Conrad Marais is a senior projects and corporate-commercial lawyer with wide-ranging experience across a number of sectors (including general industry, resources (mining and petroleum), ports, power, renewable energy, infrastructure, construction and agri-business). He specialises in corporate and commercial transactions (including M&A), project finance and project development (structuring, tenure issues, land use and access, native title, construction and government agreements).
Conrad started his career in Australia with international firm Allens Linklaters (as it is now known) in its Energy, Resources and Infrastructure and Corporate teams in Perth and Melbourne where he worked closely with key international and domestic energy and resource companies. Conrad then spent four years in the Corporate Team at Freshfields in London, working on cross border M&A transactions in Europe and Asia. He also worked in the firm’s Energy sub-group, advising on a broad range of transactions, joint venture and energy, resources and infrastructure projects in a number of emerging markets in South-East Asia and Australia.
In addition to his experience in Australia, Conrad has extensive experience in emerging markets, particularly Africa. He is individually rated by Chambers Global for his projects and energy work in Africa, noted as a “a standout individual” with an extensive cultural and legal understanding of Africa.
Immediately prior to returning to Hunt & Humphry (where he clerked in 1998/99), Conrad spent 5 years with specialist project finance and corporate law firm Trinity International LLP in its London office developing resources, energy and infrastructure projects across Africa and in other emerging markets. Trinity is rated alongside some of the largest and best international firms globally for its expertise in Africa. Hunt & Humphry and Trinity work closely together giving clients capacity internationally in order to service the significant connection between projects, transactions, expertise and debt and equity markets in Australia, Europe and growth markets (notably Africa).
Conrad has advised on project finance and corporate-commercial transactions in all the key economic centres of Africa (including Burkino Faso, Ghana, Tanzania, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Lesotho, Cape Verde, Mauritius, Mozambique, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Zambia) and Asia (including The Philippines, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Brunei).
Recent transactions include project financing of the $500m Amandi power station (2016 African Power deal of the Year); acquisition and restructure of Zambian corporate group (Zambia, Ireland, Isle of Man); partial listing of a public limited company on Lusaka Stock Exchange (Zambia); acquisition of interest in four wind farms/shareholder issues (Cape Verde); acting for the lenders in relation to acquisition and transfer of shares in port project (Mozambique); acquisition of Kelvin power station (South Africa); acquisition of interest in 340MW independent power project development (Ghana); disposal of majority stake in airport operating company (Tanzania); acting for the sponsor of a 100MW wind power project financing (Tanzania); US$400m project finance of an agri-energy project (sugar, ethanol, power) (Tanzania); advising the developers of a US$450m combined cycle gas turbine power project (Ghana)
Conrad has advised lenders (including commercial banks such as ABSA and Standard Bank and development finance institutions) and borrowers as well as a range of developers and stakeholders.
Conrad was admitted as a practitioner in the Supreme Court of Western Australia and High Court of Australia in 2000. He holds a BA/LLB (Hons) from the University of Western Australia. He also qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales in 2004.