Energy & Infrastructure Sector

Recognized Global Strengths

Energy and infrastructure are the foundation of the global economy and an exciting space for innovation and transformation. That’s why we have defined a strategic commitment to covering the full breadth of evolving energy and infrastructure markets worldwide.

At the intersection of Orrick’s core sector strengths, Energy, Technology and Finance, we advise oil and gas majors, renewable energy companies, investors and technology companies on the frontline of emerging cleaner technologies. From innovations in renewable and conventional energy and critical infrastructure developments to carbon capture and battery storage technology, we are involved in all aspects of energy and infrastructure transformations and advancements.

As a 7-time Project Finance Firm of the Year (Law360) and Band 1 recognized firm for US PPP and Renewables (Chambers) and Tier 1 firm for U.S. Renewable Energy and Energy in France and Italy as well as Tier 2 for Oil & Gas and Power in the UK (Legal 500), we bring deep sector knowledge and creativity to help clients drive change, lead infrastructure modernization, utilize and develop new energy technologies, and implement energy transition plans..

We offer particular strengths in project development and finance, complex mergers, acquisitions and dispositions of assets and portfolio of assets, private equity investments, restructurings, litigation, international arbitration and dispute resolution. Our integrated team of specialists assists clients in navigating regulatory and compliance, real estate and environmental and permitting issues.

Worldwide Coverage

We have built our practice strategically in global energy hubs with teams based in Houston, New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., London, Milan, Paris, and Tokyo.

Our experience goes far beyond these hubs and spans 95 countries and all 50 U.S. states, including groundbreaking projects across Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia. We serve the Latin America market, where we have experience in oil and gas, power and renewables projects throughout the region. In Africa, we are advising on innovative sustainability projects that power underserved or energy remote communities. And we serve Asia from Tokyo, where we advise the leading participants in the pan-Asian infrastructure/PPP, energy, renewables, including offshore wind, and oil and gas markets.

Comprehensive Solutions for the E&I Sector

Our work for the Energy & Infrastructure sector goes well beyond project development, finance and M&A. We combine sector knowledge across multiple disciplines to help our clients navigate whatever opportunities and risks may come their way.

  • Antitrust and Competition – Our lawyers are on the ground in key jurisdictions throughout the United States, Europe and Asia to help E&I clients avoid regulatory challenges in a global environment. We regularly appear before international competition agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the European Commission and national agencies, such as the Competition and Markets Authority (UK), the Bundeskartellamt (Germany) and the Conseil de la Concurrence (France).
  • Commodities Trading and Disputes – We support the full range of commodities and trading in the energy, metals, mineral and agricultural sectors throughout Europe and Africa from our offices in London and Geneva. Our teams focus on everything from general and structured trading to regulatory, covering both financial and energy regulation. We advise on M&A issues related to structured commodity and commodity trading portfolio transfers, as well as acting in relation to commodity-backed finance arrangements. We also represent trading clients in all major courts and arbitral institutions (including ICC, LCIA, SIAC, AAA, SCC, Swiss Rules, ICSID, LME, LMAA, GAFTA, and FOSFA).
  • Cyber, Privacy and Data Innovation – From managing complex global privacy and data protection advisory matters to responding effectively to litigation and regulatory investigations stemming from security incidents and alleged privacy violations, Orrick is a leader in helping clients navigate the increasingly complex legal landscape surrounding privacy and cybersecurity. We collaborate with companies to proactively address global privacy requirements and reduce security risk, including for leading electric utility, oil and gas and infrastructure companies. We have partnered with clients to respond to nation-state attacks with national security implications, enterprise-wide network intrusions, malicious and negligent insiders, business email compromise scams and ransomware attacks.
  • Energy Regulation – We advocate for our clients before regulators worldwide. In the United States, some of our Regulatory practitioners previously served at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and continue to represent clients in front of FERC and on state regulatory matters across the country. Our London team provides regulatory advice in the UK and throughout the EU, while our teams in Paris and London advise on regulatory issues throughout Africa. Our Tokyo team provides counsel to Japan’s METI on its renewable energy framework as well as regulatory support to clients throughout Asia. We also have a dedicated team focused on natural gas and LNG regulatory work globally.
  • Energy Technology – Our Tech Companies team has counseled some of the most successful venture-backed energy and clean tech companies in markets worldwide, in everything from their formation and financing to protecting their innovations. We act for leading venture capital firms and the venture arms of major energy companies, and we help energy clients with technology licensing, including drafting complex commercial agreements, license arrangements involving rights allocations and product launches.
  • Environmental and Related Permitting – Our lawyers have worked on environmental issues around the globe and are very familiar with international standards such as the Equator Principles, International Finance Corporation Environmental, Health, and Safety General Guidelines and International Finance Corporation Industry Sector Guidelines. In the United States, our environmental team advises clients on all aspects of environmental and related permitting issues, including in the context of project finance, M&A, public-private partnerships, project development, project operation, bond offerings and litigation. Our lawyers have a deep understanding of the environmental issues that arise in connection with energy and infrastructure investments and translate that experience into practical and market-savvy advice.
  • Intellectual Property –The most innovative companies in the world call on us to protect their intellectual property and defend their brands. We’ve won some of the highest-impact IP cases of recent years, at trial and on appeal. Our lawyers have experience across the energy sectors representing licensors, licensees, developers, investors, sellers and purchasers of new and existing technology, vendors and buyers of content, and both large and emerging technology companies.
  • International Trade and Compliance – Our team is known for steering multinational companies through complex, sensitive challenges regarding international trade and investment. Whether advising global financial institutions on how to comply with U.S. and EU economic sanctions against Russia or securing Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) national security clearance in one of the few cases that has gone to the President for a decision, our clients rely on the experience of our dedicated team. We lead internal investigations and compliance reviews, advise on voluntary self-disclosures and, when enforcement actions arise, defend against such actions and negotiate favorable settlements with the authorities.
  • Labor and Employment – Whether the law at issue is novel or established, or whether the matter is intensified by media attention or demands a discrete resolution, our team is known for winning landmark, high-stakes decisions that shape the legal and business landscape. Our first-chair trial lawyers handle complex and challenging cases concerning claims for discrimination, pay equity, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, breach of contract and fraud. Additionally, Orrick’s Compensation & Benefits group is a destination practice for public companies across a wide range of industries. We are a “one-stop shop” committed to long-term strategic relationships with our clients.
  • Litigation and International Arbitration – Our litigators have achieved outstanding results for companies operating in the Energy & Infrastructure sector in some of their most complex, high-stakes business disputes. We have secured landmark victories in breach of contract, consumer class action, trade secrets, unfair competition and false advertising cases, among others. We’ve had major wins for oil, gas and energy companies before public utility commissions, in consumer protection lawsuits, and in commercial disputes. Our International Arbitration team represents major players in the oil, gas and power industries – including governments, multinationals and investors—in arbitrations governed by the rules of ICSID, ICC and UNCITRAL, among others, in both English and French.
  • Public Finance – As the dominant firm in the U.S. municipal finance and infrastructure markets, we bring a distinctive skill set to infrastructure transactions with a public finance component. We are thoroughly experienced with every type of bond and financing technique, including municipal bonds, notes and other obligations. And we have a premier group of lawyers experienced in the tax aspects of municipal bonds and other private bond offerings, such as 501(c)(3) tax- exempt financings, availability payments and private activity bonds (PABs). Our lawyers also bring extensive experience with Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) and tax-exempt bond financings in P3 projects.
  • Restructuring – We represent creditors, debtors, committees, lenders and other related parties in traditional and non-traditional energy-related bankruptcies and workouts. We understand the distinct restructuring challenges facing each of the parties and how to maximize the strategic outcome for bankruptcies. We have particular experience with international workouts and bankruptcies involving assets in multiple jurisdictions across the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia, and can guide clients through complex distressed situations with bespoke strategies and commercial outcomes.
  • Tax – Proficient tax advice is a necessity in the energy and infrastructure space, especially in dealing with cross-border transactions. And it is even more critical in financing renewable energy projects, such as solar and wind projects, in the United States, where tax equity financing is the name of the game to support new power generation. Our tax lawyers are nationally and internationally recognized for their work in this sector, both driving deals and providing leading advice on new structures, including CCUS and hydrogen and other cleantech tax incentives. We have closed scores of tax equity fundings in the United States in recent years, involving many billions of dollars of new, clean energy generation.
  • White Collar, Investigations, Securities Litigation and Compliance – Our team advises multinational companies throughout the world in investigations, defense in front of regulators and in anti-bribery and FCPA compliance related issues in the energy sector. We have led multiple investigations involving subsidiaries of U.S. companies in Latin America relating to accusations of fraud and FCPA violations. Our practice also includes best-in-class experience with DOJ- and SEC-imposed corporate compliance monitorships.
  • Groundbreaking Projects Worldwide

    Clients call on our teams for projects that are distinctive in approach or scope – projects that require a proven ability to innovate. Recent work highlights around the globe include:

    • one of the largest portfolio tax equity transactions involving 2.3 GW of wind and solar projects.
    • the 161 MW Wildorado and 238 MW Elbow Creek wind repowering projects (IJGlobal’s 2019 North American Wind Deal of the Year).
    • the first-ever financing of a photovoltaic plant not supported by state subsidies in Italy that, once constructed, will be the biggest solar plant in Italy.
    • a joint venture agreement between a renewable energy company and a Japanese energy service conglomerate for the development of three projects, the 480 MW Tsugaru Offshore Wind Power project, the 70MW Fukaura Wind Power project and the 100 MW Inaniwa Takko Wind Power project in Iwate Prefecture.
    • the renegotiation of power prices on behalf of the French government for energy produced by six wind offshore farms currently under development off France’s west coast. The wind farms represent a combined investment of more than €10 billion with a global production capacity of 3 GW.
    • lease negotiations with terminal developers in the US$7.4 billion redevelopment and expansion of John F. Kennedy International Airport’s Terminal One.
    • the US$1.25 billion sale of the U.S. district energy assets of an international utility company to a private equity firm.
    • the commercialization of a technology to capture CO2 from the air and permanently sequester it underground.
    • the first rated securitization of oil & gas wellbore interests, issued by an independent oil & gas exploration company, which established this distinct, new asset class for securitization transactions.
    • the US$965 million acquisition of an additional 22.45% stake in the Caesar Tonga oil field (offshore Mexico).
    • acquisition and financing of the Mankato Energy Center, a 720 MW natural gas-fired power plant located in Mankato, MN.
    • the €125 million development and financing of the Kékéli Efficient Power tri-fuel power plant in Lomé, Togo.