Victoria Westcott | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice

Victoria Westcott

Partner, Paris

T +33 1 55 04 15 23

T +33 1 55 04 15 15

E vwestcott@whitecase.com

“‘Victoria Westcott is noted for her expertise in matters in connection with infrastructure and energy projects’ and ‘…is praised for her expertise in transport law-related asset financing matters.’”

Chambers Europe 2014

Overview

Victoria Westcott, dual qualified to practice under English law and French law, focuses on project finance, asset finance and export finance.

Handling deals from West Africa to Turkey as well as throughout Eastern and Western Europe, Victoria offers her clients particular understanding of transportation and social infrastructure project finance, as well as energy sector finance.

She is regularly ranked among the leading lawyers in Project Finance by directories such as Chambers where she is praised in 2015 for her "dynamism and deal-making spirit," and the fact that she is "overseeing the work and very much involved in the delivery of the job."

Project financing, particularly complex cross-border deals, often involve multiple parties including multilateral financing institutions and commercial banks as well as industrial and financial investors, and Victoria is adept at keeping projects moving and ensuring smooth progress along the way.

Her asset finance work involves leasing transactions, financing and tax-driven structures, secured and unsecured syndicated lending and export credit financing and covers aircraft, shipping finance, satellites, equipment and other large assets.

Clients value her broad experience handling leasing transactions, financing and tax-driven structures, secured and unsecured syndicated lending, PPP and concession based financing and export credit financing.

Bars and Courts

  • Solicitor of England and Wales
  • Avocat au Barreau de Paris

Education

  • LLM, European Legal Studies
  • Law Society Finals
  • LLB Law

Languages

  • English
  • French

Experience

Asset Finance:
Refinancing of a vessel fleet, 2015

Victoria represented Société Générale and HSBC France in an €86 million vessel refinancing for Alda Marine, a subsidiary of Alcatel Lucent Submarines.

Export Credit Financing for RCCL, 2013 – 2014

Victoria represented BTMU, Santander and KfW in the Coface-supported US$ financing of Royal Caribbean's purchase of an Oasis-class passenger cruise vessel being manufactured by STX France. This US$ financing takes the place of the cancelled portion of the € facility that we closed in July 2013 on behalf of Société Générale, HSBC France, BNP Paribas and Natixis, which has been amended to accommodate the new US$ facility.

Refinancing of a Fleet of 17 Helicopters, 2014

Victoria represented Société Générale in the refinancing of a fleet of 17 helicopters for Norwegian company Blueway A.S. The refinancing was implemented in conjunction with the acquisition of Blueway by Belgian group NHV.

Export Credit Financing for Thai Airways, 2014

Victoria represented Société Générale and La Banque Postale in connection with the export credit supported financing of one Airbus A380 aircraft for Thai Airways.

Italian Tax Lease, 2014

Victoria represented Société Générale in connection with the ECA-supported financing under an Italian tax lease structure of two airbus aircraft for Turkish Airlines.

Cruise Vessel refinancing, 2013

Victoria represented Société Générale and the BRED as arrangers, tax investors and lenders in the refinancing of a cruise vessel for luxury French cruise operator Compagnie du Ponant.

Project Finance:
Adana hospital in Turkey, 2014-2015

Victoria represented the lenders, including international financial institutions International Finance Corporation, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, DEG, Proparco and Korea Development Bank, and a syndicate of commercial banks including BBVA, SMBC, HSBC, Siemens Bank and Deutsche Bank, on the €550 million financing of an integrated healthcare campus public-private partnership (PPP) in Adana, Turkey, which transaction was awarded "European PPP Deal of the Year" by IJGlobal 2015, "Best PPP Deal of the Year" and "Best social development Deal of the Year" by EMEA Finance 2015.

Olympique Lyonnais, 2013

Victoria advised Olympique Lyonnais, the French association football club, on the debt financing and bond financing (with regard to the second and third bond issues) as well as on the O&M aspects for the development and the construction of new stadium, Stade de Lyon and related training facilities, near Lyon in France.

Oil and gas platform expansion project, Ivory Coast, 2013

Victoria advised a French sponsor in connection with the project financing of the construction of a new oil and gas platform to expand its existing operations in the Ivory Coast, including the implementation of MIGA coverage and a Partial Risk Guarantee from the World Bank. She also advised the same sponsor regarding the acquisition and financing of its joint venture partner's interest in the project.

Henri Konan Bédié toll bridge project, Ivory Coast, 2012

Victoria advised the group of lenders, including AfDB, FMO, BOAD, BIDC, BMCE Bank and AFC, for the financing, design, construction and operation of the Riviera–Marcory toll bridge in Abidjan, under a concession scheme. A Bouygues-led consortium was the successful bidder for the 30-year concession in 1995, but the financing never closed due to political events. At that time, White & Case LLP represented other lenders, including IFC and Proparco. The project finance structure was amended when the project resumed in 2008. This transaction was awarded "African Transport Deal of the Year" by Project Finance magazine 2012.

Financing a new tolling system, "Ecotaxe", 2011 – 2014

Victoria advised a group of six commercial banks providing finance to the consortium composed of Atlantia (Autostrade per l'Italia) and six of its partners in the PPP project for the design, construction, financing and operation of a new tolling system, "Ecotaxe", for heavy load vehicles using the French national road network. This transaction was awarded "PPP Deal of the Year" by Project Finance International 2011 and "Technology Deal of the Year" by Project Finance magazine 2011.

Speaking Engagements

"Greenfield Risk: How can investors and governments mitigate and fairly apportion liability for vital infrastructure build?", October 7th, 2014: European Infrastructure Finance Summit 2014,
Paris
, (panel chair)

Publications

  • Coface, les Financements aériens, French Banking and Finance Law Revue, December 2010
  • A Framework for Slovak Roads, Project Finance International, September 2008
  • An Uncertain Environment, the effects of the entry into force of Hungary's Electricity Act 2001 implementing the European Electricity Directives and the liberalization of the Hungarian electricity sector, Energy International, February 2003

Awards & Recognition

Leading Lawyer: Projects: International Projects - France, Chambers Europe 2015

Leading Lawyer: Projects: International Projects - France, Chambers Global 2015

Projects & Energy - Central & Eastern Europe, Chambers Global 2015

Leading Lawyer: Asset Finance: Shipping - France, Chambers Europe 2015

Leading Lawyer: Asset Finance: Aviation Finance - France, Chambers Europe 2015