africa."
Shearman & Sterling has over 50 years of experience in advising on Africa-related deals and projects. Recent examples include the Contourglobal power plant development and financing in Togo—the first substantial foreign investment in Togo in over a decade and one of the most significant investments in the West African power sector in over twenty years (awarded Africa Power Deal of the Year 2009 by Project Finance magazine); advising Angola's national oil company, Sonangol, on the LNG supply and gas offtake arrangements and terminal usage agreement for a $4 billion greenfield LNG project; and advising the commercial lenders and International Finance Corporation on CIC Energy Corporation’s $5.5 billion 3,600 MW Mmamabula coal-fired power and mining project in Botswana, for electricity sale to Eskom in South Africa—one of the largest and most ambitious IPPs to be developed in Africa to date.
Mr. Asselineau has over 20 years' experience in the African market. He previously practiced at Simmons & Simmons, where he led both the Paris Energy and Infrastructure Group and the Africa Steering Group. French-, English- and Australian-qualified, he has worked in the projects groups at Blake Dawson Waldron in Australia and Linklaters in Paris. Mr. Asselineau has also served as an expert witness on natural resources and corruption issues before special commissions of the United Nations, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the UK Parliament. In addition, he is co-chair of the Conseil Français des Investisseurs en Afrique (CIAN) US commission, in charge of liaison with the comparable US body representing the interests of corporations active in Africa. Listed as a leading Energy and Projects specialist in Legal 500, Chambers, European Legal Experts, and the Who's Who of Mining Lawyers, Mr. Asselineau also lectures on International Project Finance Law at the Université Paris IX-Dauphine.
Shearman & Sterling's global project finance group advises on important infrastructure projects in every corner of the world. Operating from major business centers in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, the firm's lawyers are knowledgeable in a wide spectrum of corporate practices. The group advises on initial development and financing of a project; restructuring and refinancing of projects; project mergers, acquisitions, and dispositions; sovereign and project restructurings, political risk insurance, and other novel split-risk arrangements, as well as experience with export credit agencies and multilateral lending institutions; and dispute resolution as it relates to projects. The firm counsels all types of clients, including sponsors, project companies, lenders, private commercial and investment banks, placement agents, underwriters, export credit agencies, multilateral lending institutions, suppliers, contractors, off-take purchasers and advisors.