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Fax 0161 235 4111

Liam Cowell

Work +44 (0)161 235 4128
DLA Piper LLP (US)

Work Department

Finance and projects.


Liam is the UK Managing Partner.  Liam has been advising on major infrastructure projects for 20 years and has advised on in excess of 50 infrastructure projects through to financial close.  He has advised procuring authorities, sponsors, funders and the key supply chain members gaining a balanced view of the challenges and available solutions.  These have included projects under PPP, DBOM, D&B, O&M, NPD, PF2, DBFO, PFI, LIFT, batching and partnership frameworks.  His work spans many sectors, including transport (light rail, roads and bridges), social infrastructure (university, schools, hospitals, leisure, emergency services, prisons and courts), waste management and treatment projects and urban regeneration.  Many of the transactions Liam has worked on have been innovative deals in the relevant sector, and in the case of the Long Beach Court House PPP, California, a first in the relevant country.  Liam led the DLA Piper team advising Halton Borough council on the multi-award winning Mersey Gateway PPP Project and is currently advising the Welsh Government on its new Mutual Investment Model procurement of the A465 roads project.


Trained at DLA Piper (UK) LLP

Qualified 1996

Partner 2004

NW Office Managing Partner 01 January 2014

UK Managing Partner 01 January 2019




Law Society of England and Wales.


Durham University; Chester College of Law.

London: Projects, energy and natural resources

Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP)

Within: Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP)

Clients praise DLA Piper for its 'excellent response times, high industry knowledge, strong team and great depth'. The group acts for an enviable client roster in high-profile domestic and international infrastructure mandates such as franchise agreements for East Anglia and South-Eastern and a major coal-fired power station and coal mine in Zambia. Practice co-head Colin Wilson is currently advising the UK Department for Transport on the Airport Capability Programme which could lead to the expansion of either Heathrow or Gatwick Airport, and continues to represent Agility Trains in a number of operational of ongoing operational matters arising from the Intercity Express Programme. In Manchester, Liam Cowell assists the Welsh Ministries with its incoming road PPP project, and the Edinburgh-based Lillian Mackenzie  is currently handling the procurement of a new cancer centre in South Wales. The name to note in Leeds is Robert Smith and Maria Pereira guided CAE Training Services through the transformation of its PFI contract with the MoD for the provision of synthetic aircrew training to the RAF. Clients also recommend the 'strategic, direct, personable and knowledgeable' Alison Fagan .

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North West


Within: Transport

DLA Piper UK LLP's team is headed by Liam Cowell, who specialises in infrastructure and project finance transactions. Clients include some of the biggest commercial airlines, asset finance firms, distributors, public sector authorities as well as infrastructure investors and contractors across the UK and internationally. In a major project the team is acting for Welsh Ministers to advise on a forthcoming roads PPP project. This will be a road dualling project in relation to sections 5 and 6 of the A465.

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North West: Projects, energy and natural resources

Project finance and PFI

Within: Leading individuals

Liam Cowell - DLA Piper UK LLP

Within: Project finance and PFI

DLA Piper UK LLP¬†attracts praise for its¬†‚Äėin-depth industry knowledge‚Äô, ‚Äėability to deliver to tight and challenging deadlines‚Äô and ‚Äėexcellent track record in highly complex projects‚Äô. The team acts for energy and infrastructure sponsors, developers and investors on the bid, financing and operational issues related to complex projects, both nationally and internationally. The public sector is a key area of focus and the team advised the Welsh Government on its forthcoming road PPP project relating to sections 5 and 6 of the A465. Balfour Beatty Investments, Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority, Transport for Greater Manchester, Kelda Water Services and Mersey Gateway Crossing Board are also key clients. Team head Darren Walsh¬† is regularly engaged by energy sector clients on project finance matters.¬†Liam Cowell¬†is a ‚Äėgood project lead‚Äô and is praised for his ‚Äėability to give a good steer and overall direction to a project‚Äô, particularly large-scale infrastructure projects. ¬†Also recommended are the ‚Äėknowledgeable‚Äô¬†Andrew Davies¬†, who¬†is ‚Äėvery practical, approachable, hardworking and committed‚Äô, and consultant Nigel Proctor, who¬† is ‚Äėvery experienced and is able to give valuable insights‚Äô, particularly in owner-funded and project-financed infrastructure projects; Proctor also has particular expertise in the procurement of EPC, operating and maintenance contracts. Other key figures include contentious construction lawyer Alison Fagan¬†handles PFI and PPP projects and disputes, and legal directors Sidrah Arif, who is engaged in banking and project finance transactions, and Ben Morton, who was recently promoted.

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North West: Public sector

Local government

Within: Local government

Sarah Bell  and Liam Cowell  are recommended at DLA Piper UK LLP . The team has been busy advising on various matters such as on large scale procurements for a range of goods and services and on projects for the development of property and associated complex planning issues. Bell led on the appointment to advise Liverpool City Council on its high pressure, time critical bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The timetable for bidding for the Games was incredibly tight following Durban losing its appointment. It has an impressive roster of clients such as The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, Cumbria County Council, Knowsley MBC and Liverpool Vision Limited. Other clients include Transport for Greater Manchester and York Central Partnership. Legal director Gemma Cowap  is also well-regarded for her support to private and public sector clients on a variety of commercial matters. Nick Helm is now at Squire Patton Boggs .

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