Milbank Adds Tax Partner Michael Duff, with Strong Focus on Structuring Renewable Energy and Project Finance Deals (Los Angeles)

Mr. Duff, who has helped structure more than $30 billion in renewable energy transactions, strengthens Milbank’s West Coast energy and infrastructure financing platforms.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP announced a prominent new member of its leading project finance and renewable energy team with the addition of Tax partner Michael O’Hara Duff, who joins the firm’s Los Angeles office.

With a practice focused on federal taxation issues, Mr. Duff advises on complex partnerships and other corporate structures used to acquire a wide array of renewable energy assets, including solar, wind, geothermal and photovoltaic energy sources. He has counseled clients on the tax aspects of more than $30 billion in renewable energy transactions, including acquisitions using leveraged lease structures and like-kind exchanges.

Mr. Duff also regularly serves as tax counsel to financial institutions and other large investors in infrastructure project finance matters. He joins Milbank from the Los Angeles office of Sidley Austin, where he was a partner in their tax, energy and project finance and infrastructure practices.

“Our renewable energy and project finance teams handle a steady stream of large transactions in which complex tax considerations play a central role,” said Milbank Chair Scott Edelman. “Michael Duff brings extensive experience advising on a variety of tax-related structures used in energy and infrastructure financings, acquisitions, asset sales and other deals. His strength across the renewables sector will be a benefit to our many stakeholder clients engaged in big-ticket green energy transactions.”

Mr. Duff’s recent transactional matters include:

  • $2.4 billion investment in partnership acquiring a portfolio of wind energy facilities;
  • $1 billion purchase and lease of three geothermal facilities;
  • $531 million upfront and $116 million contingent investment to purchase a portfolio of wind farms;
  • $380 million acquisition of a wind farm, using $170 million of third-party debt;
  • $308 million acquisition and leaseback of a solar thermal plant;
  • $100 million investment in partnership to purchase a utility-scale solar plant in Puerto Rico.
  • Financing transactions for portfolios of rooftop photovoltaic systems in several states.

“Large-scale renewable energy and infrastructure transactions increasingly demand specialized and often innovative tax expertise to achieve maximum benefit for the parties involved,” said Paul Aronzon, co-managing partner of Milbank’s Los Angeles office. “Mike has demonstrated a cutting-edge command of the unique tax aspects of these ventures, and we’re certain he will become a key contributor to our market-leading West Coast project finance team on our clients’ trailblazing renewable energy and infrastructure deals.”

Mr. Duff said, “I’m excited to join Milbank’s Tax Group, which plays an integral role in such a diverse range of major deals the firm handles in renewable energy, power and other infrastructure. Milbank is among the preeminent legal transactional advisers in these important sectors, and I’m looking forward to working with colleagues across the firm.”

Mr. Duff earned his law degree at Vanderbilt University and his Bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Los Angeles.