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Tuesday 29 May 2012

Clifford Chance Advises ADB on TAPI Deals


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(Press release) – Clifford Chance (CC) has advised the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on a number of agreements in relation to the Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan to India (TAPI) pipeline project. The project offers major economic benefits to all three countries, but depends on building and defending a U.S.-backed pipeline across chronically unstable Afghanistan.

Clifford Chance is one of the world’s leading law firms, with 34 offices in 24 countries and some 3,200 legal advisers.

The ADB is facilitating the 1,678-km pipeline, which includes a 735-km leg through the Afghan provinces of Herat and Kandahar. Last week, Turkmenistan’s state gas company Turkmengaz, signed gas sales and purchase agreements with Pakistan’s Inter State Gas Systems and Indian state-run utility GAIL. These, along with gas sales memorandum of understandings between Turkmenistan and Afghanistan, are expected to pave the way for the development of the pipeline from Turkmenistan to India.

The Clifford Chance team, led by Singapore-based partner Merrick White, helped prepare and negotiate the gas sales, pipeline framework and inter-governmental agreements for the project. “This is one of the largest gas sales in the world to date,” said White in a statement. “It opens up a major new export route for Turkmenistan which has enormous gas reserves. It provides a tremendous source of energy for such energy-starved countries as Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, and at the same time is a significant long term source of revenue for Turkmenistan.”

White was assisted by Beijing counsel Brian Cassidy.

In 1987, today’s Clifford Chance came into being by the merge of London firms Coward Chance and Clifford Turner. Then, in 2000, Clifford Chance undertook a major international tri-partite merger with Germany’s Pünder Volhard Weber & Axster and New York-based Rogers & Wells. The combination of the three firms’ geographic footprint and breadth of expertise, created the world’s first global law firm.

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