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Juan-José Zentner


Juan-José has experience in the development and financing of major infrastructure projects.



Juan-José specializes in all forms of design and construct contracts (including FEED, ECI, EPCM, Managing Contractor, D&C, EPC), off-take agreements and other project documentation. He has worked extensively in Australia and in Latin America, including in Chile, Argentina, Peru, Colombia and Brazil. Juan-José has also had extensive experience in project finance, corporate finance, structured finance and infrastructure acquisitions.

Juan-José has recent and ongoing experience advising:

  • a Multilateral Development Bank on the financing of a Desalination Plant (current)
  • the Victorian Government on an array of rail projects including the New Generation Trams Project (current), Melbourne Metro Project, Regional Rail Link, Wodonga Rail Bypass Project and numerous others
  • Hecate Grid on the Johanna Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) in Santa Ana, California
  • Mantos Copper in relation to the procurement of major infrastructure for the Mantoverde Development Project and Mantos Blancos Debottlenecking Project, in Chile
  • BHP in relation to the procurement of major infrastructure for the Spence Mine Expansion including with respect to a Concentrator Plant and Material Handling Facility, in Antofagasta, Chile



Juan-José has worked extensively in a number of sectors including transport, energy and resources and water. He prides himself on being pragmatic, user-friendly and commercially driven. This is borne out in the feedback that he has received from his clients in both Chambers and Legal 500 (from 2017 until 2022), who describe him in the following manner:

  • "He approaches problems from a very commercial perspective and is incredibly strategic"
  • "ability to understand the commercial side of a deal"
  • "practical and results-driven"
  • "insightful thinker commended for his deep understanding of his clients' businesses and culture"
  • "excellent commercial knowledge and skills"
  • "'his delivery stands out due to his proactive style"
  • "he is a real master at EPC contracts"

Juan-José’s is ranked in the area of Project Finance – Latin America – International Counsel (previously Energy & Natural Resources) by Chambers Latin America 2017 – 2022 and in the Projects and Energy and Corporate and M&A categories by Legal 500 Latin America 2018-2022.

Juan-José is admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Victoria and the High Court of Australia, as well as being admitted to the New York Bar. Juan-José holds a Bachelor degrees in Arts (majoring in History) and Law (Honours) from the University of Melbourne, and has completed a Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance and Investment from the Securities Institute of Australia (Corporate Finance stream).

He previously worked in the New York office of Herbert Smith Freehills where he established and led the projects practice from 2016 until 2020.

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