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Samuel E. Saunders

Special Counsel

Samuel E. Saunders

Special Counsel
New York +1-212-558-4000+1-212-558-4000 +1-212-558-3588+1-212-558-3588
[email protected]

Sam Saunders is special counsel in the Firm’s General Practice Group. Sam’s practice focuses in particular on transactions in the clean energy and energy transition space, from early stage joint ventures, project development and commercial arrangements, investments and divestments and a wide range of financing and restructuring transactions involving renewables (solar, onshore and offshore wind, geothermal, renewable gas and other technologies), hydrogen, carbon capture and storage and other technologies. He also has significant experience in mining, LNG, petrochemical and other sectors. 
Sam has acted on a wide variety of financing transactions across the credit spectrum, including investment grade and high yield debt offerings, structured and leveraged finance, export credit and multilateral finance, distressed debt, bankruptcy and insolvency matters.
Sam has expertise on a broad range of clean energy, climate, sustainable finance and ESG matters and has authored numerous articles on these topics. He also maintains an active pro bono practice, with a particular focus on international development, sustainability and human rights matters.
Sam was previously based in the Firm’s London office for over eight years, where he acted on a wide range of cross-border transactions in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
Prior to attending Stanford Law School, Sam obtained a B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering.


  • An integrated energy company in connection with its JV with a large utility company for offshore wind development
  • CPPIB in its acquisition of interests in offshore wind projects in Germany and France
  • Advised the coordinating committee of bank creditors in the global financial restructuring of renewable energy sponsor Abengoa, covering $20 billion in outstanding debt
  • Various clients on sustainable finance matters, including green and sustainability-linked bonds and loans, including inaugural issuances by Coca-Cola HBC, CyrusOne Inc., Enbridge, Goldman Sachs, United Mexican States, Alibaba, Royal Philips, Cementos Argos, Cheniere Energy and Aflac
  • Advised (pro bono) the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) in drafting an ECOWAS directive on gender assessments for energy projects
  • Golden Triangle Polymers Company, a joint venture between Chevron Phillips Chemical Company (CPChem) and QatarEnergy, in the project financing of an $8.5 billion integrated polymers facility in Orange, Texas
  • First Quantum Minerals Ltd. in its agreement with the Government of Zambia to resolve matters involving the Kansanshi and Sentinel copper projects and secure the basis of their $1.25 billion expansion project to extend the life of the Kansanshi copper-gold mine and $250 million investment to develop the Enterprise nickel deposit
  • Centerra Gold, Inc. in its comprehensive settlements with the Government of Kyrgyzstan of outstanding claims regarding the Kumtor gold mine project
  • The sponsors of Rovuma LNG (Mozambique) on the proposed project financing of a $30B LNG liquefaction project
Selected Recent Publications
Sam regularly contributes to S&C and external publications, including those listed in the publications tab and the below:
  • “EU Adopts Expansive Corporate Sustainability Reporting Requirements” (January 2023)
  • “Full Steam Ahead – Recent Developments in U.S. Hydrogen Investments, Incentives and Policies” (November 2022)
  • “Recent Developments in EU Hydrogen Initiatives” (November 2022)
  • “U.K. Regulator Comments on ESG-labelled Bonds and ESG Ratings” (July 2022)
  • “SEC Proposes Enhanced ESG Disclosure Requirements for Investment Advisers and Investment Companies” (June 2022)
  • “SEC’s Proposed Climate Disclosure Rules Herald Expansive New Obligations for Foreign Private Issuers” (April 2022)
  • “European Commission Proposes Mandatory Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence and Climate Change Plans” (March 2022)
  • “Biden Administration Announces New Climate Change Initiatives” (February 2022)
  • “Renewables Update—Key Considerations for Renewables Transactions” (December 2020)
  • “Renewables and Hydrogen Update—U.S. Market and Regulatory Developments” (November 2020)
  • “Renewables Update—Current Market Overview and European Developments” (November 2020)
  • “Hydrogen—Recent Developments in Hydrogen Projects” (September 2020)
  • “Hydrogen – Fuel of the Future or Just Hot Air?” (September 2020)