Shearman & Sterling today announced it has been recognized for its role in advising The Nature Conservancy (TNC) on closing the world’s largest debt refinancing deal for ocean conservation. The Grunin Prize was presented at the “2022 Annual Conference on Legal Issues in Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing – in the US and Beyond” virtual ceremony on June 7, 2022.
The award acknowledges the firm’s pro bono representation of TNC regarding its “Blue Bonds for Ocean Conservation” program, an ambitious plan to drastically upscale ocean conservation globally. Led by Cynthia Urda Kassis, partner and Global Project Development & Finance Practice Group Leader, and Antonia Stolper, Of Counsel in Shearman & Sterling’s Capital Markets Practice, the firm advised on, among other matters: the structuring and negotiation of the sovereign loan and conservation funding arrangements with the Government of Belize; the role of TNC in the various aspects of the transaction; and overall transaction execution and negotiation matters.
“We congratulate The Nature Conservancy and everyone who contributed to this historic deal,” said Urda Kassis.
“The environmental, social, and financial impacts and benefits of this innovative transaction are far-reaching,” added Stolper. “We are so proud to have played a role in what will inevitably serve as a model for similar conservation-related deals in the future.”
According to NYU’s Grunin Center for Law and Social Entrepreneurship, each year the Grunin Prize sets out to reward the innovation, replicability and/or scalability, and potential impact of projects and solutions developed by lawyers to advance the fields of social entrepreneurship and impact investing.