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William Breeze

Partner

William advises on natural resources projects and structured commodity trade finance transactions.

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Experience

William heads the firm's finance energy, natural resources and infrastructure finance team in London and a focus on energy matters. He has advised lenders and offtakers on the largest structured commodity trade finance transactions in recent years, working on the structuring and execution of such financings. William's execution speed and structural expertise are especially valued by clients.

Based in London, William works with clients around the globe. William is a recommended individual in Legal 500 2013-2023 inclusive which refers to him as having "excellent legal knowledge and anticipates the commercial issues which may arise" and "a first-choice lawyer for ESG issues in the mining finance and renewables sectors " and is "highly regarded" by IFLR 1000 2018-2022 for banking, project finance and trade finance and in energy and oil & gas.

William specialises in energy finance work, with a particular focus on extractives and commodity matters, ranging from natural resources project finance to structured commodity finance expertise. He also advises on power and infrastructure finance, as well as general bank debt work. His clients include sponsors, trading houses, project developers, lenders, export credit agencies and multilateral agencies.

William works especially closely with traders and lenders on structured commodity trade finance transactions, assisting clients on the structuring and execution of such financings. He also has considerable experience in project finance, reserve-based lending and upstream finance more widely.

William is a key member of our market-leading team considered as the 'platinum' standard in the energy, natural resources and infrastructure sectors for providing top quality service to clients. Our sector specialists deliver expert support on some of the most complex energy transition and decarbonisation projects (including CCUS), renewables and power projects, world-class mining projects, large-scale oil and gas projects and first-of-a-kind infrastructure projects. We continue to support our clients, and have done over many years, in navigating the systemic shift in interest in green and sustainable financing.

William's experience includes advising:

  • ABSA Bank Limited, African Export-Import Bank and Standard Chartered PLC and the other senior lenders on the provision of secured term loan and revolving credit facilities to Heirs Holdings Limited to finance the acquisition of a participating interest in OML 17 in Nigeria (African Deal of the Year, PFI Awards 2021: Heirs Holdings acquisition of a 45% stake in OML 17)
  • Petrobras Oil & Gas on an up to $1.4 billion RBL and its refinancing and upsizing to $2 billion 
  • BNP Paribas and the other lenders on a US$1.65 billion reserve-based loan to Ithaca Energy (UK) Limited to finance the acquisition of Chevron's North Sea assets and on a subsequent US$1.225 billion reserve-based loan to refinance its existing reserve-based loan
  • MUFG, Vitol  and the other lenders on a US$1 billion prepayment financing (and the subsequent upsizing of the facility by US$1 billion) to KMG Kashagan, based on flows from the Kashagan mega-field (Energy Finance Deal of the Year – TXF Perfect 10 Awards 2018
  • the lenders on a US$1 billion hybrid pre-export financing to Oman Oil Company Exploration & Production LLC (OOCEP) (Middle Eastern Commodities Finance Deal of the Year – TXF Perfect 10 Awards 2018)
  • BTMU, Vitol and the other lenders on a US$3 billion prepayment financing and the subsequent upsizing of the facility by US$1 billion to KazMunayGas, the Kazakh state oil and gas company (APAC Structured Trade – Oil & Gas Deal of the Year: Trade Finance Awards 2017 and European Structured Finance Deal of the Year – EMEA Finance Achievement Awards 2016)
  • Woodside Energy and its joint venture partners in relation to the development and project financing of the SNE Project, offshore Senegal
  • Intesa Sanpaolo and the other lenders on a US$4 billion PXF facility for Petroleum Development Oman (Trade & Export Finance Deal of the Year: Bonds, Loans and Sukuk Middle East 2016, EMEA Structured Trade – Oil & Gas Deal of the Year: Trade Finance Awards 2017 and Middle Eastern Commodities Finance Deal of the Year – TXF Perfect 10 Commodity Finance Awards 2016)

 

Background

William graduated from Oriel College, Oxford.

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