Ashurst is set to launch a New York project finance practice as the firm targets the burgeoning US infrastructure market.
Details of the move are still under discussion, but it will mark the first strategic growth of the City firm’s US practice since it launched two years ago with a 10-partner structured finance team from McKee Nelson.
Initial plans would see one partner relocate from the London PPP group along with a small team of associates.
Global energy, transport and infrastructure head Mark Elsey said the move would add commercial knowledge of PPP and project finance to the current US capability.
“It won’t be a million miles away from what we’re already doing, but they’ll have the commercial expertise,” said Elsey. “Our US team’s done a lot of work in the infrastructure sector, but mainly municipal bonds. Now states are looking at different ways of financing projects. From our perspective it’s building on an existing transactional practice.”
The move will see Ashurst target sponsor clients on future infrastructure deals. The US practice has previously acted for lenders on project finance deals in the US.