Projects

Our Practice

The size, complexity and variety of major projects taking place around the world have never been greater, but neither have the risks. Pressures on public finances and the growth of emerging, as well as established markets, have created both new opportunities and new demands. Consequently, the role of the legal adviser has never been more important.

Our multi-disciplinary team brings together specialists in project finance, public procurement, tax, environmental law, construction, real estate, regulation and competition, allowing us to offer our clients a totally integrated service. We have a strong projects capability across a broad range of industry sectors, and have particular expertise in Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects, transport, aerospace and defence, telecoms, and energy and utilities (including mining & minerals and petrochemicals).

Internationally, we have over 100 lawyers working on projects from our network of offices and we have the strength, depth and global reach to advise on major projects no matter what the jurisdiction or location.

Experience

Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA)

  • advising ADWEA on: US$1.2bn Taweelah A1 IWPP (Independent Water and Power Project); Taweelah C, a proposed US$350m reverse osmosis desalination project; Shuweihat1, a US$1.6bn IWPP; Um Al Nar, a US$1.8bn IWPP; and the construction of the Sohar power plant and aluminium smelter valued at US$2bn ll projects are in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

AMPER/Renatura

  • advising a consortium including BP Solar in Southern Portugal on the largest solar power project in the world.

Banco Santander/Depfa Bank

  • advising the mandated lead arrangers as well as a monoliner in relation to the project financing (including a forfeiting facility and contemplated monocline financing) of the A8 motorway, the first A-model roads PPP in Germany.

Black & Veatch Arzew Power Desalination

  • advising Black & Veatch, sponsor of the Arzew Power Desalination Project, on the project and financing documentation for the first independent power and water desalination plant in Algeria, valued at US$330m
  • this ground-breaking independent power project is the first under the newly liberalised electricity regime in Algeria and is thought to serve as a template for a forthcoming 2,000 MW project.

BP - Caspian Consortium (CPC)

  • advising BP in respect of its shareholding interest and participation in this world-class oil pipeline project. CPC is a US$4bn, 1,500km cross-border oil pipeline from the Tengiz Field in Kazakhstan to the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk
  • ten energy companies and three governments are participating in CPC.

Cabinet Office

  • advising the Cabinet Office on the Pilot Scheme for the UK Government’s Gateway project which involves Sema, Microsoft and Cable & Wireless.

Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL)

  • acting for Railtrack Group (now Network Rail) in the UK in connection with the £5.3bn Channel Tunnel Rail Link, one of the UK's largest and most complex projects to date
  • we advised on all aspects of this high profile PPP project, handling the agreements between Railtrack, the UK Government and the project developers as well as arrangements for the financing of the Link.

China Resources Power

  • advising on the acquisition of interests in the largest foreign-invested coal fired power project (1,980MW) in Guangdong, China and on the acquisition of three other power projects (1,266MW) elsewhere in China.

Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA)

  • advising the UK Ministry of Defence on the DERA PPP, including the creation of QinetiQ from the major part of the DERA and the sale of a strategic stake to Carlyle, as well as a long-term partnering agreement under which QinetiQ will provide testing and evaluation services at various UK Ministry of Defence military ranges and aerodromes
  • this is one of the first examples where external finance has been raised in relation to a strategic partnering contract.

Defence Training Review (DTR) Project

  • advising the UK Ministry of Defence on the DTR project covering the delivery of non-flight based specialist training across the three armed forces over the next 25 years.

Douro Litoral Motorway Concession

  • advising a consortium of banks led by Banco BPI in their role as a funder of one of the bidding consortia for this €500m Portuguese highway project.

Dutch Ministry of Finance

  • advising the Province of North Brabant and the Dutch Ministry of Finance on the first ever PPP road project in the Netherlands, the A59 road scheme.

Endesa

  • advising Endesa on its participation in a US$300m power purchase agreement for the construction of a MW440 combined cycle plant in Tahaddart (Morocco) with the Office National d'Electricite and Siemens and the acquisition of IDAS Srl. IDAS holds development rights for three windfarms in Sicily.

European Investment Bank (EIB)

  • advising the EIB in connection with the provision of finance for the Portuguese A8 Leiria Motorway project, involving building 82km of new motorway, upgrading a further 94km in four years, and requiring 27 new viaducts and bridges and three tunnels
  • advising the European Investment Bank with respect to a structured finance facility and a LGTT guaranty facility for the financing of the BAB A5 A-model PPP projects; the transaction won the IFLR 2010 "Project Finance Deal of the Year" award.

Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA)

  • advising the UK Ministry of Defence on the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) project. The project will replace the RAF's fleet of aircraft providing air to air refuelling and transport capability (capital value approx £2.5bn).

Greek Roads

  • advising the Greek Government and their advisers, Bank of America, on financing structures, procurement policy and contract drafting in respect of the PPP construction programme for six new motorways
  • we are also advising Attiko Metro SA (as part of a consortium), a state-owned private company responsible for the construction, and operation of the metro network, on similar issues in relation to the large extension to the Athens Metro.

Hong Kong Eastern Harbour Crossing BOT Project

  • advising the Hong Kong Government on this US$500m project, involving the construction of road and rail tunnels under Hong Kong’s main harbour area.

Hong Kong Route 3 (country park section) BOT Project

  • advising CITIC on this US$1bn project, involving the construction of a tunnel and trunk road linking Ki Chung Container Terminal with the border crossing near Yuen Long.

Impregilo International Infrastructures N.V.

  • advising this client, Italy’s largest infrastructure operator, on its participation in the equity and operation of the first PPP waste to energy project in Shanghai, PRC.

Kowloon Canton Railway Corporation

  • advising the new Hong Kong railways authority on two major projects: West Rail and East Rail. These are two new railways linking urban Hong Kong with the New Territories to the east and west of Hong Kong
  • we are currently advising on the by-laws for the new railways.

Medium Support Helicopter Aircrew Training Facility (MSHATF)

  • advising the UK Ministry of Defence on the refinancing negotiation of this Project at RAF Benson
  • this is the Defence Procurement Agency’s (DPA) first PFI refinancing.

Meerstad

  • advising the municipalities of Groningen and Slochteren, the province of Groningen, the ministry of agriculture and nature and major Dutch developers on project "Meerstad", concerning a multi-billion development of a rural area into an urban environment.

Military Flying Training System (UK MFTS)

  • advising the UK Ministry of Defence on this PPP Project which will overhaul the whole of the UK Ministry of Defence’s current flying training arrangements for the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and Army Air Corps.

NIBC Bank/KfW IPEX Bank

  • representing NIBC Bank and KfW IPEX Bank in relation to the financing of the Potsdam Parliament PPP project.

Petronas

  • advising a consortium of Petronas and Mitsubishi Corporation on their bid for the US$600m LNG terminal and pipeline project in China.

Project Dolphin

  • advising the UAE Offsets Group on Project Dolphin, a multi-billion dollar integrated gas programme involving a number of Arabian Gulf countries. We advised on the structuring of the project, gas purchase and gas sales arrangements and the joint venture agreement between the co-venturers.

Takuma – Itochu – Energy from Waste Plant

  • advising the consortium of Takuma Limited and Itochu Corporation on an energy for waste project worth £110 million, the first energy from waste project to be carried out in Europe by a major Japanese consortium.

Thameslink

  • advising Railtrack PLC (now Network Rail) on the Thameslink 2000 project, a complex transaction involving PFI/PPP and SPV financing issues. The project is worth an estimated £3bn and we have advised on all aspects of the deal, including negotiating the contracts with the Strategic Rail Authority and Government as well as considering corporate and financing options.

Transport for London – London Congestion Charging Scheme

  • advising on the London Congestion Charging Scheme, the first of its kind in the world, including its possible western extension.

Tube Lines – London Underground

  • advising this infrastructure operator on a wide range of significant projects, including the Wembley Park major enhancement project to support the new national stadium, escalator replacement programme, asset protection scheme and the Westinghouse contract for Terminal 5.

Waste Recycling Group (WRG)

  • advising WRG on two waste mangement PFI contracts for Greater Manchester Waste disposal Authority (worth some £4bn over 25 years) and Cambridge Waste (allocated PFI credits worth £35m).

West Coast Main Line Upgrade

  • advising Railtrack PLC (now Network Rail) in relation to the West Coast Main Line Upgrade, now scheduled for completion in 2009 at a total cost of £7.6bn. We advised on this project at all levels including finance, dispute resolution, regulatory issues, construction and negotiation.

Specialist Expertise

Project finance

  • the financing structure of projects, whether on a limited recourse basis or not, remains crucial. We frequently advise on complex project finance, structured finance and export finance as well as related tax structuring in an international context.

Concessions

  • the procuring and operation of major projects and infrastructure systems through the medium of concessions is a mechanism on which we frequently advise.

Construction contracts

  • contracting for the construction of a major project is critical to its ultimate viability. We ensure that appropriate contracting methods are adopted so that the risk allocation does not undermine the viability of the project.

Joint ventures/consortiums

  • we advise on the many issues relevant to structuring the consortia and joint ventures necessary to deliver major international projects.

Project support agreements

  • we also have extensive experience of the many forms of project support agreements, which are necessary to structure successful projects.

Private Finance Initiative/Public Private Partnerships

  • we have been involved in some of the most substantial and complex international PFI projects to date, acting for both providers and procurers of PFI projects and their financing.

Public procurement issues

  • we frequently advise on structuring projects with regard to the evolving (frequently hostile) EU public procurement regulations.

Aerospace & Defence

  • our relationships with both government defence ministries and major defence contractors have led to a flow of major defence-based project work. We have a full understanding of the commercial and security issues that need to be addressed in any major project in the defence sector.

Energy & Utilities

  • we have extensive experience in advising on major international energy projects in oil and gas (both upstream and downstream), electricity, petrochemicals and other related industries
  • we also have experience in advising major coal producers and have acted on projects relating to the mining and processing of other natural resources
  • we have extensive experience in corporate acquisition and disposal work, project and asset finance, regulatory and general energy industry contractual work.

Telecoms

  • we have a highly regarded telecommunications practice, both in cable network projects and wireless and satellite based systems
  • we advise on all aspects of communications law, and on every aspect of specialist telecoms and regulatory work, such as significant wet and dry infrastructure projects and interconnection issues.

Transport

  • we have developed unique expertise in transport matters and advise clients on all legal aspects of transport operations and infrastructure projects
  • we are at the forefront of railway industry reorganisation and have advised on railway projects across Western Europe, Asia, and Africa. As legal adviser to Railtrack, the firm has played a central role in the privatisation of the British railways, and has developed particular expertise in the areas of rail privatisation, regulation and financing
  • we have also developed a leading roads practice, and have been involved in pathfinder road-building projects around the world
  • our international shipping group brings together specialists across our global network to advise on a range of shipping matters.