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    • Christine Worthington - CMS

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At CMS, there are 'no weak links in the team; from the most senior individuals to the most junior, the knowledge of the sector is a given'. The firm stands out for the breadth of its coverage, which spans all programmes of infrastructure delivery. It has a particularly strong track record in hub projects, where it acts for all stakeholders (hubco, funder and public sector entity) in all five hub territories in Scotland. It is also active in sectors such as waste, education, water, health and housing. Ailsa Ritchie, Iona Hunter and James McDonald acted for Moray Council and Argyll & Bute Council in the design, build, financing and maintenance of new high schools in Elgin, Oban and Campbelltown and also two new primary schools in Dunoon. Amanda Methven and Fiona Scott are advising Scottish Borders Council on a project for a new community campus in Jedburgh. A team led by Methven and Mark Kirke advise Scottish Water on a range of issues associated with PFI portfolio of nine wastewater projects, including procurement, construction, disputes and property matters. Ritchie and others are advising Glasgow City Council on a major £250m regeneration programme at Sighthill. Other practitioners with significant involvement in projects include Michael McAuley, Eleanor Lane, Shona Frame, Christine Worthington and Jenny Allan. Senior associates Jenny Walker and Davinia Cowden are also recommended. The firm's merger with Nabarro and Olswang in 2017 has strengthened its offering in relation to international projects, and increased the cross-practice support it can call upon. Its impressive client roster includes notable international funders/investors such as Nord LB, 3i, Aviva Investor and Equitix. It also acts for a number of the largest UK and international contractors, such as Hochtief, Skanska, Morgan Sindall and Lendlease.

Illustrative of MacRoberts LLP's excellent reputation in PFI/PPP/NPD/hub projects, it is the only Scottish law firm on the Scottish government's projects panel; it advises the client on infrastructure matters involving district heating, rail, roads, housing and IT investment. In addition, the firm has a strong client following of other public sector clients, such as NHS Highland, Glasgow City Council and Fife Council. It also acts for private sector sponsors, funders and subcontractors. In 2017, Duncan Osler, team head Rod Munro, Gillian Campbell and director Ben Powell acted for NHS Orkney as the procuring public body and main provider of funding for a new hospital in Kirkwall; the matter involved a novel structure for PPP/PFI in the UK. In addition, Munro, and senior associates Lynn Pentland, Margaret Kinnes and Sarah Pengelly, are advising NHS Lothian on its Royal Hospital for Sick Children and Department of Clinical Neurosciences NPD project and The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh PFI project. The contentious side of the practice, particularly in relation to PFI/PPP disputes, is gaining momentum; Jennifer McKay, Powell and Munro recently represented The Edinburgh Schools Partnership Limited in the highly-publicised case of The Edinburgh Schools Partnership Limited v Galliford Try Construction (UK) Limited. Mike Barlow and Craig Bradshaw are also recommended. Senior solicitor Pryderi Thomas joined from Pinsent Masons LLP.

Pinsent Masons LLP is a powerhouse for Scottish and UK projects, featuring in a number of the largest and most significant matters in the market, where its clients include funders, sponsors and public sector bodies. It is also active in matters in Europe and further afield. Michael Watson leads the team, which is involved in projects in four out of the five hub territories in Scotland, as well as NPD/PPP/PFI projects, and those connected with student accommodation, oil and gas, and renewable energy, among other areas. Director Wendy Nicolson has particular expertise in the healthcare sector. Gillian Frew specialises in advising lenders and borrowers on energy and infrastructure finance. A cross-practice team led by Michael Allan is acting as the project lawyers to Aberdeen Harbour Board in the Aberdeen Harbour Expansion Project. Stuart Barr, Stuart Murray, Nicolson, Frew and others recently acted for Robertson Capital Projects in the NHS Orkney NPD hospital project. 3i, Balfour Beatty Plc, and Equitix are among other notable clients.

Burness Paull LLP is known for carrying out 'substantial work for substantial clients', and for providing advice that is 'always considered'. Chris Mackay leads the team, which advises clients on operational and refinancing issues, procurement, funding structures and disputes. It has a particularly strong track record in hub projects (DBFM and DBDA); Gavin Paton and senior associate Chris Horsley recently acted for hub west Scotland in the financing, design, construction and provision of services related to two health and care centres in Gorbals and Woodside. They are also assisting the same client with projects under the hub model to deliver two new primary schools in Carntyne and Blairdardie. In addition, Mackay and senior solicitor Andrew Little are acting for NHS Lothian in a £100m project to deliver new facilities at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. Further underlining the firm's credentials, it was the first to advise on an NPD project in Scotland, and it assists Scottish Futures Trust with developing new ways of delivering infrastructure. Another notable individual in the team is James Forbes, who is the lead adviser to Amey Belfast Schools Partnership PFI Limited (as the project company) on the Belfast Schools PFI project. Graeme Palmer made partner in 2017.

Dentons' team has particularly notable experience of¬†investments into and divestments of projects, as well as financing and restructurings; its work spans areas such as PFI/PPP, NPD, hub, BSF and energy. Key clients in this space include 3i, Dalmore Capital and Sir Robert McAlpine.¬† In a sign of its strengths in the primary projects market, the firm was recently instructed by Choice Housing to assist it with its bid for the ‚ā¨300m Irish Social Housing PPP Programme. It also acted for Aviva Public Private Finance Limited as the senior debt provider to hub East Central in hub DBFM programmes in Perth and Arbroath. Another facet of the practice involves advising on operational change and asset management matters in the projects sector. Euan Wilson, who leads the team, has more than 20 years of experience of the projects sector. Stewart Maciver¬†has more than 15 years of experience.¬†Andrew Orr¬†has been advising Amey on various projects, as part of a ¬£400m ten-year partnership contract with the Education Authority in Belfast to manage and modernise the entire education estate under the Authority's control. Orr is also advising the same client on the operational aspects of a ¬£120m PFI contract with the Authority.

Shepherd and Wedderburn's group advises on all aspects of the initial procurement of projects, to design and construction, and then operation and maintenance. PPP, PFI, NPD and hub projects are among the cornerstones of the practice. In a particularly large-scale project in the social housing sector, Rhona Harper, Euan McLeod, and associates Lauren Thompson and associate Stephen Maughan, are acting for Wheatley Housing Group in the procurement and construction aspects of the £250m Transformational Regeneration Area project at Sighthill in Glasgow. Harper is also the lead adviser to States of Jersey on the procurement of its circa £250m Future Hospital Project. In 2017, team head Stephen Colliston (who has acted for funders in a number of projects recently) worked with director Nigel Sievwright and others to advise Nord/LB on DBFM schools projects at Carntyne & Blairdardie and West Calder, and also a DBFM health centres project at Gorbals and Woodside. Another notable area of activity for the firm, among others, is in renewable energy sector projects; Harper, Patricia Hawthorn and Colliston are part of the team which is advising the Acciona Industrial-led consortium on its bid for a 25-year contract to design, build and operate an energy-from-waste plant in Aberdeen. Senior associate Euan Murray and associate Sarah Channin are recommended.

Brodies LLP's practice is growing significantly under the joint leadership of Drysdale Graham , who joined from Pinsent Masons LLP in May 2017, and energy and infrastructure finance head Michael Stoneham. Graham's arrival has led to the firm undertaking more work for project sponsors and their funders in projects in the UK and Ireland. It has also led to new instructions from the Scottish market; he acted for bidders in eight out of ten projects in the Scottish government's recent £2.5bn NPD programme, with his clients winning three of those projects. Graham also advised Aberdeen Harbour Board on the procurement of the new South Harbour at Nigg Bay. Stoneham has worked on UK PFI/PPP and NPD projects since 1995; his key clients include Nord LB, Atlantis Resources and M&G Investment Management. Sarah-Jane McArthur, Roger Cotton and others assisted Hub East Central Limited (on behalf of Fife Council) with the delivery contracts for the Glenrothes town centre district heating network, a £20m collaborative project with RWE. McArthur also acted for Indaver as the proposed operating sub-contractor for one of the bidding consortia for the Aberdeen Ness Energy from Waste project. The firm also undertakes projects in sectors such as transport, education, accommodation, housing and healthcare. Keith Patterson, Jackie McGuire, Alistair Mclean , and managing associates Billy Kay, Ali Rimell, and Juliet Haldane, are also recommended.

DLA Piper has an excellent reputation in energy and infrastructure projects in the UK and Ireland, and further afield, where it advises sponsors, funders and public sector organisations. Lillian Mackenzie, who has a wealth of experience in PFI/PPP (including NPD) projects in Scotland, has been increasingly active in matters outside of Scotland; she is the lead adviser to Velindre NHS Trust on a DBFM project for a new cancer centre in South East Wales; this is a pathfinder project under the Welsh government's Mutual Investment Model programme. Mackenzie is also leading the advice to the Welsh government on the development of its standard form suite of documents for the programme. Another key figure who is at the forefront of the Scottish and international projects practice is Sharon Fitzgerald, who recently advised the Zimbabwean Ministry of Finance and associated Joint Venture Unit on the development of new PPP regulations. Fitzgerald is currently assisting the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan with various matters, including framework agreements for irrigation and hydropower projects. Stuart McMillan advises banks and borrowers on project finance transactions relating to PFI/PPP and renewable energy.

Harper Macleod LLP has become well-known for its strengths in Scottish hub projects (DBFM and DBDA); practice head Euan Pirie and associate Catriona Kemp have been working together to build up the firm's offering in this space. Pirie has acted as a lead adviser in more than 25% of the hub projects in the Scottish market. In a current highlight, Pirie and Kemp are acting for Hub North Scotland in the negotiation of two separate DBFM project agreements with Aberdeenshire Council (over a new £60m community campus in Inverurie) and Highland Health Board (over new primary care health centres in Aviemore and the Isle of Skye). The team's experience also includes NPD projects, engineering projects and Scottish/UK student accommodation projects. Pirie, Kemp and others are advising City of Edinburgh Council on the procurement of their street lighting programmes.  Welsh MIM projects are an area of growth for the practice. On the contentious side, a specialist PPP group has been particularly active in providing pre-disputes advice in relation to problems arising from the condition of facilities at handover stage. Euan Mitchell departed the firm to become an in-house general counsel at Castle Water.

Anderson Strathern acts for public and private sector clients in every facet of their most significant projects, including procurement and commercial contracts, development finance and forward funding, corporate transactional and property-related issues, planning and disputes. The group is particularly active in the Scottish education sector, where it acts for clients such as Edinburgh Napier University and the University of Highlands and Islands. Elsewhere, Pat Loftus and Martin Whiteford are advising The Halo Kilmarnock Limited on a community-led regeneration project at the Johnnie Walker bottling plant in Kilmarnock. Director Neil Amner, who joined from Curle Stewart in April 2017, has a strong profile in the transport sector. Outside of Scotland-centred projects, in 2017, Whiteford and James Blair acted for Victoria Square Woking Limited in relation to the £300m Victoria Square mixed-use scheme in Woking; the work included advising the client on construction issues and taking the core parts of the project to a financial close. Karyn Watt leads the multidisciplinary team, which includes renewable energy head Bruce Farquhar, accredited public procurement law specialist Douglas McLachlan, and planning and environmental law expert Alastair McKie.

DWF has a particularly first-rate reputation in Scottish and UK waste and transport sector projects, and it also demonstrates strong capabilities in areas such as telecommunications, education and health. Recent highlights included department head Suzanne Moir and others acting for Dundee City Council and Angus Council in their joint procurement for residual waste management services. In addition, Moir and associate Wendy Wraight advised Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council and Moray Council on the procurement of their £120m joint energy from waste development in Aberdeen. Martin Gallaher, who has 17 years of experience of high-profile infrastructure projects, is leading a team which is acting for the Scottish government in the rollout of the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme. Robert Gordon University, Serco Plc and Emovis are among other clients. Consultant and special adviser David Nash joined the firm from Pinsent Masons LLP.

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