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Liam Cowell

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

Work Department

Finance and projects.


Liam is the Managing Partner for the North West office (Manchester and Liverpool).  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 Bridge PPP Project and is currently advising the Welsh Government on its new Mutual Investment Model procurement of the A465 roads project.


Trained DLA Piper (UK); qualified 1996; Partner 2004.


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)

DLA Piperhas a strong team in place under the leadership of’’ Colin Wilson, which ‘excels in the PFI project area’ and clients are ‘always impressed by the speed at which its lawyers respond’. Maria Pereira and Wilson were part of the team advising the DfT on the high-profile Airport Capability programme, which is due to involve the expansion of either Heathrow or Gatwick airport. Other highlights included acting for Hitachi Rail on the New Tube for London scheme and assisting Agility Trains with ongoing operational matters arising from the Intercity Express Programme. The firm recently strengthened its contentious construction capabilities by hiring David Moss and Paul Giles from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP and Alison Fagan from Addleshaw Goddard. Other contacts include Mark Dwyer, who recently joined the financial markets unit from Slaughter and May, power project expert Nigel Drew and the Manchester-based Liam Cowell who specialises in the transport and roads sectors.

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North West


Within: Transport

Key figures at DLA Piper UK LLP include Liam Cowell, who specialises in infrastructure and project financing transactions, and David Moss, who joined the team from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP and is well regarded for his work on contentious construction matters. The team is skilled at handling high-value and complex transactions and litigation. Clients include some of the biggest commercial airlines, finance firms, distributors, public sector authorities and infrastructure investors and contractors across the UK and internationally. The team is acting for the Welsh Ministers on the forthcoming roads PPP project. Other active clients include the Stobart Group.

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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 handles local, national and international projects and is particularly adept at PFI and project finance mandates in the energy, infrastructure and transport sectors. The team is advising the Welsh government on the development of a suite of documents for the procurement of PPPs, in line with the priorities set out in the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan; and is advising the same client on a £350m road PPP project. It also advised Balfour Beatty Investments on its bid for a student accommodation project, procured by the University of Hull. Darren Walsh heads the North West projects team and is experienced in advising energy sector clients on project finance. He is assisted by Liam Cowell, who garners praise for his ‘client-focused approach’ and is recommended for his experience in infrastructure deals across the transport, energy and waste sectors; the ‘commercially savvy and affableAndrew S. Davies, who advises on project finance in the waste and energy sectors, as well as engineering and infrastructure projects; and consultant Nigel Proctor. Also recommended are Alison Fagan, who joined from Addleshaw Goddard in 2016 and is recommended for PPP and PFI disputes; and legal director Sidrah Arif, who is noted for project finance mandates. Nick Helm joined Squire Patton Boggs.

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North West: Public sector

Local government

Within: Local government

DLA Piper UK LLP’s ‘knowledgeable and dependable’ team includes Liam Cowell, who is well known for his work in infrastructure and project finance transactions, and attracts praise for his ‘excellent, client-focused approach’. The ‘very commercial and pragmatic’ Sarah Bell is ‘skilled at joint venture advice’ and Peter Brook is well regarded for his work on complicated commercial and technology contracts for public sector clients. Legal director Gemma Cowap is ‘very talented and good at structuring agreements’. The team advises local government clients on a broad range of issues such as planning, real estate and pensions. Highlights included advising Cheshire West and Chester Council on a major city regeneration project and acting for Sefton MBC in the defence of over 100 claims being made under Part 1 of the Land Compensation Act 1973. Other clients include The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, Liverpool Vision Limited and Knowsley MBC. At DWFJonathan Branton, Michael Mousdale and Colin Murray are recommended for their work in procurement projects. The firm is strong on diverse matters such as advising on large outsourcing of public services and on major regeneration projects. It is also skilled at advising on contentious matters. The team assisted Cornwall County Council on its procurement of an operator for 15 of its leisure centres. It also advised South Tyneside Council on its procurement of a development partner to deliver a £200m mixed-use development on an iconic brownfield site. Other clients include Serco, Royal Borough of Greenwich and Stockport MBC.

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DLA Piper LLP (US)

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