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Energy and natural resources

The energy and natural resources sector is undergoing profound and constant change under the pressure of global demand, scarcity of resources, huge investment requirement and the imperative need to preserve our environment. States, local authorities, national companies, energy producers and suppliers, energy network and distribution companies, investors and financial institutions trust us to support their projects and programs in the field of energy.

Our lawyers are recognised for their hands-on understanding of the technical, economic and strategic aspects of this key, highly regulated sector. Our Energy team is a cross-disciplinary team, made up of lawyers specialised in corporate - M&A, project finance / PPP, public business law, energy and environmental law, competition law, commercial contracts and litigation. Our specialised lawyers offer our clients a broad range of services, from advice on the legal, financial and tax structuring of projects to the defence of their interests before administrative and judicial authorities.

When necessary, they rely on a network of technical, financial and economic experts (aggregators, consultancy firms, financial advisers, law and economics professors, etc.), as well as the national and cross-border expertise of DS Avocats' offices around the world and our Desks. Notably, with our office in Dakar, we have developed strong expertise in renewable infrastructure projects in Africa.

The entire energy value chain

Our firm has developed first-rate expertise in the renewable energy sector (offshore and onshore wind, photovoltaic and thermal solar energy, marine energy and hydropower, district heating networks, biomass and energy recovery), as well as in electricity, gas, oil and nuclear energy.

Our in-depth knowledge of the applicable EU, legal and regulatory frameworks enables us to cover the complete energy value chain, from project design to exploitation, transport and distribution, the valuation of assets over time and their dismantling. 

In particular, our firm closely monitors all developments related to the energy transition (energy efficiency, energy renovation of buildings, self-consumption, storage, surge capacity mechanisms, electric mobility and EV charging infrastructure, sustainable and intelligent cities and territories).

We advise incumbent operators, major industrial groups or SME-SMIs, public authorities, banks and investment funds as well as new players in France and/or abroad.

A wide range of advisory and litigation services

We are able to assist our clients in all legal and contractual aspects of project implementation:

  • Regulations: licensing under energy law, town planning law and environmental law, electricity and gas supply permits, operating permits, building permits, classified facilities declarations, repowering).
  • Regulatory: Benefits of support mechanisms, calls for tender, tariff issues, energy saving certificates, peakload capacity guarantees, guarantees of origin.
  • Network access: Public transport and distribution contracts (connection, network access), smart grids.
  • Legal audits on regulatory, permitting, corporate, contractual, financial, tax and social aspects.
  • Land tenure rights: lease/purchase agreements, acquisition of land that may involve local authorities, whether or not Declaration of Public Utility is required.
  • Structuring: Transactions to acquire or acquire interests in companies that operate energy assets, negotiation of agreements for the sales of shares and shareholders' agreements.
  • Financing: Drafting or review of financing documentation (financing contract, inter-creditor agreements, securities), participatory financing (for citizen investment via crowdfunding platforms and local authorities), fund raising, innovative financing, etc.
  • Taxation: transaction structuring, tax optimisation, assessment of project taxation, green taxes (CSPE, specific taxes, tax incentives).
  • Contracts pertaining to facility construction and operation: turnkey contracts, BoP, turbine supply agreement, project management contracts, construction work contracts, operating and maintenance contracts, asset management contracts.
  • Energy contracts: energy supply contracts (electricity, gas, steam), purchase/sale contracts, corporate PPA, energy performance contracts.
  • Public contracts: PPPs, concessions and public service delegations.
  • Litigation and Arbitration: assistance before the commercial and administrative courts as well as before the Energy Regulatory Commission (CoRDiS).

DS Avocats is a member of the Syndicat des Energies Renouvelables (SER), France Energie Renouvelable (FEE), the Franco-German Office for Energy Transition (OFATE) and Atlansun.

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