December update

Season’s greetings from all of us at Trinity! As we head into Trinity’s fourth year, we look back on a busy 2009 in which we closed a number of project finance transactions in Africa including the Lekki-Epe Expressway in Nigeria and the Olkaria III geothermal IPP and Rabai IPP, both in Kenya. Despite the global financial crisis, we witnessed positive and enthusiastic investor commitment to the development of Africa and other emerging markets.

As noted in a previous edition of Focus, our team has grown to reflect this continued interest in emerging markets and our recognition in the sector. We welcomed the addition of senior associate Kaushik Ray from Allen & Overy (London and Paris) with strong experience in project finance and Guy Jolly who has joined us from leading New Zealand firm Mayne Wetherell following a stint in Edinburgh to obtain his MSc in International Business & Emerging Markets.

Our top 5 highlights of the year:

  1. We are proud to have been appointed to represent the lenders to the 300MW Turkana wind project (currently the largest of its kind in Africa). We believe that this underlines our growing reputation in the renewable energy sector and African market. We now act for lenders and developers in solar, wind, bioenergy and geothermal projects across more than 15 emerging market jurisdictions.
  2. 2009 saw Trinity being formally recognised in the leading legal guide Chambers for its project finance expertise in Africa. Paul Biggs continues to be personally rated by Chambers as one of a very few leading practitioners in the highest rated division.
  3. The projects on which we advised won a total of 5 high-profile awards including Project Finance International (PFI) and Project Finance Magazine power deal of the year (Project Rabai in Kenya) and infrastructure deal of the year (for the Lekki toll road in Nigeria).
  4. We have sponsored a new Africa-focused publication, The Africa File: www.theafricafile.com.
  5. We have enjoyed positive media coverage including upcoming articles for the Financial Times’ Africa publication (www.thisisafricaonline.com) and Project Finance International (www.pfie.com).

2010 looks like being a busy year with even further increased activity for us in the renewables sector in Africa and Europe. We also look forward to understanding the implications of the Copenhagen summit and what that will mean for development in Africa and emerging markets generally. Early 2010 will also see the launch of an exciting new online publication that demonstrates Trinity being at the forefront of thought leadership in the African legal sector.

If you’d like any more information in relation to Trinity or any of the topics covered in Focus, contact details are above and on our website.

In this edition of Focus, Simon Norris looks at the findings of a new study ‘Africa’s Infrastructure: A Time for Transformation’ that considers the US$93 billion-per-year need for basic infrastructure investment within Africa. In Legalese, we consider the pros and cons of international arbitration in South Africa which we hope will interest those clients active in the country or dealing with South African counterparties.