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Providing the energy to make change happen

The North East is undergoing significant energy transition, and helping bring it to fruition is Muckle LLP. To strengthen its position further, the leading independent law firm for businesses recently welcomed vastly experienced project finance lawyer Andrew Coddington as a partner in its banking and restructuring team. Here, Steven Hugill speaks to Andrew about how he intends to use years of work on high-profile international schemes to help Muckle – and the North East – power ahead.

With a family tree rooted in coal mining, it was perhaps inevitable Andrew Coddington’s career would branch into the energy sector.

His influence, though, extends much further than the ‘black gold’ of the UK’s many former collieries.

With nearly two decades spent across Europe, the Caribbean and the Middle East, Andrew has been integral to countless international power-based developments.

A project finance specialist, his extensive CV includes supporting the delivery of Oman’s flagship Duqm refinery, energy-related transactions in Russia and numerous further water, desalination, solar, hydrogen and wind projects. 

And he’s now carving a new seam back in his native North of England.

As a partner in the banking and restructuring team at Muckle LLP, Andrew is channelling his vast experience to bolster the Newcastle-based firm’s already extensive presence across the energy industry.

He says: “Muckle has a great team that has done fantastic energy-related work for some years.

“And I want to use my experience and knowledge to build on what is already here.” 

“There aren’t too many project finance specialists in this part of the world, and that is certainly something that sets Muckle apart in the market,” adds Andrew, who joined the firm in May.

What too provides another unique element is Andrew’s rich and diverse portfolio.

From the Duqm refinery – Oman’s largest infrastructure project – to the sale of media mogul Simon Fuller’s 19 Entertainment business and the offloading of National Car Parks to 3i Group, his transaction list is as long as it is extensive.

He says: “I cover the energy sector in lots of different ways, from mining, metals, trade and export finance, and there is hardly a mineral or an ore out there I’ve not financed the export of.

“I’ve worked on many project financings, and I have Islamic finance experience too – I worked on the construction financing of a toll road in Pakistan, and supported the construction and operation of an Omani iron and steel plant.

“I’ve worked in lots of different places, with different cultures, and I want to use that variety to help this region fulfil its goals. 

“Throughout my career, by moving to different countries, I’ve had to demonstrate an adaptability.

“Because of that, I’m now able to see clearly what I want and need to do, in terms of supporting energy sector development.”

“And with the support within Muckle, I, and we, can make it work,” says Andrew, who spent six years in Oman’s capital Muscat, as well as five years in the British Virgin Islands and 11 split across London and Moscow.

From the Teesworks low-carbon hub in the south of the region, to Blyth’s Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult at its peak, the North East continues to pioneer sustainable breakthroughs.

And the teamwork to which Andrew refers will, he says, play a central role in ensuring the region stays at the vanguard of a rapidly growing and evolving energy sector.

He says: “Energy cuts right through every aspect of Muckle, from employment, litigation and banking to areas including corporate and real estate.

“All of what we do is collaborative and cohesive, with the engagement, influence, knowledge and skills of everyone here driving things forward – and that is different from other firms.”

“The entire firm is contributing to the region’s development, and that is very special,” says Andrew, who originally hails from Doncaster.

He adds: “There is a lot going on in this part of the world, from hydrogen projects to solar, wind and much more.

“I very much feel like I’ve come home, and I want to contribute to Muckle and the local community – through things like our membership of bodies such as NOF and the North East England Chamber of Commerce – and put into practise the interest and focus that will drive the North of England.

“Whatever your political colour, the North East is the best place to be right now when it comes to the Green Industrial Revolution.

“There is so much going on that is tangibly happening, rather than being spoken about, and that makes it different to other places.

“And we in the North of England, particularly in the North East and here at Muckle, have the drive, the vigour and the vitality to continue making things happen.”

Muckle LLP