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Major projects

Breaking new ground in major projects.

Integrated and foresighted risk management along the full lifecycle of major projects.

Major projects are more complex – and challenging – than ever before. Volumes are rising, developments are moving into riskier territories, the economic crisis continues to shape the funding landscape and global regulation is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate. Whatever your project, wherever it is, you’ll need a legal partner to help you manage your risks and realise your strategic ambitions. 

Freshfields advises at every stage of the project lifecycle in sectors from energy to airports, and road to rail. While our experience is varied, our clients turn to us for the same reason – because we solve their most complex problems in any country. We are able to build global teams with unique combinations of skills in everything from antitrust to project finance, M&A to international arbitration and sanctions to tax.

Our delivery partner model

At the beginning of your project we’ll clarify the framework and assess the risks so you start from a solid foundation.

We will:

  • help structure your project to deliver maximum investment protection and the most advantageous tax position.
  • use our contacts to assess future regulatory issues;
  • support you through the funding and procurement process; and
  • help you draft and negotiate all contracts from commissioning soil analysis and environmental assessments to the creation of design concepts (FEED).

Once the investment decision has been made, we’ll put together a robust and practical contracts package that will mitigate the risk of your schedule and budget later running out of control.

We will:

  • create advantageous structures from an investment, tax and corporate law perspective;
  • help secure your intellectual property rights;
  • guide you through the web of national and international regulation;
  • protect your interests as risks are distributed during the tendering and negotiation process;
  • advise you post-tender should disappointed bidders make claims that put your schedule at risk; and
  • advise you how to conduct yourself to keep your transaction options open.

We often break new ground with our advice and have experience assessing political, economic, fiscal and legal complications. This means you get tested contract structures that establish legal certainty – a significant advantage, particularly with new projects.

We’ll help keep your project on track and overcome any regulatory hurdles, respond to project changes through consistent contract management, develop clear answers to disruptions and crises and defuse conflicts before they escalate out of control.

We will:

  • prepare permit applications and processes and advance quickly in the face of opposition;
  • adapt contracts to changing conditions without compromising their balance or conflicting with public procurement law;
  • help you assert your rights against contractors early, giving you the best possible position for subsequent disputes;
  • negotiate strategically and successfully if conflicts escalate; and
  • put your rights in negotiations and alternative dispute resolution procedures – or before courts and arbitration – without losing sight of your strategic objectives.

We have the skill to handle complex issues efficiently. Our disputes experience means we understand how seemingly unimportant elements of correspondence and documentation can later become critical evidence.

Once your project is complete and the asset is operating, we’ll help you exploit its economic potential.

We will:

  • help you place project bonds in the capital markets or involve other partners through joint ventures or share sales; 
  • protect your interests in any contracts to modernise or renovate the asset; 
  • help you exit early by selling your shares or terminating contractual relationships; 
  • protect your rights in conflicts and achieve robust reference solutions with your business partners; 
  • represent you to secure short-term provisional rights, and ensure you receive the amounts due if your assets are expropriated; and 
  • accompany you through the decommissioning of the project and prevent liability or responsibility wherever possible.