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Melissa Raciti-Knapp


Energy | ESG and sustainability | Financial services | Infrastructure | Leveraged finance | Mining and metals |

The "brilliant," Spanish-fluent Melissa Raciti-Knapp is particularly noted for her project financing and development work in Latin America. She advises across the full range of energy and infrastructure projects


Profile details

About Melissa Raciti-Knapp

New York-based Melissa is co-head of the firm’s Latin America practice and head of our US energy and infrastructure group.

Melissa assists commercial banks, export credit agencies, multilaterals and other financial institutions as well as borrowers on a wide variety of financing, such as corporate, project financings, private placements, first- and second-lien financings and sovereign lending. Her sector experience includes power (both conventional and renewable), mining, oil and gas, water treatment, telecoms and other infrastructure.

While Melissa has significant experience in US matters, her expertise is focused on Latin American countries. These draw upon her language skills and ability to bridge cultural differences. Alongside local counsel, she and her team routinely negotiate and draft in Spanish and Portuguese.

All this experience, combined with knowing how the same issues are addressed in different contexts, allows Melissa to come up with thoughtful, constructive solutions – even in the most contentious and complex situations.


Recent work

  • ContourGlobal in connection with a senior secured term loan and revolving credit facility and related letter of credit facility for the development and operation of its thermal generation portfolio in the Caribbean.
  • Advising KfW IPEX-Bank in connection with a limited recourse financing for the Big River Steel steel mill project in Arkansas, the largest private investment project in the history of the state, an IJGlobal Mining & Metals Deal of the Year for 2014 and Financial Times Innovative Lawyer award recipient (Highly Commended).
  • Advising KfW IPEX-Bank in connection with the $1.2bn financing for the construction, startup, operation and maintenance of a world-scale anhydrous ammonia plant in Mexico.
  • Advising OPIC as the lender in the financing of the deployment of a 4G LTE network in six cities in Colombia (Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, Bucaramanga, Barranquilla and Cartagena) by Avantel S.A.S.
  • Advising the borrower in connection with the development of what is expected to be the largest inland waterway barge transportation system in Brazil and the limited recourse financing thereof to be provided by a commercial bank and two multilaterals.
  • Advising OPIC on the financing of a geothermal project in Honduras, the first utility scale project in the country. 


  • JD, Columbia University School of Law, Harlan Fiske Stone scholar, senior editor of the Columbia Law Review.
  • BA, magna cum laude, Columbia College, Phi Beta Kappa.
  • Admitted to practice in the State of New York.