Tax Equity and Project Finance Partner Shariff Barakat Joins Akin Gump in Washington
Mr. Barakat brings significant tax equity experience on renewable energy matters
(Washington, D.C.) – Shariff Barakat, who brings substantial experience advising on the development, acquisition and tax equity financing of renewable energy projects, has joined Akin Gump as a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office and a member of the firm’s project finance & development and tax practices.
Mr. Barakat’s practice focuses on the representation of developers, sponsors, tax equity investors, lenders and other stakeholders in the acquisition, development and financing of power generation projects, particularly in the renewable power space.
Prior to joining Akin Gump. Mr. Barakat was a partner at Nixon Peabody. Earlier in his career, he worked at a large consulting firm, where he advised clients on renewable power tax equity transactions.
Commenting on Mr. Barakat’s arrival, Akin Gump chairperson Kim Koopersmith said, “Shariff is a great addition to our firm. We have long been proud to offer clients a team with extensive experience advising on renewable and other clean energy infrastructure projects. With his deep background in the tax equity financing of these projects—honed in both the law firm and consulting firm environments—Shariff will strengthen our bench, add depth to our offerings and be a real boon to our clients. I am thrilled to welcome him to Akin Gump.”
Added John Goodgame, co-head of Akin Gump’s firmwide corporate practice, “With clients increasingly pursuing renewable energy, carbon capture and other infrastructure projects, particularly those centered around the energy transition components of the Biden-Harris administration’s proposed infrastructure plan, Shariff brings an immensely valuable skill set. He will be an outstanding addition to our team.”
Stuart Leblang, co-head of Akin Gump’s tax practice, concurred, adding, “What makes Shariff stand out isn’t simply his deep knowledge of tax equity financing, but his ability to quarterback a deal from start to finish. He brings hard skills and a soup-to-nuts understanding of the development and financing of energy projects that our clients will appreciate.”
Throughout his career, Mr. Barakat has advised clients on deals employing billions of dollars in closed and funded investments supporting gigawatts of renewable energy, including large and small utility-scale solar and wind projects, large and small residential solar portfolios, community solar projects, commercial and industrial (C&I) solar projects, geothermal projects, waste-to-energy projects and other biomass projects.
Speaking of his move to Akin Gump, Mr. Barakat said, “Akin Gump offers the ideal platform for my practice and a tremendous opportunity for my clients. It is home to renowned and top-tier practices in energy and tax, has an expansive footprint across the U.S., and has a deep and respected presence in the renewable and clean energy spaces. The ability to expand my practice and to help the growing number of clients at Akin Gump who are pursuing opportunities with renewable and clean energy projects was one I simply could not pass up.”
Mr. Barakat received his J.D. and his LL.M., Taxation, from Georgetown University Law Center, and his B.A. from the University of Southern California.
About Akin Gump’s Project Finance and Development Experience
Akin Gump’s depth in the energy sector includes significant experience with renewable energy and other projects related to the energy transition, such as wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, bioenergy, landfill gas, carbon capture and storage, renewable natural gas, and hydrogen projects. Our team helps clients develop, finance, construct, operate, buy and sell energy and infrastructure projects and companies throughout the world. Within the project finance and development space, our team offers deep industry knowledge and an understanding of related complex investment vehicles and the tangle of regulations surrounding them.
Our team provides cutting-edge business and legal solutions across the project finance and development sector. This includes all aspects of major project development such as power purchase agreements, capacity market regulations around renewable energy, Renewable Energy Credits (REC) trading, power purchase and other offtake agreements, and all related regulatory issues. Team members also routinely advise on finance matters, including development equity capital, development loans, equipment loans, construction financing, tax-equity bridge loans, back-leverage term debt, tax equity financing, cash equity investments, preferred equity investments and joint-venture arrangements.
About Akin Gump’s Tax Practice
Every decision a business makes—from choice of entity through daily operations to ultimate dissolution—has complex and critical tax implications. By providing experienced guidance to help limit liability through sound planning, meticulous preparation and creative solutions to tax challenges, Akin Gump supports clients in making the right decisions and planning for the future. Our global team of recognized leaders helps guide clients through even their most daunting circumstances. Our tax team offers multidisciplinary services to ensure that no consideration is neglected in even the most complex transactions.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
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