"She is a very thorough and commercially-minded lawyer with a deep understanding of the mining sector."
Chambers UK 2018


Rachel Speight is a partner in the Banking & Finance practice of the London office. She represents banks and sponsors in international structured and project financings. She particularly focuses on the mining finance sector and has experience in infrastructure finance in areas including the road, rail and healthcare sectors, including work on PPP projects.

Rachel joined Mayer Brown in 1999 and has spent some time on secondment to both the Royal Bank of Scotland and WestLB.

Consistently recommended and ranked as a key individual by the legal directories, Rachel is "highly regarded for her advice to banks and sponsors in large project financings across the globe" (Chambers UK 2018). Chambers UK 2017 commends Rachel for being "balanced, dedicated, extremely technical, very commercial and knowledgeable ". She is "commended for her impressive experience on the African continent " by Chambers Global 2018. "A key partner in the mining practice " (Legal 500 2017), Rachel is "a very thorough and commercially-minded lawyer with a deep understanding of the mining sector" (Chambers UK 2018).

Rachel has been selected for inclusion in the Legal 500 Private Practice Powerlist: African Specialists 2019. She was also listed in The 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining 2013 and The International Who's Who of Mining Lawyers 2013 to 2019, and was named as one of the Hot 100 lawyers by the Lawyer (2015).

Spoken Languages

  • English


  • Advising Sumitomo Metals & Mining (acting in consortium with its partner, Sumitomo Corporation), on its US$1.2 billion acquisition of a minority shareholding in the Teck-owned, Quebrada Blanca Copper Project in Chile and advising SMM on the related US $2.5 billion project financing of the Quebrada Blanca phase 2 project.
  • Represented Africa Finance Corporation as lender on the acquisition of the Bonikro mine in Côte d'Ivoire.
  • Advised the Lenders, including Société Générale and BNP Paribas on the financing and development of Roxgold Inc.'s Yaramoko gold project in Burkina Faso ("Africa – Mining and Metals Deal of the Year 2015" IJGlobal Europe and Africa Awards).
  • Advised a group of ECAs on the proposed US$2.5bn financing for the Cobra Panama Copper project in Panama.
  • Advising the Lenders on the $3bn financing of First Quantum, a global mining company which included advising on the existing Franco Nevada Streaming arrangement.
  • Advising Standard Chartered Bank on the US$350m financing of the Kansanshi Mine in Zambia.
  • Advising the financing parties on the $350 million refinancing of Endeavour Mining's assets in Cote d'Ivoire, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana.
  • Advising the finance parties including the Korean Development Bank and Korean Finance Corporation Export Development Canada and Export-Import Bank of the United States on a loan to develop a copper, cobalt and zinc project in Baja California Sur and its subsequent restructuring.
  • Advising the sponsor on the project financing of its assets in Eritrea which involved a number of African and other official lenders.
  • Advising the Sponsor on the Royalty financing arrangements connected with a mine in Greenland.
  • Advising the Lenders on the pre-export facility for a mining company in Armenia, specialising in copper and molybdenum mining and processing.
  • Advising on an Iron Ore joint venture in Mauritania.
  • Advising Xstrata and Sphere Minerals on various aspects of its projects in Mauritania.
  • Advising the finance parties (including European official lenders) on the project financing of the Kwale mine in Kenya ("African Mining Deal of the Year 2011" Project Finance International).
  • Advising Nordic Mines on the financing and subsequent refinancing of their gold mine in Finland.
  • Advised the finance parties on the successful project financing for the Kevitsa Mine in Finland.
  • Advising Discovery Minerals on the successful project financing of its Boseto Copper project in Botswana ("African Mining Deal of the Year 2011" Project Finance Magazine).
  • Advising successful concessionaire on the development of an oil terminal at the Port of Aqaba, Jordan.
  • Advising the Mandated Lead Arrangers on the $90m financing of the Karma Gold Project in Burkina Faso.
  • Advising natural resources fund Medea Future Materials Fund L.P. on a loan related to the acquisition of the Adidi Kanga gold mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo by Vector Resources. 
  • Representing four international export credit agencies as lenders to the project financing of the Tahrir petrochemical plant in Ain Sokhna, Egypt.
  • Representing the arrangers in relation to a senior debt facility made available to Bea Mountain Mining Corporation in relation to the New Liberty gold project in Liberia. This transaction was named Development Funding Deal of the Year (Mines & Money December 2013). 
  • Representing one of the largest steel producers in the world on a major arbitration in relation to its mineral rights in South Africa.
  • Advising the Klesch Group, a global industrial company on the novel financing of its Heide refinery in Germany.
  • Pro bono counsel for Women in Mining.


  • England and Wales

Consistently recommended and ranked as a key or leading individual by the legal directories

  • Listed Legal 500 Private Practice Power List: African Specialists 2019.
  • Rachel Speight possesses a strong international mining practice with a particular emphasis on project financing. She is noted for her experience of representing banks and other lenders in cross-jurisdictional mining matters. Interviewees highlight her "industry knowledgeable and ability to find solutions to problems that arise in transactions."(Chambers UK 2019).
  • Clients recommend mining specialist Rachel for her "commercial outlook and experience". (Legal 500 2018).
  • Rachel Speight has "an excellent understanding of the project finance and mining finance business", according to sources. She is highly sought after thanks to her "excellent sector knowledge and vast experience". (Who's Who Legal: Mining 2018).
  • Rachel Speight is highly regarded for her advice to banks and sponsors in large project financings across the globe. One commentator reports: "She is a very thorough and commercially-minded lawyer with a deep understanding of the mining sector." (Chambers UK 2018).
  • Rachel Speight and Ian Coles are "experienced, focused and hands-on lawyers who provide the required senior oversight for all matters". She is a key partner in the mining practice. (Legal 500 2017).
  • "Rachel has always been excellent in her service to the bank. Readily accessible and understanding the key issues very quickly and clearly." (IFLR 1000 2017).
  • Rachel Speight is "balanced, dedicated, extremely technical, very commercial and knowledgeable," according to clients. She frequently advises on project finance and has extensive experience of international mining projects. (Chambers UK 2017).
  • Listed and recommended in Who's Who Legal: Mining 2013 to 2019.
  • Rachel Speight is a mining project finance lawyer who is particularly well known for her work representing lenders. Sources say: "She is very detailed and has a good style that builds bridges between a client and banks."
  • Rachel is listed in Who's Who Legal: Project Finance 2016 to 2019.
  • Nominated as one of this year’s Hot 100 lawyers by The Lawyer (2015).
  • Sources say she is "very available, always trying to find the right solutions and has answers to any questions you have." (Chambers UK 2015).
  • Listed in The 100 Global Inspiration Women in Mining 2013.
  • "very approachable and experienced," "very calm and considered, and isn't easily flustered even when there's an impending disaster." (Chambers UK 2013).
  • Rachel attracts high praise from clients and peers (Legal 500 2013).
  • She is picked out by sources for her high profile "Rachel is heavily involved in the mining sector". Speight also has experience of working on mining matters in Finland and Mauritania; (Chambers 2014).
  • Chambers Global 2014 commends Rachel for her "very impressive work" and mining sector dedication; she is "very approachable and experienced."
  • Clients are particularly impressed by the way in which she remains "very calm and considered, and isn't easily flustered even when there's an impending disaster." (Chambers UK 2013).
  • She is complimented for her level headedness and dedicated work ethic in Africa (Chambers Global 2013).
  • "Concise, reasoned in her analysis, and commercial" (Legal 500 2011).
  • She is praised for being "clear in communication, easy to deal with and quick to respond" notes (Chambers UK 2011).
  • Legal 500, 2010 recommends Rachel for "the broad range of her experience".
  • In 2009, she was listed as "extremely experienced, level-headed and commercial".