Paul M. Murphy Special Adviser

Speaks:  English

Primary phone: +1-202-294-3307

Fax: +1 416-862-7661


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Primary office:  Toronto

Areas of expertise:

Paul M. Murphy

Paul Murphy is a managing director in Gowling WLG's Energy Group.

Paul's practice focuses on multiple aspects of the nuclear industry – from legal and policy matters, including international regulatory and treaty frameworks and issues regarding nuclear liability, to strategies for developing and financing nuclear power programs and the identification and mitigation of associated risks – representing developers/owners, lenders, investors, and contractors on nuclear projects internationally. He is recognized as an expert in the development and financing of nuclear power programs by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the OECD's Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation (IFNEC), and the U.S. government.

Paul currently serves on the IAEA’s Technical Cooperation Program team, which assists member states in developing civilian nuclear power programs. He has served as a designated expert, chairman, and author at several special meetings and for multiple working groups of the IAEA, primarily involving the development, financing, and structuring of nuclear power projects. He continues to work with the IAEA in a number of key areas, including a revision of the IAEA's Handbook on Nuclear Law and as lead author for a new IAEA report, entitled, "Alternative Contracting and Ownership Practices for Nuclear Power Plants."

Paul is a five-time appointee to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce’s Civilian Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee (CINTAC), and he previously chaired its Finance subcommittee.   CINTAC is a nuclear advisory board for matters relating to the export and competitiveness of U.S. nuclear technology and services.  Paul has also worked with the US Departments of Commerce, State, and Energy on matters relating to the development of nuclear power programs and the financing of nuclear power projects, as well as matters concerning nuclear cooperation agreements.  He has also been heavily involved with the U.S. Nuclear Energy Institute and the U.S. Nuclear Infrastructure Council on issues relating to the devleopment and financing of nuclear power projects, to include work on issues relating to small modular reactors and advanced nuclear reactors.  Paul has been invited twice by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to make presentations before the NRC on issues related to the development and financing of nuclear power projects.

Paul is also a member of ASME’s Technology Advisory Panel for Clean Energy.  In addition, Paul served as the U.S. Government's sole representative on an NEA working group called "Financing of Nuclear Power Plants," acting as chairman for the working group. Paul also chaired the IAEA working group titled “Issues to Improve the Prospects of Financing Nuclear Power Projects.” Paul has also worked with the Nuclear Energy Institute, the U.S. State Department, the US Mission to the OECD, and the Export-Import Bank of the United States on revisions to the OECD's Guidelines for the financing of nuclear power projects by Export Credit Agencies.

For eight years, Paul has served as a faculty member for the "Training Course on Nuclear Power Infrastructure Programs and Related Projects in Emerging Nuclear States," held on behalf of the U.S. State Department and the IAEA at the Argonne National Laboratory and attended by representatives of over 20 foreign governments. Paul has served as the lead instructor for the segments on financing and the bidding / evaluation process for nuclear power projects. In addition, in 2014, 2015, and 2017, Paul served as the lead organizer and a faculty member for the “Interregional Training Course on Legal and Financial Issues for a Decision in Countries Introducing or Expanding Nuclear Power,” held on behalf of the U.S. State Department and the IAEA at the Argonnne National Laboratory.

Some of Paul’s work includes acting as counsel to the following clients:

  • Advised multiple export credit agencies and potential commercial banks in a multi-unit financing for a nuclear power project (Barakah Nuclear Power Project / UAE).
  • Advised K.A.CARE in the structuring of its nuclear holding company, which will be responsible for the development of a multi-unit, multi-site nuclear power program; advisory work included entity structuring, nuclear liability, procurement, program economics, financing, local industrial development, and foreign investment into the program. Additional work has included the review of the Kingdom’s draft laws for nuclear liability and the establishment of the national nuclear regulatory authority (Saudi Arabian nuclear power program).
  • Advising a multi-party, multi-national project company for the development, construction, financing, and operation of a four-unit nuclear power project. The scope of the representation includes advisory work in the following areas: entity structuring and corporate form, nuclear liability, project documentation, program economics, financing, tax structuring, assistance with feasibility study, competition clearances, regulatory advice, and government negotiations (Sinop Nuclear Power Project / Turkey).
  • Advised Rosatom on project documentation for the four unit El-Dabaa Nuclear Power Project in Egypt.
  • Advising Nucleoelectrica Argentina S.A. on the EPC Contract and Major Vendor Subcontract for the Atucha III nuclear power project in Argentina.
  • Advised an export credit agency on the financing for one of the new build nuclear power projects in the United Kingdom.
  • Advising multiple developers of small modular reactors and advanced reactors in the United States and Canada.
  • Advising Canadian Nuclear Laboratories Ltd. on the operation, decommissioning, and management of spent fuel / nuclear waste for the Chalk River Laboratory (and related facilities under CNL's management) in Canada. 
  • Advised AECL on nuclear liability matters relating to the CANDU reactor design and licensing in respect thereof.
  • Advised Ontario Power Generation on nuclear liability matters.
  • Advised Rolls-Royce on nuclear liability matters.
  • Advised Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. on decommissioning planning for Kori 1 (South Korea’s first nuclear reactor to be decommissioned).
  • Advised the Legislative Council and House of Assembly of the Parliament of South Australia on South Australia’s possible development of an international repository for nuclear waste.
  • Advised the U.S. Department of Energy and the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation on the feasibility of an international spent fuel repository.
  • Advised Nuclear Risk Insurers Ltd. on matters relating to the development of insurance pools in a newcomer nuclear country.
  • Advised Rosatom Overseas regarding its development, construction, and financing of a nuclear power project in Europe.
  • Advised Atomstroyexport JSC regarding its construction of nuclear power projects (both current and future) in India.

In addition to his work in the nuclear sector, Paul’s practice has focused on corporate law, with special emphasis on domestic and international transactions in the areas of project finance, project finance restructurings, project/infrastructure investment funds, equipment and facility leasing, leasing workouts, mergers & acquisitions, and private investment.  Project finance work, primarily focused in the power industry, has included sponsor, lender, export credit agency, and multilateral representation.  Leasing work has included debt, equity, credit support, and equity support representation, concerning transactions in the areas of power plants, aircraft, rail cars, water treatment, real estate, and telecommunications.

Paul’s representations have included extensive work in the engineering and construction industry, where he has been heavily involved in the nuclear and fossil power sectors, both domestically and internationally.  His project experience, both domestic and international, includes nuclear (new build, steam generator replacement, nuclear operating plant services), coal (both new build and environmental retrofit), and gas-fired power projects, ranging from EPC contracting structures to technical support agreements and including major equipment purchase agreements and subcontracting.  Recent projects have included work on solar power projects (CSP), IGCC and coal liquefaction plants, LNG facilities, pipelines, and PPP projects. 

Prior to joining Gowling WLG, he was Special Counsel in the Washington, DC office of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, where he was a member of the Global Project Finance group and led Milbank’s nuclear practice.  Prior to Milbank, he served as Senior Counsel for Bechtel Power Corporation, supporting both the Nuclear and Fossil business lines as a transactional attorney involved in bid evaluations, business development, proposal submittals, contract negotiations, procurement, and project execution.

Paul is a graduate of Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs and a graduate of Harvard Law School.  Paul is also a member of the International Nuclear Law Association.  He has been recognized in 2013, 2014, and 2015 in the publication, Who’s Who Legal:  Energy, and he was selected to author industry commentaries for all three issues.  In its 2018 edition, Legal 500 Canada notes that: “Paul Murphy is ‘amply experienced’ and ‘very knowledgeable about nuclear power generation’.”

Career & Recognition

  • Rankings & Awards
    Who's Who Legal: Energy 2015
  • Rankings & Awards
    Who's Who Legal: Energy 2014
  • Rankings & Awards
    Who's Who Legal: Energy 2013
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Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2018

  • 2017

  • 2015

    • Rankings & Awards
      Who's Who Legal: Energy 2015
  • 2014

    • Rankings & Awards
      Who's Who Legal: Energy 2014
  • 2013

    • Rankings & Awards
      Who's Who Legal: Energy 2013
  • 1995

    • Education
      Harvard Law School, JD
  • 1992

    • Education
      Princeton University, AB

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