WHILE ALMOST doubling the total project amount achieved by its closest competitor in project finance over the past six months, according to recently released tables, Mallesons Stephen Jaques is expecting a continued project finance boon in the remainder of the year.
The firm gained top honours in project finance rankings for the first half of the year in Dealogic’s analysis, released last week. Mallesons placed number one in both the Asia Pacific and Australasia, while it was ranked sixth globally.
The Australian market is doing well, said partner Peter Doyle. “The market is still active and we are currently very busy right across the project finance practice. We are starting to see a more consistent flow of PPPs [Public Private Partnerships] across all states in both traditional infrastructure such as toll roads and in social infrastructure, particularly hospitals and schools,” he said.
PPPs have provided the firm with “a great deal” of interesting work over the past six months, Melbourne partner Tony Holland told Lawyers Weekly. The work has been quite intensive as, despite expectations, they can take longer to get through to financial close. Holland said the work over the past six months had been exciting and interesting.
There will be a good flow of work over the next six months, as well, said Holland. More projects are coming forward, which “will be good for the whole profession, and Mallesons”.
As more and more states now look to build on PPPs, there is increasing work in the area, said Holland. “Victoria was the leader and instigator but now we are seeing New South Wales doing more,” he said. “Each of the states and territories are doing it themselves, and even the federal government has embarked on it with its defence project.”
According to Holland, each of the states are conducting PPPs their own way, “so it’s not as though there is one blueprint for PPP work”. Holland acknowledged that this can cause some difficulties for financiers and sponsors, and argued it would be good for the whole industry to have consistency across the basic principles and approaches. “This would give people more comfort,” he said.
In Australasia, Mallesons topped competitor Clayton Utz Barristers & Solicitors, with a total project amount worth US$1,798 ($2,398) million,holding almost 26 per cent of the total share. Clayton Utz followed with US$1,196 ($1,596) million and Allens Arthur Robinson came in third with US$1,133 ($1,512) million.
In the Asia-Pacific tables, Mallesons nearly doubled the total project amounts achieved by other legal advisers, with 15 deals worth US$2,174 ($2,901) million. Baker & McKenzie completed four deals worth US$1,271 ($1,696) million and Clayton Utz completed six deals worth US$1,196 ($1,596) million.