Alex McLean

  • Alex McLean
  • PARTNER
  • +353 1 920 1195
  • Arthur Cox, Ten Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2, D02 T380, Ireland

Expertise

Alex is Head of the Arthur Cox Infrastructure, Construction and Utilities Group and a member of the Arthur Cox Corporate Social Responsibility Advisory Board, with responsibility for the firm’s Pro Bono practice.

Alex has a broad based infrastructure and utilities practice, with particular expertise in renewables, energy and natural resources law. Alex has almost twenty five years energy regulatory, transactional and major projects experience in Ireland and Australia and has been centrally involved in the liberalisation of the energy markets in both jurisdictions. He has extensive experience acting for government, regulators, financiers, market participants and customers, both on the island of Ireland and internationally, and combines broad industry expertise with a strong background in energy regulation and reform. Prior to joining Arthur Cox, Alex spent six years in the Projects Group of a leading Australian law firm.

Alex has been named as one of 25 thought leaders in energy law internationally by Who’s Who Legal Global Elite (since 2018); as one of the top 30 energy lawyers in the world by the Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers, Best of the Best (since 2016); as one of only four Star Individuals in energy in Europe by Chambers & Partners (since 2007); and as one of only three Irish lawyers in the Legal 500 Hall of Fame for energy (since 2018).  Alex is a Non-resident Fellow of the Payne Institute, an energy and environmental institute at the Colorado School of Mines, and serves on the Management Committee of the Energy Law Group, an association of leading independent energy law firms in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Experience

Alex’s experience includes:

  • Conventional Power Projects: advised the sponsors on almost all large IPPs in Ireland including the 343MW CCGT Huntstown Phase I Power Project (first IPP in Ireland); the 401.5MW CCGT Huntstown Phase II Power Project; the 445MW CCGT Whitegate Power Project; and the 431MW CCGT Great Island Power Project.
  • Renewable Power Projects: advised sponsors and lenders multiple renewable power projects including almost 1GW of onshore wind projects; the €500M Dublin Waste to Energy PPP Project; and multiple CHP projects; as well as advising the State on the consenting of all offshore wind projects in Ireland.
  • Electrical Interconnectors: advising the sponsors on the development of the proposed 500MW HVDC Greenlink Interconnector; the ownership and operation the 500MW HVDC Moyle Interconnector; and the funding of the 500MW HVDC East West Interconnector.
  • Storage: advising Lumcloon Energy on its joint venture with Hanwha to develop 2x100MW battery energy storage projects in Ireland.
  • Demand: advised many of the largest demand customers in the State on electricity and gas connection and supply, including in the data centre, industrial, pharma and technology sectors.
  • Upstream Gas:advised the State in connection with the consenting and regulation of upstream petroleum including all offshore consents for the Corrib Gas Field and the CRU on development and implementation of the Petroleum Safety Framework.
  • Downstream Gas: advised on the Islandmagee Gas Storage Project; the Scotland to Northern Ireland Gas Pipeline; and the CRU in relation to downstream gas regulation including defence of landmark judicial review proceedings in relation to gas tariffing arrangements, establishment of an all-island system operator; implementation of Entry/Exit; development of the Unified Code of Operations and licensing of gas storage.
  • Energy Market Regulation & Reform: advised government, regulators and market participants in relation to the implementation of I-SEM (Ireland and NI), the Common Arrangements for Gas (Ireland and NI); the Single Electricity Market (Ireland and NI); MAE (Ireland); BETTA (GB); the National Electricity Market (Australia); Gas Entry/Exit (Ireland); NTS Exit Reforms (GB); and Gas Retail Market Implementation (Australia).
  • Mergers & Acquisitions: advised on more than €4 billion in energy sector M&A, including EPH on the acquisition of a majority interest in Tynagh Energy; Arcapita in respect of its disposal of Viridian Group to I-Squared Capital, Gas Natural Fenosa on its acquisition of Vayu; Centrica in respect of its acquisition of Bord Gais Energy; Viridian on its acquisition by Arcapita and multiple renewable acquisitions and disposals.
Education
  • Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice, 1995, UTS
  • BComm, LL.B, 1993, University of New South Wales
Professional
  • Admitted as a solicitor in Northern Ireland, 2004
  • Admitted as a solicitor in Ireland, 2003
  • Admitted as a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand (non-practising), 2002
  • Admitted as a legal practitioner in New South Wales (non-practising), 1995