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News Jan 06, 2014

Shearman & Sterling Expands Project Development and Finance Practice with Addition of Nelson, Patten

Shearman & Sterling has expanded its global project development and finance practice with the addition of Robert L. Nelson Jr. in San Francisco and Anthony Patten in Singapore.

Mr. Nelson joins Shearman & Sterling from Akin Gump, where he worked in that firm’s San Francisco and Abu Dhabi offices. He focuses on project development, finance, acquisitions, and workouts, as well as private equity fund formation and investment activity, in the energy and infrastructure arenas.

Mr. Patten comes to Shearman & Sterling from Allens, where he led the firm’s oil and gas sector team in Asia and Australia. Before that he was a partner in Ashurst’s London energy, transport, and infrastructure group, and he also spent six years working in London and the UAE as a senior in-house counsel at Royal Dutch Shell.

“Bob and Anthony are very important additions for us as we continue to expand our global Project Development & Finance practice area,” said Creighton Condon, the firm’s Senior Partner. “They are both outstanding lawyers, and we are very excited about the prospects of introducing them to our clients and having them bring the full global capabilities of Shearman & Sterling to their clients.”

Robert Nelson 
Mr. Nelson has played a key role in the development and financing of many of the world’s most significant energy projects, having worked on more than 90 projects in over 20 countries. His power experience includes conventional (coal- and gas-fired), renewable (biofuels, biomass, cogeneration, geothermal, solar, and wind), and nuclear facilities, including representation of Bechtel and GE in the successful restructuring of the $3 billion Dabhol power project in India. His substantial oil and gas experience includes upstream, midstream and downstream work (including LNG). Mr. Nelson has also worked on a number of projects involving the chemical, mining, water, transportation and telecommunications industries.

An appointed member of the Council on Foreign Relations, he also serves on the Board of Directors of the US-India Business Council and the US-Indian task force on trade and investment matters, and chaired the International Bar Association’s Project Finance Subcommittee from 2010-2013. His legal experience is recognized in Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading Energy and Natural Resources Lawyers and in its Guide to the World’s Leading Project Finance Lawyers, as well as in Chambers Global and the International Who’s Who of Construction Lawyers, Project Finance Lawyers, and Business Lawyers. Mr. Nelson was named in Best of the Best USA as one of the top 25 project finance practitioners in the country.

New York-based Americas Project Development & Finance leader Gregory Tan said, “We have a market-leading project development and finance team, and Bob is a natural fit with us in terms of the clients he covers and the global nature of his practice. The expansion of our team with Bob will allow for deeper and more complete coverage and service to our and Bob’s existing clients and for us to pursue even more opportunities. In addition, Bob’s work on behalf of key common clients also creates substantial synergies.”

“A culture of excellence and teamwork marked the firm when I worked in its San Francisco office in the 1990s, and that same culture prevails today,” Mr. Nelson said. “There are tremendous opportunities to grow our practice in the US—including on the West Coast, which serves as a natural bridge to Asia—and to capitalize on the firm’s tremendous platform to serve even more multinational clients on a global basis.”

Anthony Patten 
Mr. Patten’s practice has focused on corporate and project development work in the energy industry, with emphasis on oil and gas. His work has included projects across Europe, North America, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Australia, and his clients have included international and national oil and gas companies, trading houses, utilities, and independents, particularly in Japan, Korea, China and Southeast Asia. Acknowledged as a leading oil and gas lawyer in Chambers UK, Legal 500, and Who’s Who Legal, he is also a member of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators, the Australian Petroleum Producers and Explorers Association, and the Australian Mining and Petroleum Lawyers Association.

Mr. Patten’s election follows Project Development & Finance partner Ben Shorten’s recent move from London to Singapore, which has also bolstered the firm’s capabilities in the energy sector. Singapore-based global Project Development & Finance leader Bill McCormack said, “Anthony’s arrival strengthens what is already a market-leading project development practice. His skills are the perfect complement to our existing capabilities in Asia and will enhance our global oil and gas industry offering.”

“I am very excited about this move to Shearman & Sterling,” Mr. Patten added, “and look forward to introducing my clients to my new partners and my new firm.”