Laurence Martinez-Bellet



T: +33 1 56 88 21 21
D: +33 1 76 40 15 65
M: +33 6 83 87 86 79


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Summary Open

Laurence joined the Paris office of Watson Farley & Williams in April 2005 as a Partner and heads its Finance department.

She has gained extensive experience after more than twenty years in the banking and finance sector. Laurence specialises in domestic and cross-border asset finance and projects. She regularly acts for banks, export credit agencies (ECAs), investment funds, project developers, shipowners and finance lessors.

With regard to asset finance, Laurence focuses on transactions involving mainly ships, aircraft and industrial equipment as well as tax leasing and ECA backed transactions.

Her project practice focuses on transactions in the energy (in particular, renewable energy) and infrastructure sectors. Her transactional experience includes project finance, acquisition finance and syndicated lending.

Experience Open

    • Advising the French bank BRED Banque Populaire on the financing of the legal restructuration of a portfolio of 34 solar plants owned by the project developer SUN’R SAS and with a total capacity of 5.6 MWin France and for an amount of EUR 23.4m.
    • Advising KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH on the legal and tax aspects regarding of the EUR 65 million financing of two French wind farms with a combined capacity of 45.6 MW and developed by power producer and operator Boralex Inc (Roye and Fortel).
    • Advising HSH Nordbank on the EUR 113 million financing of a portfolio of 11 solar plants “Energie Solaire Acquitaine” and “Energie Solaire Biscaya” based in France and comprising a total installation capacity of 108.1 MW developed by GP Joule PV GmbH & Co KG.
    • Advising the German bank HSH Nordbank AG on the EUR 177.7 million financing of the construction, development and operation of 12 solar power plants in France with a total output capability of 114.5 MW through 2014.
    • Advising the German bank HSH Nordbank AG on the EUR 212.7 million financing of the construction, development and operation of 12 solar power plants in France with a total output capability of 94.78 MW through 2012 and 2013.
    • Advising a French bank on a substantial loan restructuring with French container line company, CMA CGM (including change to the group covenants and partial refinancing of a facility for a total amount of €280 million).
    • London, Paris and New York offices advising Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (“RCL”), in connection with RCL’s contracting for the construction and purchase of a third mega-cruise vessel of its Oasis class at STX France S.A. in St Nazaire and, also, in connection with the obtaining of ECA-supported post-delivery financing of such vessel.The post-delivery financing, in the amount of EURM 892, was arranged by Société Générale, BNP Paribas and HSBC France and was guaranteed by COFACE.
    • London and Paris offices advising Natixis on the €32.5 million aggregate refinancing of two Greek flag passenger ferries by ANEK Lines S.A. by way of sale and charter back.

Education Open

  • 2001 – Admitted to the Paris Bar
  • 2000 – PhD (Doctorat) in Private Law with honors; University of Paris I – Sorbonne
  • 1993 – Master (DESS) in International Commercial Law; University of Paris I – Sorbonne
  • 1992 – LLM (Maîtrise) in Business and Private Law; University of Paris I – Sorbonne

Author/Speaker/Awards Open

  • “Investment in French renewable energy projects”, Magazine des Affaires, June 2018.
  • Speaker at workshop during “Energy for Smart Mobility” (the first European forum on innovative energy solutions for electric mobility) on 15 and 16 February 2018 on the theme of the status of charger activity and how it could be deployed.
  • Speaker at a conference organised by GreenUnivers and Business France on 14 November 2017 to discuss the financing of energy transition in Africa.
  • “Energy Transition : pace, first feedback and new prospectsʺ, (“Transition énergétique : accélération, premiers retours d’expérience et nouvelles perspectivesʺ), Magazine des Affaires, June 2017
  • ʺEnR : les outils de financement innovants (Renewable energy : innovative finance tools)ʺ (quoted), Green Univers, 11 June 2015.
  • ʺUne expertise sectorielle et multidisciplinaire au service des différents acteurs de la filière des énergies marines renouvelablesʺ (Multidisciplinary and sectoral knowhow serving the different players in the renewable marine energy industry) , La Jaune et la Rouge (monthly magazine of the École Polytechnique alumni association), June/July 2015.
  • “From a guaranteed feed-in tariff to a contract for difference: what risks and uncertainties?” («Du tarif d’achat garanti au complément de rémunération : quels risques et incertitudes ? »), Magazine des Affaires, no. 106, December 2015, pgs 28-29.
  • Speaker at a breakfast briefing on 26 November 2015 organised in conjunction with Green Cape Finance and 123Venture on the subject of mezzanine debt financing in the renewable energy sector.
  • Speaker at conference on theme of :What type of finance for renewable energy projects?” on 16 June 2015 organised by GreenUnivers and the French Renewable Energy Association (SER).
  • “Nouveaux risques à évaluer pour le financement des EnR”, Energie Plus, n° 544, pp. 24-25, 15 April 2015.
  • “Financement des énergies renouvelables”, Énergie Plus, 1 April 2015.
  • Q&A: Watson Farley & Williams partner Laurence Martinez-Bellet, Focus on the French shipping market, Lloyd’s List, 26 March 2013.
  • Leasing in the French Shipping sector: update on the French tax lease(s), Leasing World, August 2010, pp 34-35.

Membership of Professional Societies Open

  • Paris Bar
  • Law Society of England & Wales (as a foreign lawyer)
  • French Maritime Law Association (AFDM – Association Française de Droit Maritime)

Employment Record Open

  • 2005 – Present: Partner; Watson Farley & Williams, Paris
  • 2002 – 2005: Associate; Orrick, Paris
  • 1999 – 2002: Associate; Watson Farley & Williams, Paris
  • 1997 – 1999: Associate; Clifford Chance, Paris
  • 1995 – 1997: In-house counsel; Crédit Lyonnais, London and Paris

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