European finance deal of the year
Arthur Cox impressed the judges with its ‘innovative legal approach’ to the landmark issuance of Ireland’s first sovereign green bond, a politically important project which broke new ground in the sector. The bond will finance projects that address climate change mitigation and adaptation, clean water and wastewater treatment, counter natural resources depletion and loss of biodiversity, and reduce air pollution. As no sovereign green bond had been issued by Ireland before and market norms for green bonds generally are still developing, the Arthur Cox team worked closely with the dealers and the NTMA (National Treasury Management Agency) to break new ground on documenting sovereign green bonds in Ireland with limited market precedent. In addition, the transaction was done under the time window of closing within five days of pricing of the bonds, providing an additional complexity.
The judges praised the ‘highly innovative’ approach showed by the firm, noting that it was an ‘important market development with deep regulatory aspects’.
Highly commended: AEQUO
The judges commended AEQUO’s work on the auction of the portfolio sale of non-performing loans by the Ukrainian Deposit Guarantee Fund, which involved drafting new regulations to allow foreign investors into the market. They said: ‘Creating a legal structure to allow for the sale of NPL in a jurisdiction where access to international capital is required but difficult to come by, is a real achievement that deserves recognition.’
SchalastWatson Farley & Williams