Morrison & Foerster adds leading project finance partner Jeffrey Chester in LA

Morrison & Foerster announced that Jeffrey A. Chester, a well-known and highly respected project finance and renewable energy lawyer, has joined the firm as a partner in Los Angeles.

Chester advises on global capital-raising transactions for the renewable and alternative energy space. He has closed more than 50 wind power and two dozen solar power project financings, including a 1,550-MW power purchase agreement by Southern California Edison, the largest wind-power purchase agreement in history.

Chester represents stakeholders across the renewables sector, including developers, equity sponsors, large institutional lenders and other investors. He advises on debt and equity offerings, tax considerations, strategic joint ventures and M&A, including cross-border acquisitions. He is also known for leading Infocast’s Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit, one of the industry’s foremost annual conferences for wind power developers, investors and suppliers. 

Chester counsels clients on all sides of complex energy transactions including IPOs, leveraged buyouts, structured finance and credit enhancements, and commercial paper, medium-term note and Eurobond offerings. Some of his most noteworthy matters include representing:

  • Multiple developers in their project and tax equity financings raising more than $1 billion over the past 24 months
  • A leading U.S. developer in the procurement and PTC safe harboring of 950 MW of wind turbines for delivery through 2015 together with its project acquisitions to fill the pipeline
  • An Australian fund in the sale of a 3,100-MW project to a private equity fund
  • The U.S. subsidiary of a major European utility in the purchase of a 4,000-MW development pipeline
  • A Canadian pension fund in its $500 million investment in a 1,500-MW wind farm portfolio owned by the largest wind power company in North America
  • A Korean multinational in development and financing of solar power projects in the U.S.
  • A developer in the negotiation and structuring of equity commitments from a large Wall Street investment bank

“It’s evident why Jeff’s peers have called him one of the best transactional lawyers in the renewable energy space,” said Michael Graffagna, head of Morrison & Foerster’s Project Finance and Development practice. “He has established himself as a top-tier deal lawyer in an area that continues to grow in importance globally. And he’s capable of handling every aspect of energy finance and M&A for the most important financial players. Jeff is a key addition as we continue to grow our project finance and development capabilities.”

Chester joins Morrison & Foerster from Kaye Scholer in Los Angeles, where he was a partner. Joining the firm with Chester are of counsel Elizabeth C. Sluder, whose practice includes  finance, fund formation, private equity and general corporate advice, and associate Julia R. Schiesel, whose practice includes corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions. A frequent writer and speaker on renewable energy issues, Chester earned his J.D. from the University of  Pennsylvania School of Law, cum laude, where he was editor of the Law Review, and a bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University. He is acclaimed in Chambers USA as “one of the top deal makers in California” and “a celebrated expert in renewable M&A.”

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