Special Institute on

Financing Oil & Gas and Mining Acquisitions and Projects

  • Denver, Colorado

Speakers & committee

Program Co-Chairs

JOEL BENSON is a partner with Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP, in Denver. Mr. Benson focuses on domestic and international debt financings, acquisitions and divestitures, commercial transactions, and project development, with specialized expertise working with mining and natural resources companies and private equity investors. He has been selected to The International Who’s Who of Mining Lawyers each year since 2011 and has earned an AV Preeminent® Peer Review RatingTM from Martindale-Hubbell® since 2006. In 2016, Who’s Who Legal named Mr. Benson as one of the ten “most highly regarded individuals” in the Northern Hemisphere for mining law and as one of the ten “thought leaders” in North American for mining law in 2017 and 2018. He also has been named in The Best Lawyers in America© for Oil & Gas Law. Mr. Benson is also an adjunct professor of mining law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law (since 2012). He frequently advises private equity funds and mining company clients on their acquisitions, investments, joint ventures, project development, and other business activities. He has extensive experience with structuring and documenting complex credit arrangements and associated multi-jurisdictional collateral security arrangements involving a variety of industries, in the United States and around the world. Mr. Benson’s debt financing practice involves representing both borrowers and lenders (including banks, private equity funds, merchant banks, and other financial institutions) in international project finance, mezzanine debt, corporate credit facilities, senior secured facilities, royalty financings, streaming transactions, gold loans, senior and subordinated note offerings, and other financing arrangements. His international transactional practice has involved projects and companies in over twenty-five countries, including the U.S., Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Ghana, Honduras, Kenya, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Spain, Thailand, and Turkey, and has covered numerous minerals, including gold, silver, rare earths, platinum/palladium, uranium, cobalt, nickel, iron ore, zinc, copper, and other metals, industrial minerals, thermal and metallurgical coal, and oil and gas. His work with international projects has led to counseling clients with respect to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

LEE FANYO is a Director with Lewis, Bess, Williams & Weese in Denver, Colorado. He advises public and private companies and their management on acquisitions, dispositions, financing, and other matters that affect business operations. He has substantial experience in representing the energy industry. He currently serves on the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation’s Special Institutes Committee. After graduating from the University of Denver College of Law, Lee served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Justice Allison H. Eid on the Colorado Supreme Court. Before law school, Lee worked as an engineer where he assisted in the design of satellites and defensive missiles. He earned B.S. and M.S. degrees from the Colorado School of Mines.

JARED A. HEMBREE is a partner in the Roswell, New Mexico office of Hinkle Shanor LLP and is an adjunct professor at Washington & Lee University School of Law, where he teaches Oil and Gas Law. His primary practice is in oil and gas law, including title examination, transactions, and litigation. Mr. Hembree is a Trustee of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation and is on the faculty for the RMMLF Federal Oil and Gas Leasing Short Course. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico and has served in various capacities for the American Association of Professional Landmen and the New Mexico Landmen’s Association.  Mr. Hembree received a J.D. from Washington & Lee University School of Law in 2005.  While at Washington & Lee, Mr. Hembree served as an Editor for the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy’s 2005 Symposium Edition and as Chairman of the Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series.  He graduated with Honors receiving a B.A. in History with a Minor in Museum Studies from Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana in 2000.  Mr. Hembree sits on the boards of directors for a number of civic organizations, including the Eastern New Mexico State Fair.

Program Committee

PHILLIP R. CLARK, Partner, Bryan Cave LLP, Denver, CO

AUSTIN ELAM, based in Houston, is co-chair of Haynes and Boone’s 85+ member Oil and Gas Practice Group. He maintains a broad transactional energy practice with an emphasis on complex upstream and midstream oil and gas transactions, including acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures and DrillCos, and financings of oil and gas properties and energy assets across the broader energy spectrum. Austin has represented clients in connection with practically every active oil and gas play in the U.S. His recent transactions include underwritten reserve-based financings, project development and alternative finance, and purchase and sale agreements, farmout agreements, participation agreements, joint development agreements, and a variety of other transactions ranging from gathering, transportation and marketing agreements to ISDA Master Agreements. Austin was named a “Rising Star” by Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters (2015-2019). He received his bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University and his juris doctor from Georgetown University Law Center.

JEFF N. FAILLERS is a partner at Erwin Thompson Faillers in Reno, Nevada. His practice includes business, corporate, real estate, and natural resources law with an emphasis on the representation of natural resource exploration and operating companies. Jeff handles complex transactions and mining-related matters, including property and corporate due diligence; project financing; title examination, reports, and legal opinions; business, property, and water right acquisition and disposition; and land-use entitlements. Prior to practicing law, he worked as an independent mineral landman where he assisted clients in the negotiation and acquisition mineral properties throughout the western United States. Jeff currently serves as a trustee for the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation.

KUNO KAFKA PRADO is currently Senior Counsel with Antofagasta Minerals based in Toronto, Canada. He advises the company in its international mining activities with particular focus on deals for mergers & acquisitions, divestments and exploration. Over the past years he has worked in cross-border mining transactions in the Americas, Australia, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Previously, he worked with Shearman & Sterling LLP in New York, McMillan LLP in Vancouver and Rubio, Leguia, Normand in Lima. He is a graduate of Universidad de Lima School of Law and earned his Master’s degree in Corporate Law (LL.M.) from New York University.

ALISON J. LACY is a member of Fasken’s Global Mining Group and the Infrastructure Group in the firm’s Toronto office. Alison has significant experience with project development, project financing, mining, and energy-related transactions. She has lived in Veracruz, Mexico, and is fluent in Spanish. Alison has advised on the procurement, development, and financing aspects of mining projects in Canada, Panama, Cuba, Chile, Peru, Mexico, and Madagascar. She has also worked on transactions in the electricity and resource sectors in Canada, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Mexico, Colombia, Uruguay, China, and India. She is currently involved in the infrastructure aspects of mining projects in Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Panama. Alison is a member of the International Construction Projects Committee of the International Bar Association. She has been recognized for her business and mining law expertise in leading international legal publications, and has spoken regularly at conferences on project development. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 1987.

RAMONA L. MONROE is a Partner with Stoel Rives LLP, in Anchorage, AK. Ramona has over 20 years of experience representing natural resource companies and others in matters involving state and local government, transactions, and financing. Oil and gas companies rely on Ramona for title opinions, asset transactions, surface use and access issues, pipeline rights-of-way, matters arising under unit agreements and joint operating agreements, financing transactions, and compliance with Alaska’s unique oil and gas regulations. Ramona assists mining companies with transactions, title reports, access issues, joint ventures, and other exploration and project development matters. She has also applied her title and due diligence experience to wind energy projects and timberland transactions. Ramona also has experience assisting clients with issues arising under the Coastal Zone Management Act and state coastal management programs. She has negotiated many cable television franchise agreements with local governments and represented these clients in hearings before elected officials to obtain approval of these agreements. Ramona serves as a Trustee-at-Large of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation.

NORA PINCUS is a partner in the Salt Lake City and Denver offices of Dorsey and Whitney. Nora is nationally recognized for her experience guiding mining, oil and gas, renewable energy, and agricultural companies through complicated transactions. Her practice focuses on representing clients in high value asset transactions, financings, and project development/build-out. Nora has substantial experience managing multi-disciplinary teams in major M&A transactions from due diligence to closing. She is an expert on the public land laws of the United States, working in tandem with regulatory and commercial teams in facilitating environmentally responsible development on public lands. Nora also helps clients in the ranching and agricultural sectors reach their commercial and conservation goals. Nora’s clients include domestic and international mining and energy companies, renewable energy developers, multinational agricultural corporations, national banks, and private equity funds. Nora received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah and her law degree from the University of Denver.  Outside of work, Nora enjoys spending time outdoors skiing, biking and running. 

KEN SAM, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Denver, CO

CHRISTINA C. SHEEHAN practices mining, water, and public lands law in the Albuquerque office of Modrall Sperling. After receiving her undergraduate degree in history and political science with a minor in Italian language in 2005 from Vassar College, she obtained her J.D., cum laude, from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 2009. Christina currently is a senior-level associate who is actively involved in a wide range of firm and community pursuits. For example, she serves as the editor of Energy & Resources Notes, Modrall Sperling’s digital natural resources newsletter. Christina recently participated in the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation’s Mining Law Short Course. Southwest Super Lawyers® selected Christina as a Rising Star in 2015. In her spare time, Christina is a sponsored marathon runner who has made strong showings in thirteen international marathon competitions, including marathons in Paris, Athens, Rome, Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia.

RANDY SHEFMAN is Associate General Counsel of Denver-based public company Royal Gold, Inc., a leading investor in international mining projects.  Prior to joining Royal Gold, Mr. Shefman was in private practice, where he focused on project finance in the international energy and extractive industries.

MATTHEW S. THOMPSON is the Staff Counsel at Resource Capital Funds (RCF), a private equity group based in Denver that invests exclusively in the mining sector.  Since its formation, RCF has made investments in mining projects in 51 countries and across 29 commodities. Matt has been with RCF since 2016. As Staff Counsel, Matt assists RCF’s investment professionals with all aspects of legal work related to potential investments and ongoing management of existing investments. He is involved in all stages of the investment process, from term sheets to due diligence and negotiation of transaction documents. Prior to joining RCF, Matt was an Associate Attorney in the Corporate Finance & Acquisition Group of Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP, a Denver law firm. While at DGS, Matt represented clients across a range of industries in M&A, investment and capital markets transactions. Matt specialized in corporate and securities law, mergers and acquisitions, financing, and commercial transactions. Since joining RCF, Matt’s focus has been exclusively on transactions in the mining industry. Matt is a graduate of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, receiving his J.D. in 2009. Matt attended Georgetown University for his undergraduate studies, and has spent two years living abroad, in England and Spain.  He is licensed to practice law in Colorado.

CYNTHIA URDA KASSIS is co-Head of Shearman & Sterling’s Mining & Metals practice and a partner in the Project Development & Finance Practice. She has decades of experience representing sponsors/borrowers as well as providers of finance in project, finance and joint-venture transactions worldwide, with extensive experience in the mining, infrastructure, energy and general manufacturing industries, as well as in mining, infrastructure and power restructurings. Cynthia’s notable work in the mining space includes the representation of Orion and Blackstone in the financing of Lundin Gold’s $1B+ Fruta Del Norte Project in Ecuador. This transaction, the first large-scale mine financing in Ecuador, was named “Latin America Mining & Metals Deal of the Year” by IJGlobal. She has also recently represented Nevada Copper in the financing package for their Pumpkin Hollow underground copper mining project, and Société Générale and ING on the structured acquisition financing for Pala’s take private acquisition of Cobalt 27, among others. For her impact in the space, she has been recognized as a leading lawyer by Chambers and Partners, Legal500 and IFLR, and has been a three-time recipient of the “Project Finance Lawyer of the Year” award by Who’s Who Legal. She is a seasoned speaker, having presented on mining finance and other topics at numerous mining conferences and events over the years, including various RMMLF Special Institutes and Annual Institutes.

ERIC VINTON, Senn Visciano Changes P.C., Denver, CO

Speakers

WARREN BEIL, Maverix Metals Inc., Vancouver, BC

CAMERON BETTIS’ land career began in 2007, and for the first six years, ranged from running title in the Eagle Ford to managing lease plays in the Powder River Basin. The next six years (and counting) have consisted of managing collateral due diligence for upstream and midstream oil and gas financing transactions nationwide. In 2015, he joined the international firm of Simpson, Thatcher & Bartlett LLP where he works as a landman alongside the attorneys representing financial institutions and investment firms, specializing in mortgage and title diligence and related issues and documentation. Cameron received his CPL designation in January 2020. Cameron is married to Amy, and they live near Houston with their four children.

JOHN T. BRADFORD is Of Counsel with the energy and natural resource law firm of Liskow & Lewis in Houston, Texas. He earned his B.S. in Accounting at the University of Illinois in 1977; his J.D. in Law at the University of Illinois College of Law in 1980; and his Master of Laws in Taxation at the University of Houston Law Center in 1991. Mr. Bradford practices energy and natural resources taxation, finance and corporate law at the state, federal, and international levels. His practice involves advising clients on the tax and business consequences of their acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, financing activities, hedging activities, and day-to-day business operations. He has advised clients regarding structuring complex energy and natural resources joint ventures, asset acquisitions and dispositions, and structured financings. He has represented clients before the Internal Revenue Service on audit, administrative appeal, and for private letter ruling requests. He has extensive experience in the energy and natural resources industry, having practiced for more than 18 years as a tax lawyer for Exxon Corporation (now Exxon Mobil Corporation), having worked in energy and natural resource investment banking at JP Morgan Securities, and having most recently advised clients as a principal in KPMG LLP’s Washington National Tax practice. Mr. Bradford is a frequent speaker on energy and natural resource taxation matters, having presented to the American Petroleum Institute Federal Tax Forum, the University of Texas Parker C. Fielder Oil and Gas Tax Conference, the Texas Federal Tax Institute, the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, the Tax Executives Institute, the American Bar Association Section of Taxation Energy and Environmental Taxes and Banking and Savings Institutions Committees, the American Bar Association Business Law Section, the Houston Bar Association Tax and Oil and Gas Sections, the Practising Law Institute, the South Texas College of Law Houston’s Energy Symposium and Annual Institute for Attorneys and Landmen, KPMG LLP’s Global Energy Conference, and the Liskow & Lewis Energy Law Seminar. His articles have been published by The Journal of Taxation, the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, the University of Texas Journal of Oil, Gas, and Energy Law, the University of Houston Business and Tax Law Journal, Oil, Gas & Energy Quarterly, Oil and Gas Financial Journal, the University of North Texas Institute of Petroleum Accounting’s Petroleum Accounting and Financial Management Journal, and the KPMG Global Energy Institute. Mr. Bradford has been a guest lecturer on oil and gas taxation at Georgetown University School of Law and currently is Adjunct Professor at the University of Illinois College of Law, where he teaches a seminar class on Energy and Natural Resource Transactions.

STUART BROTMAN, Fasken, Toronto, ON

MATTHEW D. CAVENAUGH, Jackson Walker LLP, Houston, TX

ELLEN CONLEY is an associate in the Energy, Power and Natural Resources Practice Group in the Houston office of Haynes and Boone. She handles energy finance matters, as well as the acquisition and disposition of oil and gas properties. She represents lenders and borrowers in secured reserved-base credit facilities, and has experience with a variety of transactions, including ISDA master agreements and schedules and oil and gas purchase and sale agreements.

KATE DAY, a senior partner in Bracewell’s Chambers Band 1-ranked finance group, focuses her practice on debt financings in the energy industry.  She represents lenders, borrowers, and private equity sponsors.  Kate has particular knowledge of reserve based lending facilities, midstream financings, asset-based lending facilities, first and second lien financings, acquisition and working capital facilities, leveraged and investment-grade financings, commodity finance, bond credit enhancement facilities, and hedging arrangements.  Kate also handles restructurings and workouts of loans in the energy industry.  Chambers USA has said, “Kate Day is admired by market sources for her expertise across the full spectrum of secured and unsecured credit transactions. She impresses with her ability to ’navigate tricky situations to find solutions that work for her clients, with an intelligent and thoughtful approach to problem-solving.’”

ALLISON MCKENNA DONOVAN, Hogan Lovells US LLP, Denver, CO

DAVID G. EBNER negotiates and documents exploration and production deals around the world. He has devoted a substantial amount of time to coal, uranium, and hard rock transactions over the years, but the majority of his practice focuses on oil and gas. For the past decade, he has worked on increasingly unusual transactions, especially custom production sharing agreements with foreign governments and sophisticated vendor finance transactions for domestic drilling, but he still does title opinions, farmouts, and other everyday oil and gas work. Mr. Ebner relishes the challenge of taking complicated business transactions and distilling them into clear, logical documents. He enjoys the chance to work with clients who know and appreciate high quality documentation prepared under tight time constraints, as well as the chance to work with other members of the relatively small natural resources legal community, many of whom are personal friends. Mr. Ebner graduated from Brown University in 1973 and Harvard Law School in 1976. He has served as chair of the Mineral Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association, president of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, AMAX Distinguished Natural Resources practitioner-in-residence at the University of Denver College of Law, and as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Denver teaching the negotiation of Natural Resources Agreements. He has been with the firm since he graduated law school.

AUSTIN ELAM, based in Houston, is co-chair of Haynes and Boone’s 85+ member Oil and Gas Practice Group. He maintains a broad transactional energy practice with an emphasis on complex upstream and midstream oil and gas transactions, including acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures and DrillCos, and financings of oil and gas properties and energy assets across the broader energy spectrum. Austin has represented clients in connection with practically every active oil and gas play in the U.S. His recent transactions include underwritten reserve-based financings, project development and alternative finance, and purchase and sale agreements, farmout agreements, participation agreements, joint development agreements, and a variety of other transactions ranging from gathering, transportation and marketing agreements to ISDA Master Agreements. Austin was named a “Rising Star” by Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters (2015-2019). He received his bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University and his juris doctor from Georgetown University Law Center.

LEE FANYO is a Director with Lewis, Bess, Williams & Weese in Denver, Colorado. He advises public and private companies and their management on acquisitions, dispositions, financing, and other matters that affect business operations. He has substantial experience in representing the energy industry. He currently serves on the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation’s Special Institutes Committee. After graduating from the University of Denver College of Law, Lee served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Justice Allison H. Eid on the Colorado Supreme Court. Before law school, Lee worked as an engineer where he assisted in the design of satellites and defensive missiles. He earned B.S. and M.S. degrees from the Colorado School of Mines.

JEREMY GRIGGS, Guggenheim Partners, Houston, TX

ALAN HUTCHISON is co-chair of Osler’s mining group and a partner in the Corporate Group. He practises in the areas of corporate finance and securities and corporate/commercial law with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and corporate governance. Alan also practises in the areas of mining law and specializes in the mining sector. Alan regularly advises public companies and securities dealers in public and private financing transactions (both equity and debt), including private placements and prospectus offerings. Alan also regularly acts in take-over bids, mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganizations and joint ventures. He also advises public companies on general corporate and securities law matters, including stock exchange listings, continuous disclosure obligations and other regulatory compliance issues. Alan has been recognized as a leading practitioner by Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business (Energy & Natural Resources:  Mining), Best Lawyers in Canada (Corporate Law, M&A, Mining Law, Natural Resources Law and Securities Law), The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (Mining Law, Corporate Finance & Securities), The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (Corporate Mid-Market) and Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business (Energy & Natural Resources: Mining (Canada)).

GARY M. LITWACK, McCarthy Tetrault LLP, Toronto, ON

MONICA K. LOSEMAN, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP, Denver, CO

ALEXANDRO M. PADRÉS is a partner in the Project Development & Finance practice at Shearman & Sterling. He represents sponsors and lenders throughout Latin America, crafting novel financing structures used to fund diverse infrastructure projects in various sectors, including mining, energy, oil and gas, and telecommunications. In the mining space, Alexandro advised Orion and Blackstone in the financing of Lundin Gold’s $1B+ Fruta Del Norte Project in Ecuador, the first large-scale mine financing in Ecuador, which was named “Latin America Mining & Metals Deal of the Year” by IJGlobal. In connection with this matter, Alex moderated a panel on Ecuador’s mining potential at a conference held in Peru, which discussed how Ecuador is attracting capital from the international investment community, the panelists’ experiences in developing and financing projects in Ecuador, among other topics. He also advised Pueblo Viejo Dominicana Corporation, a joint venture between Barrick Gold and Goldcorp, on the $1.035 billion project financing for the gold/copper resource in the Dominican Republic, comprising of the reopening of the existing open pit gold mine, as well as the development of related infrastructure. Alexandro has particular experience with unique project financings, including representing ENGIE and its affiliates in the limited recourse project financing and related interest rate hedging in respect of four solar parks and two wind farms in Mexico, where the debt financing structure for this transaction was novel and untraditional because it comprised six traditional project construction loan financings on a non-cross-collateralized basis and a conditional holding company portfolio project financing, and the Enel Green Power financing of a portfolio of three solar projects in Mexico on a limited cash-cross-collateralized basis. Other financings  In recognition of his work in the space, Alexandro has been named a “Leading U.S. Attorney in Mexico” by Legal 500 and a “Rising Legal Star” by Latin Business Chronicle.

C. W. ROSS, Fennemore Craig, P.C., Phoenix, AZ

JUSTIN STOLTE, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP , Houston, TX

SARAH A. STRUNK is the Chair of the Board of Directors of Fennemore Craig, where she has practiced since 2000. She practices in the area of business and finance law, with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and finance. In addition, she has substantial experience with international sales contracts and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance. Prior to joining Fennemore Craig, Sarah was the chief legal counsel for the copper/molybdenum division of Cyprus Amax. She represents numerous clients in the mining and natural resource industry. In addition to her legal practice, she current Chairs the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and was Chair of the Board of Brio Gold, Inc. (now, Leogold Mining Corporation LMC-T) and a member of the Audit and the Corporate Governance and Compensation Committees. Ms. Strunk received a LL.M. (Corporations), from New York University School of Law and her J.D. from the University of Kansas School of Law. She has been recognized by the International Who's Who of Mining Lawyers, AzBusiness Magazine, Best Lawyers in America, Southwest Super Lawyers, and Chambers USA, among others.

JAKE SWITZER is a lawyer at Blakes, Cassels & Graydon LLP in Vancouver, Canada.  His practice focuses on banking, corporate finance, financial restructuring and corporate commercial law, often in the mining sector.  He has a broad range of experience managing transactions, advising borrowers, lenders and sponsors, handling financial restructurings and workouts, and working on domestic and cross-border acquisitions and financings.  His specialties include mineral streaming and royalty arrangements, secured mine financing transactions and multi-layered security structures.  His cross-border mining experience ranges around the world and involves many high-profile financings.  Additionally, many of Jake’s clients include foreign financial institutions, private equity funds, corporations and law firms, who retain him to assist with the Canadian aspects of multi-jurisdictional financings.

MATTHEW S. THOMPSON is the Staff Counsel at Resource Capital Funds (RCF), a private equity group based in Denver that invests exclusively in the mining sector.  Since its formation, RCF has made investments in mining projects in 51 countries and across 29 commodities. Matt has been with RCF since 2016. As Staff Counsel, Matt assists RCF’s investment professionals with all aspects of legal work related to potential investments and ongoing management of existing investments. He is involved in all stages of the investment process, from term sheets to due diligence and negotiation of transaction documents. Prior to joining RCF, Matt was an Associate Attorney in the Corporate Finance & Acquisition Group of Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP, a Denver law firm. While at DGS, Matt represented clients across a range of industries in M&A, investment and capital markets transactions. Matt specialized in corporate and securities law, mergers and acquisitions, financing, and commercial transactions. Since joining RCF, Matt’s focus has been exclusively on transactions in the mining industry. Matt is a graduate of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, receiving his J.D. in 2009. Matt attended Georgetown University for his undergraduate studies, and has spent two years living abroad, in England and Spain.  He is licensed to practice law in Colorado.

PAUL TURNER is an experienced corporate attorney who serves clients in the energy and banking sectors.  He has been named Lawyer of the Year: Futures and Derivatives by Best Lawyers in America three times and has been included in the Houston Business Journal’s Who’s Who in Energy Guide twice. He also was named to the BTI Client Service All Star List. Paul focuses his practice on the fast-changing and evolving energy and commodity markets—principally related to the physical and financial processing, movement and trading of energy commodities. He also has been active in the regulatory and commercial structuring and restructuring of the energy industry, including the ongoing regulatory changes to the physical, futures and derivatives markets. 

Paul brings a deep industry knowledge and practical approach to advise a variety of client types in the industry – major oil companies, hedge funds, independent trading and marketing companies, retail energy providers, and banking clients – on structuring and documenting complex commodity transactions and intermediary arrangements, industry contracts (e.g. EEI, ISDA, NAESB, LEAP), negotiating commodity tolling and processing agreements (involving power, crude, and NGLs), negotiating storage and marketing arrangements, advising on M&A transactions, and setting up client regulatory compliance programs, as well as assisting trading companies on investigations. Recently, he has been primary outside counsel to several clients as they entered the US trading markets.

In addition, Paul regularly advises energy clients on credit and restructuring issues related to forward and financial contracts. He has represented numerous clients in some of the largest energy and commodity company bankruptcies, including the bankruptcies of Lehman, The SemGroup, Enron, Mirant and NEGT Energy Trading (formally PG&E Energy Trading). He has advised energy companies on a myriad of complex transactional issues and has worked on the sale of a number of retail electric providers.

CYNTHIA URDA KASSIS is co-Head of Shearman & Sterling’s Mining & Metals practice and a partner in the Project Development & Finance Practice. She has decades of experience representing sponsors/borrowers as well as providers of finance in project, finance and joint-venture transactions worldwide, with extensive experience in the mining, infrastructure, energy and general manufacturing industries, as well as in mining, infrastructure and power restructurings. Cynthia’s notable work in the mining space includes the representation of Orion and Blackstone in the financing of Lundin Gold’s $1B+ Fruta Del Norte Project in Ecuador. This transaction, the first large-scale mine financing in Ecuador, was named “Latin America Mining & Metals Deal of the Year” by IJGlobal. She has also recently represented Nevada Copper in the financing package for their Pumpkin Hollow underground copper mining project, and Société Générale and ING on the structured acquisition financing for Pala’s take private acquisition of Cobalt 27, among others. For her impact in the space, she has been recognized as a leading lawyer by Chambers and Partners, Legal500 and IFLR, and has been a three-time recipient of the “Project Finance Lawyer of the Year” award by Who’s Who Legal. She is a seasoned speaker, having presented on mining finance and other topics at numerous mining conferences and events over the years, including various RMMLF Special Institutes and Annual Institutes.

TREVOR WOMMACK is a partner in the Houston office of Latham & Watkins and a member of the firm’s Finance Department.  Mr. Wommack advises foreign and domestic lending institutions as administrative agents in connection with upstream exploration and production and minerals, midstream, and oilfield services credit facilities. He also represents clients navigating forbearance, workout, and bankruptcy situations.  Mr. Wommack regularly advises clients on the structuring, negotiating, and documenting of all types of syndicated lending transactions, reserve-based lending transactions, revolving loans, term loans, letter of credit facilities, and swingline facilities. Mr. Wommack has been recognized as a leading lawyer in Chambers USA for his work in Banking & Finance Law in Texas from 2013-2019. He received his J.D., with honors, from the University of Texas School of Law and his B.A. from the University of North Carolina.