Houston – Pablo Ferrante and Robert Goldberg, partners in Mayer Brown’s Houston office, have been named “Rising Stars” by Law360, a recognition that “honors attorneys under 40 whose accomplishments in major transactions or litigation belie their age,” the publication said. Mr. Ferrante, a Corporate & Securities partner, was selected in the Energy category (view article); Mr. Goldberg, a Banking & Finance partner, was chosen in the Project Finance category (view article).

Mr. Ferrante was recognized for his experience advising oil and gas companies in Latin America, including his current representation of Ecopetrol in connection with a $3.3 billion modernization and expansion project for the Barrancabermeja refinery, Colombia’s largest oil refinery. Law360 noted that “…his hard work and bicultural fluency have helped his firm establish a strong foothold in the Latin American energy market.”

The publication also reported on Mr. Ferrante’s recent work with Bioenergy on the negotiation of its agreement with Isolux Corsan for the engineering, procurement and construction of Bioenergy’s $203 million ethanol plant in Puerto Lopez, Colombia. The plant will be the largest ethanol plant in the country, with the capacity to produce 480,000 liters of ethanol per day.

Mr. Ferrante cited good mentors as a key factor in his success. “You get the guidance that you need and are able to learn from them, and at the same time you can contribute with the enthusiasm and the energy and the willingness to work very hard,” he said.

A co-leader of Mayer Brown’s Renewable Energy group, Mr. Goldberg was honored for his “work on some of the most innovative project finance deals,” particularly in the renewable energy field. One such project was Hatchet Ridge, a 101-megawatt California wind farm that was the first leveraged lease financing of an operational US wind farm since the early 1980s. The publication also referenced Macho Springs, a 50.4-megawatt wind farm project in New Mexico in which Mr. Goldberg represented an institutional investor involved in the construction, term loan and structured equity financing of the transaction, which involved debt, tax equity, a cash grant from the Department of Treasury and bonds.

Law360 noted Mr. Goldberg’s involvement in a wide range of project finance work early on in his career, which he says helped him develop “a tremendous foundation” in understanding how deals fit together. “I’ve benefited from maintaining flexibility in the types of deals I do. I now have a broad practice that focuses on every technique to finance a project, which keeps it interesting,” he said.

Law360 received more than 1,000 submissions for the “Rising Stars” series this year, from which five attorneys were selected in each category. Winners were chosen based on the strength of their accomplishments in their practice areas.