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Bircham Dyson Bell’s team has strong experience in promoting major high-profile infrastructure projects in the transport, water and energy sectors. Recent highlights include a cross-practice team advising a major international UK airport on its expansion plans, and Ian Cameron, David Mundy and practice head Angus Walker assisting various HS2 petitioners, including BMW, ZSL London Zoo and Aston Villa FC, with negotiating assurances and proposed amendments to the bill, primarily concerning the compulsory purchase of land. Nicholas Evans is advising Transport for London on all aspects of the authorisation of the Crossrail 2 scheme, and Shabana Anwar is assisting with the promotion of the London Paramount Entertainment Resort, a proposed leisure and entertainment resort that includes a theme park, an entertainment street, events space and hotel development. Planning expert Sarah Clark is advising the National Grid on securing consent to build a new power transmission connection around the Cumbrian coast to connect a proposed new nuclear station at Moorside to the national power grid. Mark Challis is also a key contact. Clark, Cameron and Tom Henderson, who acts for both promoters and opponents of projects, were recently promoted to the partnership.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s parliamentary team ‘has a genuine interest in clients’ business and its success’ and is, according to one client, ‘the leading law firm in the field of infrastructure planning’. The ‘highly experienced and capableStephen Collings, jointly heads the practice with Monica Peto and James O’Connor. The group was recently bolstered by the arrival of principal associate Richard Marsh and associate Clare Shaw-Carter from Bircham Dyson Bell and associate Matthew Nixon from Forsters LLP. The transport sector dominates the group’s current caseload, recent work includes assisting Network Rail with obtaining two Transport and Works Act orders pertaining to line extensions, land acquisitions, the closure of level crossings and the construction of a replacement bridge. Other highlights include advising on the promotion of the HS2 bill, and assisting Transport for London and London Underground with the proposed capacity upgrade to Bank station. Planning partner Stuart Andrews is advising the National Grid on obtaining a development consent order for the River Humber Feeder 9 gas pipeline replacement project. Real estate practitioner Morag Thomson specialises in infrastructure planning and obtaining consents.

Pinsent Masons LLP is ‘an outstanding firm with a large capable team’. Robbie Owen, who heads the planning, environment, energy and infrastructure team, is ‘an industry-leading adviser with total commitment to getting the job done right’ and senior associate Duncan O’Connor is ‘a particularly collaborative and hard-working team member’, who ‘always adds value’. The duo are advising Transport for London on the Silvertown tunnel scheme, which will involve the construction of a highway tunnel beneath the Thames. The group is also assisting the University of London with the promotion of a private bill to facilitate the establishment of its research facilities and colleges as universities in their own right. The team also has notable expertise in the energy sector, and Gareth Phillips is handling planning and property issues for Dong Energy pertaining to the Hornsea project three offshore wind farm. Francis Tyrrell ‘is experienced and great with details’, Richard Ford is ‘a very strategic negotiator’ and legal director Richard Bull is also noted.

Sharpe Pritchard’s Alastair Lewis stands out for his ‘deep knowledge of his practice area, pragmatic and practical advice, and down-to-earth communication style’. Lewis and Emyr Thomas are advising Camden Council as petitioners against the HS2 Bill, recently assisting with the client’s petition in the House of Lords. The team also acts for parties seeking to promote projects, recent work includes assisting with the promotion of the Richmond Burgage Pastures Bill, which includes appearing as advocates before the Select Committee, and advising on the promotion of the Faversham Oyster Fishing Company Bill, which is intended to alter the objects, powers and constitution of the company. Senior associate Aidan Dickinson, who is a real estate expert, is a specialist in compulsory purchase legislation.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP’s team is, according to one client, ‘by far the best for promoting parliamentary bills and railway projects’. The group has core strengths in the transport sector, where work includes the promotion of railway infrastructure projects, the expansion and improvement of train stations, and the enhancement of line connections. Practice head Paul Irving stands out for his ‘endless knowledge, analytical ability and impeccable judgement’. Alison Gorlov, Hazel Anderson, who is noted for her ‘calmness in situations of crisis and excellent manners’, and senior associates Alex Dillistone and Jane Wakeham are the other key names.

The parliamentary infrastructure team at Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP is part of the firm’s planning, construction and real estate department. James Good is advising on the Thames Tideway Tunnel and Vicky Fowler is assisting the Woodland Trust and other entities in securing assurances pertaining to the environmental statement and other issues arising from the proposed construction of the HS2 railway line and related infrastructure assets. Tim Pugh and parliamentary agent Helen Kemp are the other names to note.

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