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Gowling WLG’s practice is possibly best known for its expertise in the defence and security sector, where it continued to advise key client the Ministry of Defence on the procurement arrangements relating to the design, acquisition, installation and delivery of military air traffic management services. The team’s government work also extends to public infrastructure, with examples including rail specialist Giles Clifford representing Transport for London in connection with its station improvement works at Finsbury Park, and

practice head Stephen Kenny, who divides his time between Birmingham and London, assisting the South London Waste Partnership with the procurement contract for waste and recycling collection, street cleaning, winter maintenance, vehicle maintenance, and parks and grounds maintenance services across four London Boroughs. On the finance side, Chris Brierley represented Ecotricity in the £90m financing with Aviva Investors of a portfolio of 74MW of operational wind and solar parks across 21 sites. Head of project finance Nicholas Iliff divides his time between Birmingham and London, and is ‘pragmatic and well known and respected in the market’.

Pinsent Masons LLP has particular strength in advising on public-private partnerships in areas such as waste and street lighting. Often instructed by local authorities, the team ‘understands the public sector and works really hard to provide advice designed to strengthen and protect the public sector interests’. Practice head Didar Dhillon is advising Telford & Wrekin Council on the maintenance and capital investment contract for a street lighting project, encompassing illuminated signs and bollards. On the finance side, the team assisted WElink Energy Developments with the financing of a joint venture with Your Housing Group to develop 25,000 solar powered modular flatpack houses across the North West of England. Construction specialist Nigel Blundell has strong rail sector experience and was active in this space regarding consortium tenders and the stepped down obligations in construction contracts and subcontracts. Senior associates Oliver Mangiapane and Gemma Glasspole ‘listen to the client’s needs and do their utmost to ensure long-term delivery of required outcomes’.

Freeths LLP has particular expertise in advising infrastructure investors and infrastructure funds on the financing (and more recently refinancing) of projects, and the team was again active in this regard in 2016. Stoke-based head of practice James Larmour, who is ‘proactive and commercial’, advised International Public Partnerships on various acquisitions in the education sector, including an additional 72% interest in the Wolverhampton Building Schools for the Future Project from Carillion. Larmour also represents public sector organisations and service providers on the procurement and operation of projects, and in another significant education sector mandate, he is acting for Hull Esteem Consortium LEP in relation to a number of schemes procured by Hull City Council, including two schools and various projects relating to Hull City of Culture. Other target sectors include energy, healthcare, regeneration, social housing and transport, and the team is advising Care UK on all aspects of its joint venture with Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to run services at a new health and wellbeing campus at Shepton Mallet.

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