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  1. Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP)
  2. Leading individuals

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At the cutting edge of the market’, Allen & Overy LLP often acts for investors across the transport, social infrastructure and utilities sectors. The ‘exceptional’ David Lee leads the practice, which includes Sara Pickersgill, who advised the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), OPTrust and PGGM on their €420m acquisition of shares in Globalvia from FCC and Bankia. Richard Evans and the ‘very experienced’ Conrad Andersen advised Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners and Infracapital on the £1.6bn sale of their combined stake in Associated British Ports to a consortium comprising Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Hermes Infrastructure.

Ashurst’s team has ‘deep sector knowledge’ and is often instructed by the UK government. The ‘very pragmatic’ Patrick Boyle and Jan Sanders advised a four-strong consortium of lenders on the £340m financing of the Midland Metropolitan Hospital PF2 project. Headed by Mark Elsey, the team includes Philip Vernon, whose PPP expertise covers the health and defence sectors.

CMS’ ‘exceptional’ department is noted for its ‘high degree of commerciality’. It primarily acts for lenders in project financing and refinancings across a range of sectors, including urban regeneration, telecoms and transportation. Co-head Paul Smith advised Laing O’Rourke on its successful bid for the Priority Schools Building Programme, while fellow co-head Andrew Ivison advised Barclays, HSBC, RBS, Mizuho Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi (BTMU) as the senior lenders on NATS’ £400m debt refinancing.

Clifford Chance LLP’s ‘very strong’ group is headed by the ‘responsive’ Brendan Moylan, who has extensive experience in domestic and cross-border M&A. Moylan advised Global Infrastructure Partners on the £567m acquisition and debt financing of a 50% stake in the Gode Wind 1 offshore wind farm in Germany. James Boswell advised a consortium comprising Allianz, Borealis and MEAG on the €1.9bn acquisition and refinancing of German motorway services chain Autobahn Tank & Rast. Caroline Sherrell is now at White & Case LLP, while Gavin Teague has retired.

Patrick Mitchell leads Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s group, which is ‘one of the best’ according to clients. Julia Pyke (who is praised for her ‘excellent experience’) has been acting for the sponsor in negotiations regarding the £1bn Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay project. Other highlights included advising on Thames Tideway and Hinkley Point C. Also recommended are Adrian Clough and regulatory expert Silke Goldberg, who is now a partner.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s team is headed by Adrian Walker, who is noted for his ‘excellent in-depth knowledge’ and has been advising Rio Tinto on an ore mine and associated road, rail and port infrastructure development project in Guinea. Andrew Briggs has been advising Cross London Trains on the £2.5bn Thameslink rolling stock programme and its refinancing. Other clients include Macquarie, EDF and Aéroports de Paris.

Linklaters LLP’s department is led by the ‘highly regardedJeremy Gewirtz, who specialises in the power and oil and gas sectors. Fiona Hobbs and Andrew Jones have been advising African Development Bank and a syndicate of export credit agencies as the lenders on the proposed £5bn financing of the development of a 912km rail line in Mozambique. Bruce White assisted developer Carillion with its successful bid for the $534m Midland Metropolitan Hospital PF2 project.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s group acts for a range of clients including corporates, banks and government bodies, with particular expertise in the mining and renewables sectors. Practice head Martin McCann has been advising mining company CBG on the $700m expansion of its mine in western Guinea, as well as the construction of additional rail and port infrastructure. Newly promoted partner Matthew Hardwick specialises in PPP schemes in the waste and transport sectors. Oliver Carruthers is now at Addleshaw Goddard LLP.

Pinsent Masons LLP stands out for its ‘exceptional business acumen’ across the full infrastructure asset lifecycle. Richard Laudy and Nick Ogden jointly lead the team, which includes Jon Hart, who is ‘pleasant to deal with’ and advised PSBP Midlands Limited, the joint venture between Carillion and Equitix, on its successful bid for the Midlands Priority Schools Building Programme. Other clients include Green Investment Bank, Bouygues and World Bank.

Addleshaw Goddard LLP has a team of ‘genuine specialists’, which acts for clients in both the public and private sectors, particularly those in the health sector. Project finance expert Oliver Carruthers, who joined from Norton Rose Fulbright, led the team advising SMBC as the sole lender on the £23m refinancing of five healthcare facilities comprising the North Staffordshire NHS Lift portfolio. Also recommended are David Hartley and newly promoted partner Simon Courie. Other clients include the Department for Transport, Beijing Construction Engineering Group and Equitix.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP’s ‘extremely responsive’ group has seen an increase in instructions from institutional investors, including pension and insurance funds. Group head Mark Richards is advising Amber Infrastructure and Aviva Investors as the funders on the £110m financing of 12 schools as part of the Priority Schools Building Programme. Christian Drage has been acting for National Grid on the UK’s first EU-funded carbon capture and storage project. Other clients include Barclays and 3i Infrastructure Partners.

Clyde & Co LLP provides a ‘high-quality’ service, with particular strength in transportation and healthcare PPP projects. Liz Jenkins has been assisting Peterborough City Hospital with a number of matters regarding the £335m Greater Peterborough Health Investment Plan PFI project. Jenkins jointly leads the team with ‘strong negotiator’ Clare Hatcher.

White & Case LLP often handles major international infrastructure and PPP transactions. The group is headed by the ‘extremely professionalCaroline Miller Smith, who has been advising the Republic of Slovakia on its €1.5bn PPP procurement for the development of the D4 motorway and R7 expressway in southwestern Slovakia. The team, which includes oil and gas specialist Philip Stopford, was strengthened by Caroline Sherrell’s arrival from Clifford Chance LLP. Carina Radford was promoted to partner.

DLA Piper provides ‘a very good level of service’ across a diverse range of sectors, including defence, energy and transportation. Practice head Colin Wilson led the team advising the Government of Kenya on a number of matters regarding a landmark healthcare PPP, including the procurement and contract negotiations.

Dentons fields a ‘very knowledgeable’ cross-departmental group, which often acts for governments and has specialist transport and renewables sector expertise. Matthew Hanslip Ward advised Hong Kong based transport operator MTR on all aspects of its successful bid to operate Crossrail. Energy partner Lucille De Silva has been advising Lightsource on corporate and planning issues regarding a number of its UK solar projects. Dominic Spacie and John Woolley are also recommended.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s practice includes finance partner Nicholas Bliss, whose clients range from infrastructure funds and banks, to governments and corporates. Alan Rae Smith is particularly noted for his handling of privatisation, PPP and project financing mandates in Turkey.

Following its merger with Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, Gowling WLG now sports a 10-partner team with a strong PPP experience across a number of sectors, including defence and security. Stephen Kenny leads the team and has been advising the Ministry of Defence on all aspects of a £1.5bn joint military air traffic services PPP. Also recommended are new arrival Andrew Newbery, who joined from his own consultancy firm, Jonathan Brufal and Gareth Baker.

Simmons & Simmonsconsistently provides sound advice’, and is singled out for its strength in Africa-related projects. Led by Andrew Petry, the team advised the successful bidding consortium comprising Macquarie, FCC and Denys on the €800m Haren prison PPP in Belgium. Other clients include the Department for Transport, Mainstream Renewable Power and Transport for London. The team is headed by Richard Dyton, whose sector expertise includes defence, transportation and mining.

Slaughter and May primarily acts for clients in the transport, water and waste management sectors, often handling acquisitions, disposals and refinancings. The department is headed by Mark Horton, who specialises in domestic and international corporate finance matters.

Headed by Philippa Chadwick and Robin Baillie, Squire Patton Boggs’ practice has seen a significant increase in investment work. Anna Le Jehan and Robert Bray advised John Laing Infrastructure Fund on its £22m acquisition of the British Transport Police PPP project and a 95% interest in the Oldham Social Housing PPP project. The team was strengthened by the arrivals of Andrew Herring and Matthew Mulqueen from DWF and Bracewell (UK) LLP, respectively.

Trinity International LLP primarily handles project finance matters for clients ranging from developers, financial institutions, investors, equity funds and governments. The firm is particularly experienced in emerging markets. Simon Norris and Kaushik Ray are recommended.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP’s group has seen an increase in work relating to alternative PPP models, with a particular focus on waste, housing, regeneration, energy and social infrastructure. Practice head Paul McDermott has been advising the London Borough of Southwark on a series of regeneration programmes valued in excess of £500m. Lucy Doran was made partner in 2015. The firm’s client base includes Amey, Oracle Coalfields and Balfour Beatty.

Niche construction firm Fenwick Elliott LLPalways displays the highest levels of professionalism’. Tony Francis has been leading the team in advising on a number of matters regarding the development of London Gateway Port, which is valued in excess of £1bn. Jatinder Garcha and Andrew Davies are now partners. The team includes dispute resolution expert Simon Tolson.

At K&L Gates LLP, Anthony Fine is a key name with a strong experience in the PPP market. Fine has handled projects in sectors ranging from health, education, defence and transport. Cathy Harris left to found Caxton Legal.

Mayer Brown International LLP’s practice advises on a range of project development, PPP and infrastructure fund formation matters, as well as handling disputes. Sally Davies and Michael Regan are recommended.

Stephenson Harwood’s ‘excellent’ practice acts for clients in the transport, energy and waste sectors, with an increasing focus in secondary market transactions. Department head Jonathan Cripps, Rebecca Carter and Ben Stansfield have been assisting North London Waste Authority with the development of an energy recovery facility valued at over £450m. Other clients include Hitachi Rail Europe, Interserve and the City of Cape Town.

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