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Allen & Overy (A&O) has overtaken Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer to take prime position as the number one adviser on global project finance deals.
A&O advised on 16 projects worth just under $10.5bn (£7.38bn) in deals closing between 1 January and 30 June, according to a survey by Dealogic Capital Data ProjectWare. Freshfields, however, advised on only nine deals, worth nearly $4.7bn (£3.3bn), and while Clifford Chance advised on 23 deals, they were worth only $4bn (£2.8bn). Latham & Watkins was the only US firm to come in the top five, with six deals worth more than $5bn (£3.5bn). A&O advised the lenders on the four largest project finance deals in the first half of the year. The most lucrative deals were those in the telecoms sector. The biggest, at $8.4bn (£5.9bn), was E-Plus; that was followed by Hutchison 3G, worth $5.2bn (£3.65bn) and Wind Telecomunicazioni at $4.7bn (£3.3bn). Other projects signed include the Chad-Cameroon $3.7bn (£2.6bn) oil pipeline and Venezuela's $3.5bn (£2.46bn) Hamaca Oilfield project. Freshfields projects partner Andrew Bonser said he was unconcerned that Freshfields had been toppled from its perch. "We continue to hold our position as one of the top firms," he said. "At one stage we were at the top, but for these six months we're not. The results will depend on when the survey is done." Since February, A&O has expanded its Hong Kong projects team after hiring Andrew Trahair from Australian firm Clayton Utz, where he headed the finance practice. Linklaters & Alliance, which came second in the table, with projects worth $6.6bn (£4.64), recently moved London-based PFI partner James Douglass to Hong Kong.