Rupert Lewi is a partner in King & Spalding’s Tokyo office and a member of the firm’s global transactions and energy practices. He practices primarily in the oil and gas, LNG and mining areas, with a focus on corporate and asset acquisitions and divestments, project structuring and project development. In particular, he has acted on a number of leading LNG projects in Australia, Asia and the Middle east. Mr. Lewi has worked for more than 12 years as a foreign lawyer in Japan and represents a wide range of Japanese and Korean trading companies and gas and electric utility companies in respect of their overseas investments in the resources sector covering Australia, the Asia-Pacific region and Africa.
Mr. Lewi is consistently ranked as a leading lawyer in Energy & Natural Resources (Oil & Gas) by Chambers Global and Chambers Asia Pacific (since 2007) and is ranked as a leading individual for Corporate/M&A in South Korea (since 2012). He is ranked as a first tier lawyer in Best Lawyers (since 2009) in the area of Oil & Gas and Mining and was selected as External Counsel of the Year in 2009 by Asian Counsel and Pacific Business Press.
He is qualified as a solicitor in England & Wales and in Western Australia and is a Gaikokuho Jimu Bengoshi (Registered Foreign Lawyer in Japan). He is a member of the First Tokyo bar Association.
Oil & Gas
- Advising Mitsubishi Corporation in relation to its acquisition of an interest in Repsol’s petroleum licenses in Papua New Guinea and in relation to downstream gas processing developments.
- Advising Korea Gas Corporation in relation to its acquisition of a 15% interest in the Gladstone LNG project and ongoing advice in relation to the development of the Gladstone project.
- Advising Korea Gas Corporation in relation to its participation in the Prelude LNG project.
- Advising Korea Gas Corporation on its proposed sale of a partial interest in the LNG Canada project.
- Advising Mitsui in relation to its participation in a condensate stripping plant project in Papua New Guinea with InterOil and its subsequent exit from the projects.
- Advising LG International in relation to its acquisition of an interest in companies in the GeoPark Group of Companies in respect of an oil and gas exploration project in Chile and Columbia.
- Advising Prize Petroleum in relation to its farmin to a gas production joint venture in the Otway Basin.
- Advising BHP Billiton on the sale of its interest in the Browse LNG project to PetroChina.
- Advising Toho Gas in relation to its acquisition of an interest in the Ichthys LNG project.
- Advising a Korean company in relation to its bid for an interest in an upstream joint venture associated with the Wheatstone LNG project.
- Advising Inpex in relation to its participation in the Bayu Undan and Darwin LNG projects.
- Advising Australia LNG in relation to project financing of LNG ships for the transportation of LNG from the North West Shelf Project in Western Australia to the Guangdong LNG receiving terminal.
- Advising Mitsui in relation to its participation in the Cliff Head Oil Project in Western Australia.
- Advising PetroChina in relation to its bid for the acquisition of an interest in Indonesian oil and gas development projects.
- Advising Sojitz Corporation in respect of its acquisition of an interest in a production sharing contract and associated joint venture for the development of an offshore field in Gabon.
- Advising Sojitz Corporation in relation to its acquisition of an interest in the Basker Gummy Manta joint venture, including negotiating a farmin agreement and amendments to the joint operating agreement and undertaking due diligence.
- Advising a major Japanese utility in respect of its bid for an interest in an upstream joint venture associated with the Gorgon LNG Project.
- Advising Toyota Tsusho in relation to its farmin to two upstream oil and gas exploration joint ventures in Western Australia and in an exploration licence in the Otway Basin.
- Advising Toyota Tsusho in respect of its acquisition of CalEnergy Gas (Australia) Limited.
- Advising Woodside in relation to LNG Sale and Purchase Agreements for its Pluto LNG project and in relation to the structuring and development of the Sunrise LNG Project.
- Advising members of a consortium in respect of its bid to participate in the Guangdong LNG receiving terminal project.
- Negotiating and drafting documentation for a major Japanese trading company in respect of the construction and financing for three of Sonatrach’s LNG refinery renovation projects in Algeria by way of frame supply contracts utilising a combination of private finance and finance from several export credit agencies.
- Carrying out preliminary due diligence and negotiating heads of agreement and draft documentation for a bid to acquire an equity interest in the Yemen LNG project.
- Reviewing documentation and participating in negotiations for the acquisition by a Japanese company of an equity interest in and the provision of financing for the Ras Laffan LNG refinery project in Qatar.
- Advising Sojitz Corporation in relation to its participation in Grange Resources’ Southdown Magnetite mining project.
- Acting for Sojitz Corporation in relation to its participation in the Worsley Alumina Project in Western Australia.
- Advising POSCO and STX in relation to the issue of convertible notes by Hancock Prospecting with an option to convert the convertible notes into equity in the Roy Hill Iron Ore project.
- Advising Korea Resources in relation to an investment in the Mkuju South uranium project in Tanzania and the Vlakplaats coal project in South Africa.
- Advising Korea Resources in relation to a proposed acquisition (together with Kemco Mining) of a 50% interest in the Coro Coro copper mine project in Bolivia.
- Advising Korea Resources in relation to the Teguidda uranium mining project in Niger.
- Advising BHP Billiton in relation to the expansion of port facilities at Port Hedland for its iron ore business.
- Advising Cristal Mining in relation to the acquisition of a mineral sands mining business in Western Australia.
- Advising OM Group Inc in relation to its OMG Cawse nickel refinery project and in respect of the sale of its nickel mining and refining businesses to Norilsk.
- Advising Japanese companies, including Sojitz, Marubeni and JFE Shoji in respect of their investment in coal mining joint venture projects in Australia and Indonesia involving tenders for exploration licences, acquisition of interests in incorporated and unincorporated joint ventures and coal sales agreements.
- Acting for Sumitomo Corporation in connection with its acquisition of a strategic shareholding in Iron Ore Holdings Limited.
- Advising POSCO in connection with its investment in Murchison Metals Limited.
- Advising in respect of its participation in the West Pilbara Iron Ore Project.
- Advising Marubeni in respect of its investment in Dampier Salt Limited.
- Advising Minmetals in respect of its proposed investment in a magnetite ore mining project in Western Australia.
- Advising Mitsubishi Corporation in relation to its participation in Rio Tinto's HIsmelt Project.
- Advising Mitsubishi Corporation in relation to its participation in the Boyne Aluminium Smelter and Gladstone Power Station Projects.
- Advising Hyundai Steel Company in relation to contracts with suppliers of coal and iron ore and in relation to vessel charterparties.
- Acting for Sojitz Corporation in the dissolution of a joint venture which had operated a copper smelter and refinery in Australia and thereafter acting for that company in its subsequent acquisition of the assets of the joint venture, its formation of a new incorporated joint venture to revamp and expand the smelter and refinery.
Power and Chemical Plant
- Acting for Sojitz Corporation in respect of two power projects in Mexico, which involved undertaking a review of the bidding guidelines, preparation of bids, negotiating trust agreements with the Mexican power utility (for construction lease and transfer of the power plant) providing advice in respect of the negotiation of EPC contracts, loan agreements, security documents and related intercreditor issues.
- Advising Mitsui in respect of the EPC Contracts and financing arrangements for the Bluewaters Power Project in Western Australia.
- Advising Mitsui in relation to a possible acquisition of an interest in an ammonia plant project.
- Acting for Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd in respect of the negotiation and drafting of an EPC contract for the construction of a 210MW coal-fired power plant in Mindanao, the Philippines.
- Advising Sojitz Corporation in respect of negotiations of an EPC contract and in relation to the provision of financing and the associated offtake arrangements relating to the construction of a polypropylene production plant in Turkmenbashi in Turkmenistan.
- Acting for a Japanese trading company in respect of its participation in a consortium together with an American engineering company for the construction and financing of a petrochemical plant for Uzbekneftegas at its Shurtan gas chemical complex in Uzbekistan.
- Advising a Japanese company in respect of the provision of down payment financing associated with export credit agency financing from US EXIM and Japan EXIM banks, for the supply of a compressor station and oil field equipment to Uzbekneftegas for the Kokdumalak oil and gas field in Uzbekistan.
- Acting for Sojitz Corporation in respect of the negotiation and execution of a consortium agreement with an American engineering company and a Korean construction company and in the negotiation of an engineering contract for the construction of an aromatics refinery in Map Ta Phut in Thailand.
Awards & Recognition
- Rupert is recognised as a leading lawyer by:
- Energy & Natural Resources (Oil and Gas) – Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2012-2014.
- Mining – Best Lawyers Australia, 2014-2015.
- Natural Resources – Best Lawyers Australia, 2009-2015.
- Oil & Gas – Best Lawyers Australia, 2009-2015.
- Energy & Natural Resources (Oil and Gas) – Chambers Global, 2007-2011.
- South Korea: Corporate/M&A: Lawyers Based Abroad – Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2012-2013, 2015.
- Japan: Projects & Energy: Experts Based Abroad – Spotlight table – Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2012.
- International Who's Who of Oil and Gas Lawyers 2009, 2012.
- International Who's Who of Energy Lawyers 2015.
- Project Finance and Development – Best Lawyers in Australia, 2009.
- External Counsel of the Year 2009 – Asian-Counsel and Pacific Business Press.
- Energy – Best Lawyers, 2008-2009.
- According to clients he "is a natural lawyer with an innate legal mind, and consequently is very good at reviewing legal documents. Of course, he knows the commercial points as well." – Chambers South Korea, 2013.
- According to peers, he is "on a par with anybody" in his field, and one client praised him as "the best LNG lawyer in the Asia-Pacific region," noting that "his advice is always practical and blends commercial and legal aspects in a sophisticated manner." – Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2013.
- "The good reputation of oil and gas specialist Rupert Lewi continues to grow amongst his peers, while a satisfied client regards him as "one of the most technically skilled lawyers I've seen". He is praised for his deep knowledge of the Japanese legal system, having worked for 12 years in the jurisdiction. He is also experienced in handling matters relating to South America and the Middle East." – Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2012.
- "Rupert Lewi is active in international resources investment work" – Chambers Global, 2010.
- "Rupert Lewi has a wealth of experience in energy projects throughout Asia, South America and the Middle East" – Chambers Global, 2009.