MALLESONS STEPHEN JAQUES has almost doubled the total project amount achieved by its closest competitor in project finance in the first part of this year, according to recently released tables.
The firm gained top honours in the recently released Dealogic project finance tables, placed number one in both the Asia Pacific and Australasian tables with 14 per cent of the market share, while it was ranked eighth globally. Freehills was the closest competitor in both the Asia Pacific and Australasian tables, with 8 per cent of market share.
Much of the work in the first three quarters of this year has come from offshore, Mallesons partner Tony Holland told Lawyers Weekly. The firm is very keen to build on this type of work. “We are getting a lot of interest in China for energy and resources-related work. Renewable energy is really developing and we are spending a lot of time and a lot of effort on renewable energy. There is huge scope with capacity requirements in China. Renewable energy is going to be an important industry in that region,” Holland said.
But he also attributed this year’s success to the strong practices, particularly in Melbourne and Sydney. “We’ve got four or five partners in each centre doing primarily project finance work, as well as another partner in Perth doing project finance. So we’re getting a good volume of work coming through and it’s varied. It ranges across not just energy but into resources and PPPs [public-private partnerships]. It’s good variety and everyone’s pretty busy,” he said.
PPPs have provided the firm with a good flow of work over the past nine months, Holland said, which it expects will continue well into the new year. This work will become increasingly focused on social infrastructure, “more in the way of hospitals and schools”, he said.
“New South Wales is doing a schools program PPP at the moment. And Victoria has already done one hospital this year and there are rumours that they are considering others going forward. I think it’s going to be more in the area of social infrastructure, and the other states will look to do similar things.”
As well, NSW is currently undertaking a hospital project and school project. Holland sees such work as bringing in further opportunity for the firm. “I think the governments can see how they can overcome the problems they face in terms of their capital expenditure requirements for the social infrastructure,” he said.
“I think the PPP flow will continue. It will probably go in waves, to some extent, but I think there will be continuing opportunity and development in energy… The international market will also continue to develop. So I think it is going to continue to be an exciting time in years ahead.”
The firm now has strong experience that it has built up over the years, said Holland. It is this experience and “getting deals done” that sees the firm’s success in the area, he said. “We recognise the issues, the documentation and the complexity of some of the deals, and working through them and getting the desired results for the clients.
“We work as a national team and that works well with clients. We’ve been able to mix and get the teams right. We have been able to get the right teams working together. Particularly with technology, you no longer need to be in the city where the deal is being done or run out of. Technology has really revolutionised the way we run our practice at the moment,” he said.
In Australasia, Mallesons topped the tables with 21 deals worth US$2,573 ($3,396) million. Freehills followed with 18 deals worth US$1,480 ($1,953) million and Allens Arthur Robinson, with 21 deals worth US$1,416 ($1,868) million.