Paul Curnow

Paul H. Curnow

Partner
Baker & McKenzie

Biography

Paul is a partner in the Energy and Projects team, global head of Sustainable Finance, and global co-head of the Firm’s Renewable Energy & Clean Technology Practice.

Paul is recognised as one of Australia's leading renewable energy lawyers and globally as a market leader in climate change and sustainable finance. He has notable experience in all aspects of Australia's renewable energy markets, including in project development, offtake arrangements, energy regulation, and financing, have specialised in renewable energy greenfields and M&A transactions across solar, wind, pumped hydro, batteries and other emerging technologies at both utility-scale and distributed energy generation for over 20 years.

Paul acted as general counsel of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (on secondment) from its setup in 2013, overseeing the legal execution of the financing of clean energy projects and reporting to the CEFC Board. Paul is a member of Baker McKenzie’s Global Projects Steering Committee and a visiting fellow at the University of New South Wales law school where he lectures in renewable energy law.

Practice Focus

Paul's practice covers market-entry and structuring for greenfield investors in renewables projects, supporting project development from land acquisition, environmental and planning approvals, grid connection through to financial close, with particular expertise in a range of power purchase arrangements from behind the meter physical PPAs to a range of financial hedge PPAs, including proxy generation products and corporate PPAs.

Representative Legal Matters

  • RATCH-Australia as lead counsel on its acquisition of a 70% stake in the greenfields 215MW Yandin Wind Farm (Western Australia) from Alinta Energy.
  • Global Power Generation (the international energy subsidiary of Naturgy (Spain)) on the construction and refinancing of the 91MW Crookwell II Wind Farm (NSW) its Australian wind farm portfolio across NSW and Victoria.  
  • Genex Power Limited with all matters relating to the development, construction and financing of the Kidston pumped hydro generation facility with a total maximum installed capacity of 250MW(AC) to be located in northwest Queensland.
  • Global Power Generation on project development, construction and refinancing of the stage 1 of the 180MW Berrybank Wind Farm (Victoria), one of the successful projects with a PPA with the Victorian Government under its VRET program.
  • WePower on development of its renewable energy procurement and trading platform, including preparation of its template Corporate PPA documentation.
  • ARENA with respect to its grant funding of an Alinta Energy-owned solar-gas hybrid project that will power an off-grid mine site operated by Fortescue Metals Group in the Pibara region of Western Australia.
  • Mars in respect of its corporate PPA with Total Eren for the Kiamal Solar Project (Victoria).
  • ALDI in respect of its corporate PPA.
  • Siemens Financial Services with the stage structuring of the 1200NW staged Forest Wind Project in Queensland, as part of its due diligence and equity investment into that project.
  • Represented the syndicate of incoming lenders on the successful refinancing of the approximately $500 million debt facility in relating to Malakoff Corporation Berhad's 50 percent interest in the Macarthur Wind Farm. 

 

Professional Honors

  • "Commercial and extremely pragmatic, with an ability to understand client requirements and deliver practical, sensible advice," and "He is very easy to work with and gives confidence." - Chambers Asia Pacific, Energy & Natural Resources, Utilities, Band 2, 2019
  • Clients say his market experience gives him "that enduring connection to the opportunities as well as the threats and challenges." - Chambers Global, Climate Change, Band 3, 2019
  • "Outstanding professional in this space, with a global reputation" - Chambers Asia Pacific, Energy & Natural Resources, Utilities, Band 2, 2018
  • "Understands exactly what is at stake in a transaction" - Chambers Asia Pacific, Energy & Natural Resources , Utilities, Band 2, 2018
  • "Through his strong knowledge of the sector and relationships with key individuals, is able to minimise roadblocks and advise on practical solutions to problems" - Chambers Asia Pacific, Energy & Natural Resources - Utilities, Band 2, 2018
  • "Forward-looking strategic thinker with valued technical knowledge" - Chambers Asia Pacific, Australia, Environment, Band 2, 2018
  • “A flair for finding practical solutions to problems" - Chambers Asia Pacific, Australia, Environment, Band 2, 2018
  • “Peers emphasise that he has played an important role in Baker McKenzie's practice from the outset, calling him one of its 'linchpins.'" - Chambers Global, Climate Change, Band 2, 2018
  • Named "Lawyer of the Year" for Climate Change, Best Lawyers Australia 2016
  • "Receives widespread praise for his 'comprehensive knowledge' of all issues associated with the development and financing of renewable energy projects." - Who's Who Legal (Environment) 2015
  • Leading lawyer, Energy and infrastructure: Project Development, 2015
  • Leading individual, Energy & Infrastructure IFLR 2014-present
  • Listed lawyer, Energy Law, Best Lawyers Australia, 2014-present
  • Listed lawyer, Climate Change Law, Best Lawyers Australia, 2010-present   

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Visiting Fellow, Renewable Energy Law, University of New South Wales Law School 
  • Member, Clean Energy Council (Australia)
  • Member, Australian Financial Markets Association
  • Member, International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) 

Admissions

  • Supreme Court of New South Wales~Australia (1998)

Education

  • Australian National University (Master's Public Policy (Environmental Law)) (2003)
  • Australian National University (LL.B. (Hons)) (1996)
  • Australian National University (B.A. (Hons)) (1994)

Languages

  • English
  • German