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Karen A. Smith

Karen A. Smith Partner, Project & Infrastructure Finance

Karen Smith has more than 30 years of experience representing lenders and borrowers in project and infrastructure financings.

She has represented domestic and international banks, financial institutions, developers, investors, and private equity funds in connection with the financing, acquisition, development, construction, operation, and privatization of a wide range of capital-intensive projects.

Karen’s clients are concentrated in the oil and gas industry as well as the electric energy, telecommunications, renewables, and public infrastructure sectors.

Experience Highlights

  • Riverstone Holdings in its $5.2 billion take-private of Talen Energy Corporation, one of the largest independent power producers in the U.S. with a portfolio of power plants totaling approximately 16,000 MW, and associated debt financings
  • A borrower in the financing of the acquisition of oil and gas reserves and related assets in Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas
  • A private equity firm in the financing of a refinery and ancillary facilities in the state of Washington
  • An issuer in a $1.061 billion private placement to finance a cross border pipeline (2014 IJGlobal North America Project Bond Deal of the Year)
  • An oil refining and marketing company in an $800 million inventory and receivables borrowing base facility
  • GE Energy Financial Services, Inc. in a construction financing of two micro LNG facilities
  • A private equity fund in high-yield bonds and revolving credit facility for 15 power plants
  • A telecommunications company in Africa in the financing and refinancing of a network of telecommunications facilities in Nigeria
  • A borrower and shareholders in the financing and refinancing of six cargo vessels
  • Sunoco Logistics Partners LP in a $2.5 billion credit facility

Energy – Upstream Oil & Gas

  • An agent bank for the senior lenders in connection with the senior and second lien financing of oil and gas reserves in Canada
  • SourceGas Holdings LLC in a $200 million term loan in connection with the acquisition of a natural gas company
  • An agent bank for the senior lenders in connection with the senior and second lien financing of gas reserves in California
  • A borrower in connection with the financing of the acquisition of several domestic oilfield operations companies
  • Agent banks in connection with the financing of a Mexican offshore gas platform

Energy – Midstream Oil & Gas

  • An agent bank in the financing of a natural gas liquids storage facility in Utah
  • A borrower in connection with the financing of a pipeline and ancillary facilities in Texas
  • A borrower in connection with the acquisition and proposed financing of a depleted reservoir natural gas storage facility in Mississippi
  • A borrower in connection with the financing of three salt dome natural gas storage facilities in Louisiana
  • Agent banks in connection with the financing of two oil storage facilities in Oklahoma
  • A developer and borrower in connection with the financing of a natural gas pipeline in Trinidad
  • Agent banks and the underwriters in connection with the syndicated bank and Rule 144A financing and re-financing of a 1,900 mile Canadian-U.S. gas pipeline
  • Agent banks in connection with financing and re-financing a gas fractionation facility in Illinois

Energy – Power

  • A diversified financial services company in a $119 million senior secured term loan to refinance Elgin Energy Center's 484MW peaking gas-fired power plant in Elgin, Illinois 
  • Riverstone Holdings L.L.C. in connection with the refinancing of the Term Loan B financings of three Riverstone power plant portfolio companies with $1.25 billion of unsecured high yield bonds and $150 million of secured revolving credit loans, together with 14 pari passu secured commodity hedging arrangements 
  • An agent bank in connection with the proposed financing of a compressed air storage and energy generating facility
  • An agent bank in the financing of four power plants in Texas
  • Riverstone Holdings L.L.C. in a $415 million revolving credit facility and term loan to a portfolio of three coal-fired power plants in Maryland
  • A bidder in connection with the proposed acquisition financing of six power plants in the southeastern United States
  • An agent bank in connection with the financing of a portfolio of turbines
  • A developer and borrower in connection with the financing of a coke processing and electric power generation facility in Brazil
  • Note purchasers in connection with the financing of the acquisition of 25 domestic electric power plants
  • An agent bank in connection with the senior and subordinated acquisition financing and re-financing of a cogeneration facility in New York

Energy – Clean Energy & Renewables

  • Mezzanine lenders in connection with the financing of a wind farm in Oklahoma
  • An agent bank in connection with the financing of a biodiesel facility in Indiana
  • An agent bank in connection with the proposed financing of an ethanol plant in Illinois

Infrastructure

  • An infrastructure agent bank in connection with the financing of an international tunnel
  • An agent bank in connection with the financing of two polypropylene manufacturing facilities in Pennsylvania

Telecommunications

  • A borrower in connection with the financing of a worldwide network of telecommunications facilities
  • A borrower in connection with the financing of telecommunication facilities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • A lender in connection with the financing of an undersea cable off the coast of Africa


Contact Details

New York

T +1.212.237.0010
F +1.917.849.5302
ksmith@velaw.com
666 Fifth Avenue
26th Floor
New York, NY 10103
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Karen's Practices

  • Cornell Law School, J.D., 1987
  • Lafayette College, B.A., Government and Law; B.A., Economics and Business, 1984
  • Admitted to practice: New Jersey; New York; District of Columbia
  • Chambers Global, USA: Projects, 2010–2011
  • Chambers USA, Nationwide Projects, 2009–2010; New York Projects, 2008
  • Legal 500 U.S., Project Finance, 2008–2010, 2012–2014, 2019; Project Finance: Advice to Lenders, 2015; Project Finance: Advice to Sponsors, 2015–2016
  • Legal Media Group’s (Euromoney’s) Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Banking Finance & Transactional Lawyers (Project Finance), 2012–2016
  • Legal Media Group’s (Euromoney’s) Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Project Finance Lawyers, 2006–2010
  • Legal Media Group’s (Euromoney’s) Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Women in Business Law (Project Finance), 2011–2013, 2016–2017
  • Selected to New York Super Lawyers list, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2014
  • Recognized in the International Law Office Client Choice Guide (Globe Business Publishing Ltd.), 2010
  • Member: American Bar Association, New York State Bar Association