“Whether our clients come from the industrial or the financial sectors, thanks to INVEEST we can all speak the same language and better understand their issues and expectations.”
Justine Bain-Thouverez is a partner at the law firm LLC associés where she is in charge of the Business Law and Energy Law practice.
In this interview, she explains why the energy transition is at the heart of her work as a lawyer and how the INVEEST program helps her supporting her clients, whether they are from the industrial or financial sectors.
The link between being a lawyer and favoring the energy transition does not seem obvious at first sight. Why did such an interest arise?
We assist our clients in the industrialization and reindustrialization of their business. The energy transition will play a key role in tomorrow’s growth: investing in energy efficiency will foster future industrial growth. These projects can represent a certain number of costs. However, anticipating future costs can be a good thing sometimes.
Our goal is to show our clients that the energy transition can be beneficial.
And how do you convince your clients to launch their energy transition?
Today, one cannot separate energy transition from business strategy. Unfortunately, all companies do not have an energy manager who is able to deal with these issues.
That’s precisely why we help our clients build a macro vision of their energy transition. The goal is to integrate the energy strategy into the company’s overall strategy. For example, from a real estate point of view, the renovation of a building must be accompanied by a low-carbon or renewable energy strategy.
Helping them with their contracts means we also help them reducing their energy consumption and increasing their benefits by:
- Reselling surplus energy,
- Creating network injection devices,
- Setting up energy performance contracts that allow them to earn money when an energy performance target is reached.
We also encourage them to change their vision. The savings generated by one project can be used to finance another one and the risks are therefore split.
Do these issues impact the way you work?
The energy transition requires a systemic approach rather than a thematic one. A project will necessarily face real estate issues at some point (linked to construction or insurance fo instance), contractual issues with special leases, or even banking law issues.
The idea that we defend with our colleagues is that we can help companies at every stage of the process.
Why did you decide to participate in the INVEEST training program?
Our clients come both from the industrial and financial sectors and we needed to speak the same language, to understand their problems, their challenges and their expectations. Our goal is not to replace financial experts, but we must be able to offer our clients a comprehensive range of financing and legal solutions to support energy transition projects.
Today, we are able to tell our clients that it is possible to match energy investment and sustainable objectives through legal and financing solutions.
And what did you learn during the training program?
I was able to talk with people from the finance and industrial sectors. I was able to understand how my finance clients build financial models, which is very useful for me to write contracts. I also discovered that it was possible to opt for leasing . Finally, I was able to refine my knowledge of ADEME subsidies and CEE financing programs thanks to detailed roadmaps.
The INVEEST training course is available here.