Bruce Cooper

Clayton Utz
Partner Sydney

Bruce has been a partner of Clayton Utz since late 2010.  For the last nine years he was responsible for managing various aspects of the firm, after having served as an elected Board member of the firm in 2013.

His responsibilities included acting as the National Practice Group Leader of the Banking & Financial Services Group whilst contemporaneously holding the position of Deputy Chief Executive Partner, responsible for client strategies, Clayton Utz's key relationships (he was also the Chief Relationship Partner for the NSW Government and for Woolworths) and for Clayton Utz's international strategies. He was then Chief Executive Partner from 2020 to 2023, leading Clayton Utz through the COVID pandemic and overseeing a period of unprecedented growth in revenue and profitability.

Bruce remains at the firm and is now active in a number of projects for the firm, as a partner in the Major Projects & Construction practice group.

Before joining Clayton Utz, Bruce worked offshore with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, of which he was a partner since the late 90's and held various regional positions of responsibility.

As a practitioner, Bruce has specialised in energy, project and infrastructure work across a broad spectrum, with sectoral expertise in power, oil and gas, water, transport and mining. He has acted for leading developers and consortia on energy and infrastructure assets, and for lenders and borrowers on large-scale limited recourse transactions. He has particular experience advising on project finance and commodity finance, as well as restructurings and work-outs for borrowers and lending groups on large project deals.

Bruce is an active supporter of art and performance in Australia. In 2017 he initiated the Clayton Utz Art Partnership, an industry-first collaboration between Clayton Utz and established and emerging artists. He is also Deputy Chair of the Australian String Quartet. He has a keen interest in supporting and mentoring younger professionals and university students engaged in legal studies. He is a trained mental health first aider and was, for several years, a Director of the Corporate Mental Health Alliance Australia.

Notable Work
  • Borrower/sponsor counsel on Australia's largest project finance loan (US$8.5 billion) in relation to the first coal-seam gas LNG project to be funded on limited recourse terms (Project Finance International Asia Pacific Oil and Gas Deal of the Year);
  • Counsel to a Chinese oil company on a proposed US$17 billion LNG project development offshore Iran;
  • Lenders counsel on a syndicated loan transaction to fund the development of a phthatic anhydride facility;
  • Advising a bank group on the limited recourse funding of a generation and electricity transmission project in West Australia to deliver off-grid energy to a major iron ore mine development;
  • Sponsor counsel on a tank farm project in Queensland;
  • Tenement holder/developer counsel on a Galilee Basin coal project, to be developed on the basis of coal prepayment contracts;
  • Sponsor counsel on a Victorian wind turbine project;
  • Borrower’s counsel on the US$90 million project financing of a Philippines offshore oil field development;
  • Counsel to a major coal mine owner/operator on a number of development/operational funding facilities;
  • Counsel to the commercial lenders steering group on the Alinta deleveraging/restructuring; and
  • Counsel on the development of a Mongolian coal export project.
  • Advising the electricity and REC supplier on the privatisation of the Sydney Desalination Plant;
  • Counsel to a European bank on the Peninsula Link road infrastructure project in Victoria (Project Finance APAC Transport (Road) Deal of the Year);
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