White & Case adds two to SE Asia team

The global law firm has bolstered its Southeast Asian energy and infrastructure team to meet rising demand in the region.

US-based law firm White & Case (W&C) has added two people to its Energy, Infrastructure, Project and Asset Finance team in Southeast Asia in order to meet demand: partner Steve Payne and counsel David Gartside, according to a firm statement.

W&C is responding to a growing demand for energy and infrastructure development in the region, an area in which global firms are becoming increasingly more interested, it said. “There has been an upturn in cross-border project financing activity in Southeast Asia in recent years,” W&C Global Project Finance Practice leader Art Scavone pointed out in the statement.

Payne has been at W&C for more than 15 years, advising sponsors and lenders on conventional and renewable power, oil and gas, petrochemical, telecommunication, and water and wastewater projects. Most recently, he advised Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) on its joint venture with The Dow Chemical Company to build and operate a $20 billion integrated chemicals complex in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia.

Payne has worked in Indonesia before, but was most recently based in Beijing since 2006. He will be relocating to Singapore, along with Gartside.

Gartside is a new hire from law firm Allen & Overy, and was most recently stationed with Korea Eximbank in Seoul for the past 18 months. In the past, Gartside has had extensive experience in Southeast Asia, advising on deals such as an Indonesian oil and gas major’s $260 million reserves based loan to fund production costs in the Senoro gas field, Indonesia, and a consortium of Japanese and Korean institutions developing and financing of the Nghi Son 2 IPP in Vietnam.

Payne and Gartside will also be working with MD & Partners, a newly established Indonesian law firm based in Jakarta with which White & Case has established an association.

“Energy and infrastructure projects are key to the development of Southeast Asia's thriving economies,” said W&C Asia Regional Section Head Barrye Wall in the statement.

W&C could not be reached for further comment.