Kirsten Polyansky


Education and Clerkships

LL.M., Georgetown University Law Center, 2002

J.D., Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, 1999

B.A., University of Notre Dame, 1996


Texas, 1999

Court Admissions

United States Supreme Court, 2003

U.S. Court of International Trade, 2004

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 2004

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, 2001


Kirsten Polyansky’s practice combines years of working with physical commodities in the support of trading and marketing operations along with highly bespoke structured financing arrangements related to inventory and infrastructure. Kirsten serves as co-chair of the Commodities Practice Group at Haynes and Boone.

Kirsten joined the firm after serving as in-house counsel for almost a decade, most recently focusing on the commodities operations of a global investment bank. As a result, Kirsten approaches her practice and clients with a fresh and real perspective on what it means to serve in an in-house legal role with often strapped resources, pressing business demands, intense time constraints, all within an often challenging regulatory environment. 

Kirsten has developed a truly unique skill set and strong reputation working on commodity monetization/intermediation structures, particularly involving hydrocarbons and refineries. Kirsten manages a team that helps clients utilize such alternative financing arrangements and her team has successfully completed several landmark transactions in recent years in Canada and the U.S. In addition to advising on the alternative financing associated with these transactions, she has worked on such items as crude supply and offtake arrangements, franchise and PMPA work, and various regulatory and licensing matters. Prior to joining Haynes and Boone, Kirsten successfully lead deal teams for refinery transactions and intermediation structures in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany. 

In her role covering physical trading, Kirsten works on a wide variety of commercial matters involving midstream and downstream. For example, Kirsten works on supply and offtake arrangements, exchange transactions, storage and transport agreements for pipeline, vessel, barge, truck and rail, import and export documentation and compliance, licensing and regulatory authorizations, insurance coverage work, force majeure and other dispute-related events and credit documentation.

Selected Client Representations

  • Served as lead intermediation financing counsel to a Canadian public company client in the acquisition of the Burnaby refinery (located in British Columbia) and associated terminals, cardlock locations and 129 branded retail gas stations in the Greater Vancouver area.
  • Lead counsel to a private equity firm in the acquisition of a refinery and associated distribution terminals, plus over 50 retail gas stations in Hawaii. Our representation in this transaction involved multiple disciplines, including monetization financing, regulatory efforts (including EPA, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers), franchise filings, and refinery supply arrangements.
  • Represented supplier/financing party to establish a full-service supply and tolling arrangement providing the full working capital needs of a Canadian refinery.
  • Represented downstream fuel supplier with an extensive U.S retail gasoline network in connection with its fuel supply contracts.
  • Represented downstream fuel supplier in connection with its marine terminal operation network and supply agreements.
  • Served as lead deal counsel for an international financial institution in executing: A more than US$900 million dollar inventory monetization/true sale transaction for a refinery in the United Kingdom, including ongoing crude supply, CSO ticketing and product intermediation components.
  • Served as lead deal counsel for an international financial institution executing a US$300 million dollar inventory monetization/true sale transaction for a refinery in Germany, including ongoing crude supply, product intermediation and CSO ticketing.
  • Served as lead deal counsel for an international financial institution executing a US$395 million dollar inventory monetization/true sale transaction for a refinery in Hawaii with ongoing supply, product intermediation and other components.
  • Represented a large bank to effectively “monetize” rail cars for one firm client in a multi-year transaction, which also involved crude supply.
  • Represented a large bank to establish and build its physical oil trading business in the United States and Canada, with such work including: obtaining all necessary licensing; reviewing regulatory items; establishing internal controls and import-export procedures; negotiating master agreements (including U.S. oil annex, Canadian annex and general terms and conditions); reviewing insurance requirements and negotiating same; drafting contract templates for commercial trading; negotiating storage, transport and credit-related documentation; and managing force majeure and other dispute-related events.

Navigating Current Oil and Gas Markets

This series of energy industry alerts provides both oil and gas producers and bankers with timely information about distressed commodity prices and legal options to consider regarding credit agreements, restructuring debt, and potential defaults.

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