Melanie A. Shishler

Melanie’s ability to bring strategic thinking to clients’ public and private mergers and acquisitions is the reason organizations across numerous sectors rely on her expertise for their complex transactions.

A significant portion of Melanie’s practice is working with clients in the mining sector. Her skill in this area has earned Melanie recognition in Chambers Global for Mining. She is lead counsel on worldwide and significant M&A initiatives for Barrick Gold Corporation as well as numerous intermediate and junior mining companies.

She is well regarded by clients for her insight into the business realities of Canadian and international M&A. Melanie, says a client, “gives frank advice, which is always top notch, but also grounded in commercial sense, regarding what’s possible and how to do the transaction.” (Chambers Global 2016)

Melanie is a member of our Management Committee.

The Mining Law Practice:

Mining companies are transforming themselves to boost profitability, strengthen their social impact and adopt cutting-edge practices. Our team helps you make those bold moves swiftly and successfully.

Global mining companies rely on our team for their most structurally complex and precedent-setting deals. Working across borders and with every type of commodity, we immerse ourselves in your strategies, projects and operations, and use our deep practical experience to create solutions that work.

Our clients range from senior players to junior and mid-tier companies as well as emerging exploration and development companies. Across international borders, we organize and coordinate teams of legal, financial, accounting and technical experts to get the deal done.

Thanks to our long-standing relationships with industry leaders, you get our broad perspective and practical advice on everything from project financings, strategic alliances and streaming arrangements to restructurings, dispute resolution and the mitigation of political risk.

Our team has sector-focused expertise in M&A, securities, tax strategies, finance and litigation. We also have deep experience tackling environmental and Indigenous issues. And we are tracking emerging, potentially disruptive technologies.

We’re here to advise you on every step in the acquisition, growth and financing of your company and at every stage in the exploration, development, financing and operation of specific properties.

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg:

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP is an integrated firm of approximately 240 lawyers with offices in Toronto, Montréal and New York. The firm is focused on business law and is consistently at the heart of the largest and most complex commercial and financial matters on behalf of its clients, regardless of borders.

Davies is a market leader in each of its core practice areas. The Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada ranks Davies as the leading firm in corporate transactions in Toronto.

We act for a wide range of leading industrial and commercial companies and financial institutions, both public and private, in Canada, the United States and abroad. As well, our clients include governments, regulatory bodies, charitable organizations, international agencies, educational institutions, individuals and trusts and estates. Many clients are directed to us for special-purpose engagements by other North American and international law firms.

All law firms are not created equal. The difference at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg is that we consistently produce superior results for our clients.

Guillaume P. Blanc

Guillaume P. Blanc is an executive in ENSafrica’s project development and project finance department. He specialises in project acquisition, development and finance, as well as energy, utilities, mining and petroleum law.

Guillaume has gained more than 20 years of experience in law firms in Africa (South Africa and Mauritius), Europe (London and Paris) and the Asia-Pacific (Sydney, Perth and a secondment in Shanghai).

He has advised clients in developing markets on the acquisition, financing and development of energy, water, oil, gas and mining projects across many jurisdictions, in particular:

  • Latin America (French Guiana, Brazil)
  • Europe (France, Spain and Luxemburg)
  • Africa (Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Guinea, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, DRC, Burundi, Djibouti, Madagascar, Angola, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe); and
  • the Asia-Pacific area (China, Mongolia, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia).

Guillaume’s energy and natural resources law experience includes advising clients on the legislative and regulatory framework and permitting process relevant to corporate and property acquisitions relating to energy and natural resources; conducting acquisition due diligence investigations in respect of energy, oil and gas and mineral companies, properties, tenements and assets; and advising on exploration and production agreements, production and supply agreements, off-take agreements, and other contractual matters.

His project acquisition, development and finance experience includes acquisition due diligence investigations in respect of project companies and assets; project structuring; project-related regulatory and legislative advice; project sponsorship, ownership and financing; and project development and procurement. His experience covers the following phases of the project acquisition, development and financing lifecycle:

  • advising on project acquisition, ownership and development
  • completing acquisition due diligence investigations in respect of project companies, assets, properties and tenements, including providing legal opinions and title reports
  • drafting, negotiating and managing government support and participation structures, investment incentives and permitting/regulatory processes and applications
  • drafting, negotiating, reviewing and amending project development agreements, including concessions, joint-development or production agreements, joint-operating agreements, off-take agreements and exiting agreements
  • drafting, negotiating, reviewing and amending financing agreements, including loan agreements, project finance lending agreements, sponsor support and security packages.

Guillaume has acted as legal counsel to project owners, sponsors and lenders. In addition, he has advised governments (China, Vietnam and Morocco) and international development institutions (the World Bank, AusAID, CIDA, ABD and the EU) on the reform of mineral/energy legislation and public administrations, as well as on the privatisation of state-owned oil, electricity and water production and distribution operators (Morocco, Gabon, Burundi, Cameroon and Djibouti).

ENSAFRICA’S MINING LAW PRACTICE:

ENSafrica has a deep understanding of the commercial, regulatory and technical aspects of the business of mining, and is entrusted by local and international clients to develop innovative solutions that best meet their individual needs.

As a result, ENSafrica has a solid reputation in industry transactions, having led a number of large, high-profile, complex mining matters. The firm also guides clients in establishing in-country and cross-border operations throughout Africa, and is renowned for its ability to manage risk and leverage opportunities for clients in the mining sector.

ENSafrica offers the full spectrum of legal expertise across the mining value chain in Africa, including providing advice on, and assistance with:

  • regulatory compliance
  • environment
  • mine and occupational health and safety
  • access to mines, and land- and surface-use matters
  • local content and empowerment
  • community development and stakeholder management
  • mineral royalties
  • upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas industry activities
  • corporate commercial
  • M&A, group restructuring and joint ventures
  • due diligence investigations
  • competition and anti-trust
  • listings (JSE, AltX, ASX and AIM)
  • tax, mining tax, exchange control and transfer pricing
  • project development and project finance
  • resource finance, sophisticated funding arrangements and debt capital markets
  • insolvency, business rescue and debt recovery
  • dispute resolution
ENSAFRICA:

ENSafrica is Africa’s largest law firm, with over 600 practitioners, and more than 200 years of experience in high-level, complex commercial work. The firm’s focus is on what’s best for the client and striving for excellence, in both offering and service. ENSafrica is committed to providing clients with cost-effective outcomes by ensuring work is done at the right level, and in the manner that best suits clients’ preferences and pricing structures.

ENSafrica is an independent law firm with fully integrated offices across Southern, West and East Africa and Mauritius. The firm offers clients many years’ accumulated know-how and solid experience, whether doing business in-country or cross-continent, helping to minimise risk and leverage business opportunities across Africa.

ENSafrica has lawyers qualified to practise English, French and OHADA law, a dedicated Asia practice group, as well as practitioners who are fluent in African and international languages, including Mandarin, Cantonese, French, Portuguese and Swahili.

Through the financial services centre of Mauritius, ENSafrica also offers a unique possibility to integrate all aspects of structuring clients’ investments in relation to all commercial areas of law, tax, IP and fiduciary.

 

Alberto Sánchez

Born in Mexico City on December 29, 1971, he is a graduate of Universidad La Salle where he finished his studies in 1994 obtaining his law degree in 1996 after publishing his thesis “Expropriation as a right derived from Mining Concessions”. With more than 20 years of experience, his practice is focused mainly in the areas of corporate law, mining, migratory, foreign investments and community relationships. Mr. Vazquez has been permanently involved in the establishment of Mexican companies, corporate management of mercantile companies, as well as drafting agreements in general and representing important corporate foreign groups with businesses in Mexico. In relation to the mining field, he has carried on important negotiations to access superficial lands where the concessions are located, having also a vast experience in drafting and negotiating contracts that involve mining concession rights, as well as mining corporations in general and relationship with communities.

Mr. Vazquez is also a skilled lawyer in immigration matters, which includes obtaining immigration documents for foreign executives from different nationalities who have come to work in our country.

He is an active partner of the Mexican Mining, Metallurgy and Geology Engineer Association, A.C., member of work groups organized by the Mexican Mining Chamber (CAMIMEX) and the Mining Promotion Management of the Economy Department.

Mr. Vazquez has been invited as a speaker in local seminars related to mining law issues and has written several articles for magazines specialized in mining and environmental law. He authored the Mexican Chapter on Mining Regulations in the “Mining Law Review” and is a contributing author of “Mining For Success II” published in 2014.

Mining Law Practice:

VSG Legal with 25 years of experience VSG has become a leader law firm in issues related to Mining Law, developing during the practice all the areas included within this field.

We fully understand and we have grown alongside the mining industry, building relationships with the authorities in charge of:

  • Community Relationships (Negotiation of contracts with “ejidos”, communities, small landowners, “Ejido” and Community Councils.)
  • National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) (Negotiation of agreements and obtaining authorizations)
  • Agrarian Authorities (Ministry of Agrarian Reform, Agrarian Department and National Agrarian Registry)
  • Ministry of National Defense
  • Defense (Obtaining authorization for the purchase, storage and use of explosives), Religious institutions
    and Environmental Authorities
  • Energy Sector Authorities (Federal Commision of Electricity and and Energy Regulation Commision) (Obtaining authorization for electric power generation)

VSG Legal produced the video “Inside The Earth” Mining In Mexico – which is available to view online.

VSG Legal:

VSG is committed to all its clients, we have the firm conviction that each and everyone of them are important to us; we appreciate the trust set on this Firm and we warrantee personal attention by the partners, who will make their best efforts to promptly and professionally deal with each issue brought to them.

VSG is a legal attorney’s firm settled in Mexico City by a team of professional lawyers with solid commitment to their clients.

The main values of VSG are based on the professionalism, loyalty and trust offered to its clients. One of its main goals is to develop a close bond with its clients, based on excellent service, trust, friendship and professionalism, always looking forward for a long-lasting relationship.

The relative youth of VSG is backed up by a long life of experience acquired during approximately 25 years in the exercise of professional activity, always providing timely, personalized and efficient attention. Our human team is a group of people who are loyal, committed and in constant development.

Mouhamed Kebe

Mouhamed Kebe is the managing partner of Geni & Kebe, a full-service law firm based in Senegal with 15 affiliate offices across Africa. His practice encompasses corporate and investment law, with a particular focus on natural resources (mining and energy).

Top-tier ranked in Chambers global as leader in his field, Mouhamed is also highly recommended as a leading lawyer in the IFLR1000: Energy and Infrastructure guide (2014). He is closely attuned to foreign investors’ concerns about doing business in Africa. He also oversees commercial transactions including joint ventures, banking and finance corporate reorganisation, and restructuring.

Mouhamed graduated from the University of Dakar Cheikh Anta Diop (Senegal) and the University of Essex (United Kingdom), and earned a certificate in international commercial and investment arbitration from the University of London.

He is qualified with the Senegalese Bar Association (1993) and is a member of the Law Society of England and Wales (international division), the American Bar Association and the International Bar Association.

He regularly speaks in seminars and workshops on issues relating to investment and doing business in Africa, and has authored many studies and articles on mining law.

He has seconded in major law firms based in Paris and London. He is fluent in English, French, Wolof and Arabic.

Patricia Bunye

Ms. Bunye heads the Mining & Natural Resources Department and the Energy practice group, and is also a Partner in the Intellectual Property Department.

Her Intellectual Property practice is focused on trademarks and IP commercialization, including licensing and franchising, and the registration of food, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical products with the Food & Drug Administration.

She is currently a Vice President of the Licensing Executives Society International (LESI). Previous to her appointment to the LESI Board, she held positions in the Asia Pacific Committee of LES International, the most recent of which was as Chair for two consecutive terms. She is also a past President of LES Philippines. She has spoken in many countries on IP licensing in the Philippines.

In her Mining & Natural Resources practice, she is recognized among the foremost mining lawyers in the Philippines. In the 2012 edition of the Chambers directory, Patricia is cited as “an excellent strategist with a solid understanding of the industry.”

She is an active member of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines’ Legal Committee and is a regular speaker in the Mining 101 course of the University of the Philippines lecture series. She is the current President of Diwata-Women in Resource Development, Inc., a non-government organization advocating the responsible development of the Philippines’ wealth in resources, principally, through industries such as mining, oil and gas, quarrying, and other mineral resources from the earth for processing.

Patricia has likewise served in the Integrated Bar of the Philippines in various capacities, including as Chapter President. She obtained her Juris Doctor degree from the Ateneo de Manila University School of Law in 1993. She also holds a degree in Bachelor of Science, Major in Legal Management from the same University.

Her socio-civic involvements include her work as a Director of the Catholic Mass Media Awards. She is also a member of Zonta International.

Mining & Natural Resources Law Practice:

The firm is recognized for its conscientious, proactive, and highly skilled mining and energy team.

In our mining practice, we provide counsel to leading mining and exploration companies on a broad range of matters, including compliance with nationality and capitalization requirements, obtaining government approvals, licenses and registrations required for the commencement of mining activities, preparing and reviewing applications for mineral agreements and exploration permits, and drafting, negotiating and reviewing contracts pertinent to the mining industry, such as joint ventures, operating agreements and other suitable business arrangements. We also have experience in rendering title opinions, advice on land tenure and ancestral domain issues, and mining litigation, among others.

In our energy practice, we advise investors, private equity funds, lenders, contractors and suppliers on the appropriate transaction and governance structures of mergers and acquisitions, including development, financing, operation, sale and distribution projects in the power and energy sector. Our lawyers have represented various clients in successfully obtaining required government accreditation and permits and also routinely negotiate, draft and review agreements and contracts necessary to implement complex transactions in this field.

With a sustainable environment in mind, our lawyers have rendered advice on investments and laws governing renewable sources of energy, including hydro, wind, geothermal, solar and biofuels.

A multi-disciplinary approach, often involving collaboration with the firm’s other departments, allows the team to effectively service all its clients’ business needs.

The team has been consistently commended for offering concise, relevant and insightful advice born from a precise understanding of the needs of foreign companies doing business in the Philippines. The group also possesses distinct competencies and resources that give it the ability to forge strategic partnerships with relevant agencies and organizations.

Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia:

Building upon the founding principles that brought success to a partnership that spanned over 33 years, a group of 15 partners led by Avelino J. Cruz, Jr., former Secretary of National Defense and Simeon V. Marcelo, former Ombudsman and Solicitor General – exceptional lawyers with impeccable professional reputations – founded Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia.

United by common ideals and shared values, ours is a true partnership of accomplished professionals dedicated to building a legal institution that will carry on the torch of professionalism, meritocracy and mutual respect that transcend individual interests – principles befitting true practitioners of the noble profession of law.

Our core partnership values translate into our governance principles and are both integral to ensuring that our lawyers are able to deliver the highest quality of service to help our clients attain success.