Nigel Thomas


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Nigel Thomas

Summary Open

Nigel Thomas has been a Partner at Watson Farley & Williams since 1988. He is also Chairman of the firm. He specialises in international finance with an emphasis on shipping finance, commercial shipping and the offshore and cruise industries. He advises a number of players in, and financiers to, the shipping industry and has previously been Head of the firm’s offices in Singapore and Oslo.

Nigel continues to be ranked as an expert in Who’s Who Legal – Shipping 2015 and has most recently been described in Chambers 2015 as “highly regarded in the field of shipping finance”, “very fair and commercial” and “very experienced, never tries to score points and always tries to get the deal completed”.


Experience Open

    • Advising Teekay on the US$815m ECA-backed financing for the construction of the FPSO Petrojarl Knarr
    • Advising Petroserv Marine on a US$1.7bn three tranche term loan and revolving credit facility, used to refinance and consolidate these loans and for working capital.
    • Advising ING Bank as lead arrangers for a syndicate of banks on a US$319m term loan facility for Sovcomflot, to help finance the acquisition of two newbuild ice class LNG carriers.
    • Advising Reliance Industries Limited on shipbuilding contracts for the world’s first Very Large Ethane Carrier (VLEC)
    • Advising Teekay on finance in excess of US$2.2bn in relation to the floating of Teekay Offshore Partners L.P. (TOO), a master limited partnership listed in New York and other related restructurings within the Teekay group
    • Advising Teekay Tankers (TNK) on a US$845m financing arranged by Nordea, Citibank and ING for the financing of TNK’s spot tanker fleet and on the English law aspects of TNK’s listing on the New York Stock Exchange
    • Advising Teekay in relation to the English law aspects of its acquisition of OMI, jointly with Torm, and the related acquisition financing
    • Advising ING on a series of financings exceeding, in aggregate, US$750m to a privately-owned Russian transportation group for the financing of newbuildings, other ships and port and terminal assets in Russia
    • Advising the Wilh Wilhelmsen group in relation to a series of UK leases entered into with UK lessors for the financing of car carriers under construction in Japan
    • Advising The Shipping Corporation of India in relation to its LNG transportation activities
    • Advising Fortis Bank on pre and post-delivery financing of a series of newbuildings built in Korea for a Middle Eastern shipping company
    • Advising Credit Agricole as lessor and financier of a cruise ship newbuilding under construction at Chantier de l’Atlantique shipyard for MSC under a UK lease structure
    • Advising Allocean on its acquisition, and financing under senior and junior loans totalling US$560m, of a portfolio of 16 ships
    • Advising Calyon and ING as lead arrangers of a major fleet financing for a State-Owned Russian shipping company

Education Open

  • St Catharine’s College, Cambridge University, MA
  • London Business School, Diploma in Corporate Finance

Author/Speaker/Awards Open

Nigel has spoken at numerous conferences and seminars in the UK, Europe, Asia, the USA and Latin America on shipping, offshore, cruise and finance topics, as well as contributing articles to various publications in the maritime, offshore and cruise sectors.

Nominated as one of the top three Transatlantic Finance Dealmakers of 2015 by The American Lawyer, Nigel is well-respected in the market. Recent commentators Legal 500 and Chambers have referenced that Nigel is “user-friendly and commercial”, “market sources are particularly complimentary” and “his clients appreciate his adeptness in dealing with the most sophisticated and difficult transactions”.

Nigel has led the WFW advice on each of the following “Marine Money Deals of the Year:

  • 2014  ECA Deal of the Year (Offshore) – $815m for Teekay’s FPSO Petrojarl Knarr, supported by KEXIM,K-Sure, GIEK and EKN.
  • 2014  Project Finance Deal of the year – SCF financing for 2 LNG carriers for charter to Shell : ING and others
  • 2013  Bank Debt Deal of the year (Offshore) – OCR $1.35bn ECA financing : DNB
  • 2013  Project Finance Deal of the year – SCF financing for 2 LNG carriers for charter to GazProm : ING, KfW and SMBC
  • 2013  Structured Finance Deal of the year – Malt LNG $608m financing for Teekay and Marubeni: DNB
  • 2012  Editor’s choice award (Offshore) – $55m financing of Skandi Botafogo : DVB
  • 2012  Editor’s choice award – SCF $700m fleet financing : Citi
  • 2012  Bank Debt Deal of the year (Offshore) – Petroserv Marine $1.17bn ECA financing : Nordea and others
  • 2011  Dealmaker of the Year – Teekay’s Peter Evensen and Friends – including Teekay and Marubeni acquisition of Maersk LNG and Teekay acquisition of 3 FPSOs and a stake in Sevan Marine
  • 2011  Restructuring Deal of the year – Frontline : Nordea, SFI and others
  • 2011  Leasing Deal of the Year – CMA CGM : Credit Agricole and SFI
  • 2011  Structured Finance Deal of the year – SCF/Glencore JV : Citi as Senior MLA

Membership of Professional Societies Open

  • Law Society of England & Wales

Employment Record Open

  • 1988 – Present:  Watson Farley & Williams, Partner
    (including Head of the firm’s Oslo office 1988-1993, establishing the firm’s Singapore office and heading the firm’s Asia Practice 1998 – 2002)
  • 1982 – 1987:  Lazard Brothers, London and Paris – Investment Banker
  • 1979 – 1982:  Norton Rose, Trainee and Associate


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