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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > South West > Projects, energy and natural resources > Energy > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Maria Connolly - TLT
    • Alan John - Osborne Clarke
    • Rob Laddle - Renew Legal

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Burges Salmon LLP’s projects, energy and natural resources department handles the gamut of non-contentious and contentious energy work, ranging from renewable to conventional energy. The group has particular strength in the nuclear space; joint practice head Ian Salter is a ‘leading’ name in the nuclear sector, and is working alongside Steven James to advise on the UK’s first new-build nuclear project for 25 years. On the renewable energy front, Nick Churchward acted for Estover Energy in connection with the five-year, £150m development of the Kent Renewable Energy Partnership. Churchward also advised Marks & Spencer on the establishment of M&S Energy Society. Regulatory expert James Phillips acted for an energy investment company in relation to investments into more than a dozen gas-fired reserve power projects in England and Wales. Department co-head Ross Fairley focuses on renewable projects and is acting for Wave Hub on a huge variety of work, from marine and energy regulatory to real estate and construction issues. Also recommended are Nathan Curtis, who specialises in the funding aspects of energy projects, and associate Alec Whiter.

Osborne Clarke is among the premier firms in South West renewables space, and the department’s presence is growing both nationally and internationally. It is especially well known for its solar energy expertise and for its work for energy investor clients. As an example of the group’s work for large investor clients, Simon Hobday advised InfraRed Capital Partners on the £78m purchase of Afton Wind Farm, which involved advising on the initial transaction, as well as construction and planning issues. Matthew Lewis was part of a team assisting Foresight Solar Fund with the £190m refinancing of a solar park portfolio. David Ferris heads the global energy practice and acted for CableCom Networking on the acquisition of Glide Utilities, a company providing bill solutions for utilities services to shared households. Shane Toal provides strategic real estate advice in relation to energy projects and is acting for a Plc regarding the land aspects of a significant grid connection. Also recommended are Peter Clough, who handles contentious regulatory issues concerning electricity distribution networks, and Alan John, who heads the Bristol energy department and has deep expertise in the renewables sector.

The energy and waste department at Ashfords LLP handles a variety of renewable projects, but is especially active for developers on EPC issues associated with renewable energy and municipal energy-from-waste projects. In 2016, the group advised both developers and lenders on a multitude of anaerobic digestion and biomass projects across the UK. Practice head Ruth Murray is acting for pension fund investor Ethika Fund SICAV on the funding, construction and commercial agreements related to a series of renewable developments in the UK and Northern Ireland. The energy department works closely with the firm’s property and corporate teams, and was involved in a cross-disciplinary matter that involved the property and environmental due diligence in relation to the strategic acquisition of a waste site in Middlesbrough. In an illustration of Mark Northey’s expertise in biomass gasification projects, he is currently involved in a first-of-its-kind biomass project in the UK, advising on the contractual and commercial agreements for the operation and construction of the project.

Bond Dickinson LLP’s energy team is known for advising project developers and utility companies on the planning and property aspects of wind and solar projects, and has been increasingly active in the nascent energy storage space. In an illustration of the group’s expanding regulatory practice, Chris Towner is advising Ofgem on a new regulatory regime enabling more companies to bid on construction and operation contracts on national grid projects with a capital value of more than £100m. Simon Hughes specialises in facilitating infrastructure development through strategic property transactions, and is acting for Renewable Energy Systems Limited on landowner and lease agreements for the Garreg Lwyd Hill Wind Farm; this included negotiating access rights and grid connection routes with a variety of landowners. Jonathan Bower, who is handling onshore infrastructure acquisitions in connection with the East Anglia ONE and East Anglia THREE offshore wind farms, is also active on the planning and property side of major energy projects.

Clarke Willmott LLP is known for providing ‘prompt and practical advice’ on major energy contractual matters, and in addition to the team’s technical acumen, clients note the lawyers’ ability to ‘communicate legal structures in plain English’. Recently, the department has been particularly active in the anaerobic digestion and energy technology spaces. Laurence Lacey is the key energy partner in the Bristol office, and is acting for a joint venture company in various arrangements pursuant to the development of a multimillion-pound, multi-phase energy project. Lacey has experience of acting for energy companies on a variety of commercial agreements, which in 2016-2017 have included lease and power purchase agreements. The department work closely with the firm’s energy and planning groups to provide end-to-end service and also works alongside the London office. Zoe Stollard is a ‘practical and efficient’ partner in the Bristol construction team and often handles the construction and planning aspects of energy projects.

TLT is known for handling project finance and debt funding for large-scale projects and also advises energy funds on acquisitions and disposals. In addition, the department has advised on 40% of the successful tenders in the National Grid’s Enhanced Frequency Response programme through 2016. As an example of their standing in the energy storage space, the team advised Low Carbon Group on its successful tender and subsequent award for two battery storage sites – one in Kent and the other in Cumbria. Maria Connolly leads the energy and renewables department and acted for InfraRed Capital Partners on the disposal of its 29MW Twin Rivers wind farm to NTR Plc. She also advised on the acquisition of a 61MW solar site at planning consent stage.

Bevan Brittan LLP’s energy and resources team falls within the larger commercial and infrastructure department, and is known for advising local authorities in relation to commercial agreements, planning and development of a variety of solar, wind and energy-from-waste projects. The energy group is headed by Nadeem Arshad, who is advising Nottingham City Council on the funding, EPC contracts, strategic option and public law aspects of the redevelopment of the Eastcroft Energy from Waste plant. Christopher Jarman assisted the London Borough of Enfield with the procurement, public law issues and contract documentation related to the client’s creation of the Meridian Water Heat Network. Senior associate Nathan Bradberry is part of a team advising Newcastle University as a customer of a city-wide district energy project being procured by Newcastle City Council. Carly Caton joined the commercial and infrastructure group in 2016, and Olwen Dutton joined Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP.

Renew Legal is a boutique energy practice that attracts praise for its ‘business acumen and excellent industry knowledge’. The firm handles all aspects of renewable energy projects, from EPC to commercial contracts, as well as disputes. The department is jointly led by Christie Skudder, a ‘technical and commercial expert’ specialising in offshore wind, and Rob Laddle, who focuses on reserve power. Skudder is acting for Good Energy on the drafting and negotiation of EPC contracts for a 5MW solar PV farm in Wales. Laddle has acted as in-house lawyer to Oxford Capital’s infrastructure team since 2014, and has handled project development and acquisitions, construction, operation and eventual disposals. Litigation expert Stephen Lister assists Real Energy Assurance Limited with a wide range of issues arising out of the client’s position as the administrators of the Renewable Energy Consumer Code. Ian Whitehall is recommended, and in 2017 Emma Gonzalez joined Clarke Willmott LLP.

The ‘very responsive’ energy group at Stephens Scown LLP possesses ‘very strong knowledge of and connectedness with the renewable industry’. In addition to its traditional focus on onshore wind and solar projects, the department’s efforts have been increasingly directed toward the energy technology space, such as battery storage and anaerobic digestion. The team has also developed expertise in grid sharing agreements; ‘extremely well-connected’ practice head Sonya Bedford acted for Bristol City Council on the bespoke planning and grid sharing agreements with a developer and community group in connection with two adjacent solar PV parks. Bedford is also active in hydroelectric projects, and is assisting Hydro Mills Group with the development of 20 hydro sites in Devon. Justin Butt advised ReneSola, a Chinese solar developer, on the acquisition, planning, construction and sale of several 5MW UK solar farms. Alison Stock specialises in acting for landowners and community groups and Simon Morris focuses on the funding aspects and commercial agreements arising out of renewable projects.

Noted for its focus on pipeline work and project development, VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards) acts for a variety of utilities companies, including waste and water groups, in addition to pipeline operators. The department also has a formidable contentious offering headed by Ed Husband. David Bird leads the pipeline team and is acting for two cross-country pipeline operators in relation to the impact of HS2 on their pipelines. The energy department is headed by Jason Prosser, who advises on both contentious and non-contentious energy matters. Prosser advises various independent schools on drafting agreements for energy-related matters such as supply contracts, power purchase arrangements and solar PV and combined heat and power arrangements, while contentious work included representing a water company in a dispute with a construction firm regarding damage to the client’s water infrastructure. Edward Rimmell has extensive experience of commercial contracts in the renewable energy market and is assisting Hills Waste Solutions with the commercial and project agreements for its mechanical and biological treatment plant.

Foot Anstey has traditionally focused on solar projects, although the firm has strengthened its presence in the offshore wind and energy storage markets, thanks in part to the arrivals of Luke Gabb and Ian Stubbs from Bond Dickinson LLP and Pinsent Masons LLP, respectively. Department head Chris Pritchett negotiated a novel energy storage PPA and services agreement for Arenko Cleantech, which regulates the flow-through of power at large-scale commercial energy storage assets. In an example of the group’s work in wind energy, a cross-departmental team acted for Clean Earth Energy regarding the development of wind and solar installations, which involved advising on property and planning agreements, OFGEM regulations and project rights. The department also remains active in solar energy for clients including British Solar Renewables.

Michelmores LLP’s energy team is ‘very knowledgeable in the renewables space’ and is ‘able to apply that knowledge effectively to transactional matters’. The energy department works closely with the firm’s construction department, which enables the firm to handle energy projects at all different stages. Ian Holyoak heads the energy and renewables department and regularly advises on the corporate and commercial aspects of large transactions in the energy space, including site and plant acquisitions. Holyoak is instructed by clients such as Thrive Renewables Plc and British Solar Renewables. Alexandra Watson is a highly recommended partner in the group and has handled a variety of corporate, fundraising and structuring matters for clients in the renewables sector. Other clients include Brigg Lane Biogas, Solar Power Generation, Linton Hydro Limited and Renewable Energy Connections limited.

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