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United Kingdom > South West > Projects, energy and natural resources > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings




Index of tables

  1. Energy
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Energy clients in South West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Burges Salmon LLP is considered by many as ‘the go-to firm in the South West for pioneering energy deals’ in the nuclear and renewables sectors. The department is differentiated by its prestigious nuclear practice, which includes legal director Ian Truman and Ian Salter, who have experience in major national nuclear projects. In the renewables space, Julian Boswall is acting for Ørsted (formerly DONG Energy) in connection with Hornsea Project One, which is the largest offshore wind project currently under construction in the world. In another key renewable mandate, Ross Fairley acted for Nuon Renewables in relation to the Pen y Cymoedd project, which is the largest wind farm ever constructed in England and Wales. Fairley also advised Maas Capital on its joint venture project with Solarplicity to install solar rooftop facilities to provide energy to roughly 800,000 housing association tenants nationwide. The department is also assisting Wave Hub with a variety of ongoing marine, energy and regulatory concerns, and is increasingly active in conventional power projects. Its growing water practice is led by Michael Barlow. Also recommended are Nick Churchward, who has experience in anaerobic digestion projects, energy regulatory expert James Phillips, Nathan Curtis and associate Alec Whiter.

Osborne Clarke’s energy lawyers have particular expertise in corporate energy transactions and litigation, and in those respects the team ‘compares favourably to its South West competition’. Department head Alan John advised Foresight Group on its acquisition of Shotwick, which is the largest solar park in the UK. David Ferris, who has ‘real expertise in energy sector corporate transactions’, counselled innogy on its acquisition of Statkraft’s 50% holding in the Triton Knoll offshore wind project. Additionally, the team acted for Solarplicity in relation to a joint venture investment by Maas Capital for the installation of solar panels to provide electricity for affordable housing tenants across the UK, and also advised John Laing Investments on the acquisition, development and refinancing of an onshore wind farm. On the contentious side, Catherine Wolfenden is co-leading a team that is involved in a major judicial review procedure with nationwide industry effects. Also recommended are Carl Thompson, Matthew Lewis and Lara Burch.

The team at TLT has extensive experience in battery storage projects, and is perhaps ‘the region’s leading legal advisers for mid-market renewable energy deals’. Of particular note, the ‘deeply experienced’ Gary Roscoe advised Santander on the provision of a £28.3m facility to Battery Energy Storage Solutions, which marked the first debt-funded battery storage project in the UK. Department head Maria Connolly and Matthew Grimwood assisted Ecotricity with the development of a wind park in South Gloucestershire, which received additional planning permission for a battery storage project. Kay Hobbs, who ‘brings a depth of experience to renewables transactions’, acted for an energy investor in connection with nearly a dozen solar share acquisitions. Hobbs also advised The Renewables Infrastructure Group on a £20m investment in an energy storage project in Scotland. Triodos Bank, The Co-operative Group, Low Carbon and Anesco are among the department’s key clients.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP provides ‘excellent commercial advice’ to developers and power companies, with particular strength in major national and international development projects in the renewables and oil and gas sectors. In a standout matter, Simon Hughes advised Dudgeon Offshore Wind on the completion of its £1.5bn wind farm development in the North Sea. In a cross-border highlight Simon Hewes advised corporate joint ventures in the conventional energy sector on transactions in Africa and the Middle East. In the regulatory space, department head Chris Towner advised Ofgem on the development of a regime to competitively tender new separable transmission assets valued at over £100m. Towner also advised RES on its sale of the Port of Tyne battery storage project. Moreover, Stephen Dilley has experience in energy-sector disputes. Additional clients include Vattenfall, ES Pipelines and Beaufort Wind.

Ashfords LLP stands out for its formidable anaerobic digestion practice, which is ‘as good as any City firm’. Practice head Ruth Murray is often involved in significant waste-to-energy development projects; her recent highlights included advising Bromham Biogas on the £10m development of a farm-based gas-to-grid anaerobic digestion plant. Similarly, Clare Brewer acted for a contractor on its bid for a European municipal waste project. Working alongside the firm’s property department, Murray is acting for a landowning client in connection with FAB Link’s electrical interconnector between France and the UK via Alderney. Additionally, the team, which includes Brian Farrell, has experience in waste and energy-related disputes. Farrell is representing a waste management company in relation to the termination of a momentous UK project. Mark Northey is another key figure in the department.

Bevan Brittan LLP has ‘considerable knowledge and experience in both public and private sector energy deals’ and is routinely instructed by utilities and energy companies in complex district energy schemes and renewable projects. The ‘personable, energetic and well-researched’ Nadeem Arshad advised Resource Recovery Solutions on the high-value energy-from-waste plant that forms part of the Derby Waste PPP project and represents the first long-term bank-financed municipal gasification energy-from-waste plant in the UK. Arshad also assisted Birmingham City Council with the creation of its municipal energy supply company. Nathan Bradberry, who was promoted to partner in 2017, is ‘particularly strong in EPC contracting’. Bradbury is advising Legal & General and Newcastle University on the procurement, commissioning and maintenance for the first phase of Newcastle City Council’s city-wide district energy scheme.

Clarke Willmott LLP is instructed by service contractors, property groups and renewables companies in contentious and non-contentious matters, and has growing expertise in district heating projects. Laurence Lacey provides ongoing advice to a renewables company in relation to its extensive biogas portfolio, and is instructed by a developer in connection with its ongoing biogas developments throughout the UK. Lacey also assisted a construction company with a proposed connection to a council-owned district heating scheme on a residential development being carried out by the client. The team also acts for project funders, and has been engaged in multiple disputes concerning waste-to-energy plants in England and Scotland. Clients include EnviTech Biogas UK, Aqua Consultants and numerous national house builders and housing associations.

Foot Anstey has ‘a strong and experienced renewable energy transactional team’, which ‘provides valuable business advice, in addition to solid legal advice’. ‘An excellent team leader’, Chris Pritchett heads the energy group, which works alongside the firm’s real estate, corporate, construction and tax teams to provide comprehensive advice on commercial and corporate energy deals. A large multi-disciplinary team advised US-based NEC Energy Services on its strategic development and operation of two battery storage projects in the UK. The practice head also acted for Became Energy in a joint venture with Downing to finance and install a battery storage system at Emirates Stadium. Additionally, Pritchett and property partner Stuart Cleak assisted British Solar Renewables with the sales, totalling £50m, of six solar sites to Next Energy and three sites to Bluefield Solar.

The team at Michelmores LLP has experience in national and international corporate energy transactions and also has considerable strength in project financing. Department head Ian Holyoak and Alexandra Watson acted for Downing in relation to the £15.3m sale of Vulcan Renewables to John Laing Environmental Assets Group. Holyoak was also instructed in an additional high-value joint venture project, which saw him advise on the acquisition of multiple gas-fired peaking power plants. Additionally, having previously advised on the UK’s first IFISA bond, Watson assisted community benefit society Mendip Renewables with the structuring and launch of the Mendip Renewables IFISA bond, which was the first product on the Triodos Bank Crowdfunding platform. Further, Carol McCormack and Ben Hogan have experience in cross-border financing transactions.

Renew Legal is known for its ‘effective, confident and prompt support on what are often new and unique issues’ in the renewables industry. Rob Laddle and Christie Skudder jointly head the team and are regularly called on to provide in-house-style legal and commercial advice across the the gamut of renewable energy projects. Skudder is acting for an international joint venture concerning an offshore wind project valued at over €1bn, and advised Plutus Powergen on its acquisition and subsequent development of three reserve power sites across the UK. Laddle acted for Oxford Capital Partners on the refinancing of its EIS solar portfolio, which included the acquisitions of 17 SPVs holding various solar projects. Stephen Lister's track record includes advising major national and international project companies on the development of numerous offshore wind farms. Other key clients include RAW Energy, Peak Power Connections and Battery Energy Storage Solutions.

With one of the largest onshore renewables teams in the South West, Stephens Scown LLP has particular expertise in battery storage, anaerobic digestion and community energy projects and also handles project finance matters. Department head Sonya Bedford assisted Hydro Mills Group with the due diligence and development of 20 hydro sites in Devon. Associate Justin Butt advised Ethical Power on the eligibility of several solar projects for the government’s Renewable Obligation scheme. Butt also assisted community interest company Low Carbon Gordano with the acquisition and funding of a solar project. Peter Cooper has experience in drafting grid connection contracts and Simon Morris advised a project company on a refinancing transaction. Alison Stock is another key contact.

VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards) handles contentious and non-contentious instructions involving a range of renewable technologies, but is best known for its ‘invaluable knowledge of land ownership issues involving cross-country pipelines’. David Bird was instructed by Seabank Power to negotiate crossing agreements with Wessex Water and Ecotricity. Mainline Pipelines and CLH Pipeline System are among the team’s major pipeline clients. Edward Rimmell advised Hills Waste Solutions on the commercial and project agreements for its mechanical and biological treatment plant in Wiltshire. Ed Husband is a key contact in the disputes team, which has also been involved in various contentious matters for energy companies and energy purchasers. Jason Prosser heads the department.

Project finance and PFI

Index of tables

  1. Project finance and PFI
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Project finance and PFI clients in South West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Ashfords LLP acts for a range of public and private sector clients on contentious and non-contentious project financing mandates in the waste, renewable energy, transport and IT infrastructure sectors. Department head Ruth Murray acted for a prominent private equity house in connection with the liquidation of the operator and project sponsor of nine anaerobic digestion SPVs funded by the client; this included restructuring the shareholding and operating mechanisms for each SPV, as well as establishing a new operating entity. A cross-departmental team including Elizabeth Gibson and associate Jonathan Croley assisted Swindon Borough Council with the procurement of domiciliary care services in the borough. Further, Clare Brewer is instructed by a central government department in relation to a headline infrastructure project of national significance. In the contentious space, Brian Farrell is advising a major service provider in a massive multi-party dispute concerning a particular PFI project. Additional clients include CoGen, VINCI Construction and North Yorkshire County Council.

Burges Salmon LLP is well known throughout the region and nationally for its strength in major energy and infrastructure projects, with the team involved in many of the largest and most sensitive projects across the UK. Brioney Thomas is advising Abellio on all aspects, including funding, of rail and depot works for the East Anglia and West Midlands rail franchises. Thomas is also instructed by Transport for Wales. Also in the transport space, Lloyd James is acting for Costain Group in connection with the development of the M4 relief road in South Wales. Headed by Ian Salter, the team has unique expertise in nuclear energy projects. Gary Soloman is assisting Isle of Anglesey County Council with all aspects of its role in the development of a new nuclear power station at Wylfa. Mark Paterson is advising the Ministry of Defence in relation to the highly publicised Trident project. Additional contacts include William Gard, Keith Beattie, and Nathan Curtis.

Michelmores LLP’s projects group ‘compares very favourably to considerably larger and more expensive competitors’. The team is rated for its ‘knowledge and approachability’, but what clients appreciate most is the lawyers’ ‘commercial acumen, and the deep practical experience they bring to negotiations’. ‘Pragmatic, professional and, at the same time, personable’, Ben Hogan has been increasingly involved in cross-border project financing mandates. Indeed, Hogan advised Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation on its participation in the financing of a LNG power station in Argentina. Further, Hogan is acting for a major German development finance investor in relation to its involvement in the financing of an onshore wind project in Serbia. Domestically, the team has particular expertise in the education and healthcare sectors. The highly regarded Carol McCormack provides ongoing procurement advice to Brighton & Sussex University Hospital NHS Trust in relation to its £420m 3Ts redevelopment programme. McCormack also assists ISS Mediclean with a wide range of operational education and healthcare PPP projects. Other key clients of the department include Innisfree Group, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust and Aberystwyth University.

Osborne Clarke provides ‘the full range of advice required for a major project financing arrangement, including taxation, property, construction and debt financing’. With particular expertise in the renewables and student accommodation projects, the team is regularly involved in refinancing mature PFI and PPP projects, and is increasingly instructed by infrastructure funds. For example, Andrew Normington and Simon Hancock acted for Dutch Infrastructure Fund in relation to its acquisition and debt refinancing of three local infrastructure projects in the UK. Further, Normington advised a borrower on the financing of multiple energy storage projects and gas-fired generation projects. The team also advised John Laing Investments on a £45m acquisition, development and refinancing of an onshore wind farm. Department head Chris Wade assisted Arlington Seaside with the acquisition and simultaneous debt financing of a portfolio of student accommodation projects. Catherine Wolfenden has expertise in UK and EU procurement law and Omar Al-Nuaimi was involved in a number of project portfolio refinancings in 2017.

Bevan Brittan LLP ’s projects group is ‘very knowledgeable of PFI and PPP structures’ and has ‘a unique and valuable perspective gained from experience advising public and private sector clients’. Headed by the ‘personable and energetic’ Nadeem Arshad , the team has particular expertise in PFI and PPP projects in the waste, energy and health sectors, and also has an active projects disputes practice. Of note, Arshad is acting for Viridor Waste Management in connection with a Scottish PPP project involving the development of a £154m recyclying and renewable energy centre in Glasgow. Acting alongside Nathan Bradberry, who is ‘especially well-researched on EPC issues’, the practice head is also advising Birmingham City Council on its new waste PPP project and associated contracting arrangements with Veolia Environment Services. Additionally, Sharon Renouf assisted Leeds Teaching NHS Trust with the refinancing of its PFI scheme. Louise Robling specialises in projects litigation and is representing Barts Health NHS Trust in a number of disputes concerning its PFI financial model.

The team at DAC Beachcroft LLP has ‘all the relevant experience, but most importantly, the lawyers have proved themselves able to accommodate the evolution of the project finance industry’. With experience of contentious and non-contentious matters, the group provides ‘the quality of service clients would expect from larger firms’ and has been involved in a number of PFI and PPP projects in the energy and transport sectors. Practice head Giles Taylor advises Liverpool City Council on its entire portfolio of operational PFI projects, which includes the client’s £60m central library redevelopment scheme. Further, Taylor is acting for the local authority and the project company in relation to the refinancing of a £65m housing PFI project. The practice head also advised a major government ministry on the high-value refinancing of a nationwide PFI scheme. Moreover, the team has also handled a number of school development projects for clients such as Mitie PFI and Somerset County Council.

VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards) ’s ‘impressive’ specialist procurement team was strengthened in 2017 by the arrival of Stephanie Rickard from Burges Salmon LLP. Since joining the firm, Rickard has been instructed by various contractors to handle procurement matters for a number of high-value services and construction projects. Rickard is advising Dorset County Council on the procurement in connection with a five-year strategic plan to develop new facilities for housing, health and social care. Further, the team assisted Bath Spa University with the main contractor procurement for the client’s £25m project to refurbish and repurpose a grade-II listed building for future use. Ben Holt specialises in procurement litigation and represents claimants and defendants in complex and often high-value procurement challenges. Additional clients include Hills Waste Solutions, National Composites Centre and Institute of Cancer Research.

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