Water in London
The practice at Allen & Overy LLP oversees both clean and dirty water schemes which entail a range of project structures from build, operate and transfer(BOT) schemes and PFI projects, to concession arrangements and privatisations. Its practitioners have substantial experience across the whole of infrastructure fundraising, both greenfield and brownfield, PPP, acquisitions, refinancing, sales and other aspects. Tim Conduit focuses on work in the bond, bank and institutional debt markets. Ed Moser was recently promoted to the partnership, while Conrad Andersen left to join Latham & Watkins .
Tim Conduit; Richard Evans; Sara Pickersgill
Other key lawyers:
John Laing Infrastructure Fund
Department for Transport (DfT)
OTPP, AimCo and Wren House Infrastructure Management
Macquarie Capital | Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets │ Green Investment Group
Borealis │ OMERS Infrastructure
- Advised the funder (OCM Credit Portfolio LP, by its general partner, OCM Credit Portfolio G.P. Inc) on the refinancing of a £400m holding company bond due to mature in April 2019 via private placement debt purchased by OMERS.
- Advised the funders on the refinancing of a £400m holding company bond due to mature in April 2019 via private placement debt purchased by a number of institutional investors.
- Advising BNP Paribas on the Anglian (Osprey) Water update 2018.
- Advising Morgan Stanley on the private placement financing of Anglian Water.
- Advised the lenders and the agent on the working capital facility put in place to refinance the holding company revolving credit facility agreement due to mature in April 2019.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP represents the UK’s regulated water companies and their investors. Andrew Hockley's team regularly acts on corporate, finance, construction, planning, environmental and regulatory matters in the water industry. Having recently expanded its client base, the firm also continues to work for Thames Water on its Lot 2 Panel, for high-value projects, litigation and regulatory investigations. Competition specialist James Marshall has significant experience of antitrust and regulatory issues in the water sector.
Other key lawyers:
Port of London Authority
- Advising Tideway on the £4.2bn ‘super sewer’ project.
- Advised the Port of London Authority on strategic partnering arrangements with CEMEX UK to improve ship unloading infrastructure at Cemex’s Northfleet terminal.
Gowling WLG advises governments, regulators, utilities and developers on all aspects of water, wastewater and desalination projects and frameworks, from a regulatory perspective to ground-breaking infrastructure PPP projects in developing countries. In recent highlights, the Sumitomo Corporation and Veolia consortium appointed Andrew Newbery's group to assist with their bid for the Taweelah RO IWP project in Abu Dhabi. Former head of energy David Goodban departed the firm to become UK general counsel at National Grid.
Other key lawyers:
John Cooper; Jonathan Brufal
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
Veolia Middle East
Government of Kenya
- Advised the consortium comprising of Sumitomo Corporation and Veolia Middle East in relation to its bid for the Taweelah Independent Water Project in Abu Dhabi.
- Advising the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on its smart meter programme.
- Advising on the Muranga Water PPP project in Kenya.
The team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has vast experience of regulation and restructuring within the water sector. Recently, the group was appointed to assist Southern Water in connection with its PR19 price control review, and advised the Bazalgette Consortium on its successful bid to undertake the financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the Thames Tideway Tunnel. The group is jointly led by experienced M&A expert Malcolm Lombers and regulatory specialist Tim Briggs.
Tim Briggs; Malcolm Lombers
Other key lawyers:
‘The team appears more practical in its advice and more willing to learn about its perceived strengths and weaknesses from the client’s viewpoint.’
‘Tim Briggs and Andrew North are knowledgeable about competition and regulatory matters relating primarily to the water industry Price Review 2019 in very practical ways. They are easy to work with, flexible and willing to work to accommodate the client’s changing demands as necessary.’
- Advising DIF, InfraRed and Allianz Capital Partners on the corporate, regulatory and merger control aspects of the restructuring of their interests in Daiwater, and securing merger control clearance from the European Commission.
- Advising Bristol Water on its £125m bilateral term loan and revolving credit facilities.
At Linklaters LLP, the dedicated water team covers all facets of the sector including M&A, financing, competition and regulations. Michael Cutting recently retired from the profession and was replaced as head of water regulation by Natura Gracia, who now jointly leads the practice with structured finance partner Julian Davies. Finance specialist Reza Taylor is relationship partner for a number of major water companies.
Julian Davies; Natura Gracia
Other key lawyers:
Mark Nuttall; Reza Taylor; Elisabeth Johnson
‘This is a strong team that has a leading advisory role in the water sector built on experience from the past decade. From partner to associate the service is high quality in analysing issues and paying attention to detail when executing transactions.’
‘Mark Nuttall’s knowledge and experience is invaluable when called upon and this is reinforced day to day by James McGivern and Lizzie Johnson as managing associates. All are professional at all hours of the day and when managing the sometimes unrealistic demands of their client!’
South East Water
Sutton and East Surrey Water
The Royal Bank of Scotland
- Advising six of the seven securitised water companies on CayCo Onshoring. This involves the replacement of Cayman-incorporated companies in their finance groups with English-incorporated companies.
- Advising Thames Water and Anglian Water on their next Ofwat price control review.
- Acted for Allianz Global Investors as Noteholder Representative on behalf of certain Allianz affiliates on their purchase of €50m 4.30% Secured Senior Private Placement Notes due February 2028 issued by Portuguese water and wastewater concession holding company Indaqua.
- Advised Southern Water on its group-wide capital restructuring, swap restructuring and refinancing.
- Following the Green Bond issuance by Anglian Water in 2017, Linklaters advised Anglian Water on a further five Green Bond issuances (c.£600m) over the year into different markets (the US private placement market, the UK public market and a direct investment by an institutional investor).
Addleshaw Goddard's dedicated water group covers a wide variety of disciplines, from regulatory, construction and litigation, to environmental and transactional, acting for regulators, water companies and suppliers alike. In recent highlights, Rona Bar-Isaac's London-based team has been working with water companies at the forefront of planning strategy for the effective use of the direct procurement regime and its implications for PR19 planning, and assisted South East Water with its disposal of its non-household retail business to Castle Water.
Rona Bar-Isaac; Mike Shaw
‘The team combines an in-depth knowledge of the sector with a broader knowledge of regulation and competition to deliver a round and very practical service.’
‘Addleshaw Goddard has great experience and reputation in this sector. Clients can have confidence instructing this team knowing they are going to get a certain standard.’
‘Rona Bar-Isaac works on both competition and water related issues which is not a common combination. This allows her to provide well-balanced advice that combines the challenges introduced by competition with the reality of the water sector.’
‘Matthew Collingwood-Cooper stands out. He is technically very able and doesn’t miss a trick.’
United Utilities More
South East Water
- Handled the sale of Invicta Water Limited, which operated South East Water’s non-household retail business, to Castle Water Limited.
- Advising United Utilities on its major works frameworks for Asset Management Period 7 – spanning its entire water and wastewater infrastructure.
Baker McKenzie has a long history of involvement in the development of water and waste projects. The firm regularly advises bid leaders, construction companies, consortium partners or their lenders in many large P3 projects, including resolving disputes in the sector. Also notable is the group's extensive experience with structuring outsourcing and public private partnership contract arrangements and experience with water and wastewater outsourcing contracts, including involvement with municipal water outsourcing projects. The wider group was recently strengthened by the hire of Kathy Honeywood from Clifford Chance LLP and regulatory expert Christopher Jones from the European Commission.
Richard Blunt; Marc Fevre; Neil Donoghue; Mike Webster
- Advising Suez, Itochu Corporation and Marguerite Fund as sponsors on a bid for the largest PPP ever signed in Serbia.
As well as providing general commercial legal advice within the context of the sector, Burges Salmon LLP assists with a range of other sector-specific requirements. These include: providing assurance in relation to regulatory submissions, licensing issues, and defending prosecutions or investigations of licence infringements, and health and safety matters. The team, which is primarily based in Bristol, but also draws on the firm's London presence, is led by Michael Barlow, who has substantial experience both on the contentious and advisory side of the sector and leads the firm's wider energy, power and utilities sector group.
Other key lawyers:
Simon Tilling; Chris Worrall; Noel Beale
‘The team bases its counsel on its long experience advising the water sector across a number of issues. As a result, it provides well-tailored advice based on the best knowledge of the industry.’
‘The team understands the subtleties of water-related law and how it works in the real world. Its ability to place the legal framework into practical and understandable language is almost unique.’
‘Noel Beale deserves special attention when discussing the water sector. He spent a long period in Ofwat which gives him a very deep knowledge of the industry. This experience allows him to also understand how the regulator is likely to react to different actions which in a heavily regulated industry allows him to have very particular insight of the sector.’
‘Michael Barlow has a fundamental understanding of what matters to clients and how to make the law work for them, rather than the other way around.’
Canal & River Trust
Water Services Regulation Authority (OFWAT)
Environment Agency and Canal & River Trust
Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water
- Representing Canal & River Trust in arbitration proceedings with Bristol Water connected with its largest supply of water.
- Advising Ofwat on PR19, including advice on aspects of the regulator’s interactions with companies notably in relation to process.
- Assisting OFWAT with the drafting of a fair process for the PR19 determinations, particularly the Initial Assessment of Plans stage, which importantly placed companies into different categories for the remainder of the review process and had financial consequences.
- Prepared and updated a suite of real estate precedents for Affinity Water, including self-lay agreements and railway and non-railway land easements.
- Acted for Wessex Water on the defence of a prosecution for water pollution, resulting in the largest enforcement undertaking accepted by the Environment Agency.
Greenberg Traurig, LLP has substantial strength in the regulatory landscape of the water sector and has an excellent track record in the contentious space. Clients such as Bristol Water frequently appoint the firm to advise on matters in the water sector, such as challenges before the Competition and Markets Authority to Ofwat's PR19. Lisa Navarro and Gillian Sproul jointly lead the practice.
Lisa Navarro; Gillian Sproul
‘Lisa Navarro is a leader in her field of water regulation. Known for her excellent technical knowledge of a difficult regulatory landscape and unique insight, she is also very hard working.’
- Having settled Ofwat’s Competition Act investigation into Bristol Water in March 2015, the group has since then continued to provide a formal monitoring role providing assurance of compliance with those commitments to Ofwat.
The energy and utility practitioners at Hogan Lovells International LLP provide a fully integrated 'cradle-to-grave' service across all investor and funding bases from greenfield, brownfield, regulatory asset and M&A and encompassing fund formation through to dispute resolution and refinancing and restructuring. The team, which includes Philip Robb and counsel Charles Ford, recently strengthened its international offering through a number of strategic hires, although long-serving partner Steven Bryan departed to join Paul Hastings LLP .
Other key lawyers:
Charles Ford; Julian Craughan
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners
- Advising Affinity Water (the largest water-only utility in England) on the substitution of the issuer under its £1.1bn whole business securitisation structure that Affinity use to finance its regulated activities.
Pinsent Masons LLP's London office boasts substantial expertise on the construction front, and head of construction advisory and disputes Neal Morris advised a joint venture of leading UK contractors in connection with the procurement of the Thames Tideway Tunnel project. The environmental law team is led from Manchester by Claire Gregory. Former practice head Adrian Eakin moved to Riyadh for a new role at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia National Centre for Privatisation.
Shepherd and Wedderburn has four partner teams that advise across water, energy, telecoms and payment systems markets in the UK and Ireland, as well as internationally, and the water team was recently appointed by Ofwat as sole legal adviser on the Thames Tideway Tunnel project. In parallel with the firm's strong regulatory capabilities, Gordon Downie's Scotland-based team is also strong on the construction and engineering front, as well as the litigation side where it recently worked on the nine defective sludge treatment tanks at Daldowie.
Other key lawyers:
Liz McRobb; John Grady
‘Gordon Downie and Liz McRobb are outstanding. They are very responsive and work collaboratively with their clients’ teams to facilitate the desired outcome. They are comfortable engaging at an early stage and, as such, the implementation process is almost always easier than it could be.’
‘The team has a wealth of experience which is second to none in Scotland.’
‘David Anderson is extremely good with clients and is able to identify with clarity and concissions the potential upsides and downsides of the various steps and tactical moves that arise in the context of litigation.
‘Antonia Pacitti is thoroughly organised and is a great asset to have when the pressure is on.’
West Dunbartonshire Council
Green Highland Renewables (Hydro Power Projects)
Northumbrian Water Group
A FTSE 250 PLC Water company
Water Industry Commission for Scotland
Water Plus (Severn Trent and United Utilities JV)
2020 Renewables (Glenmuckloch Pumped Storage Hydro Scheme)
Glenmuckloch Pumped Storage Hydro Limited (JV of Forsa Energy and Buccleuch Estates)
Ayr Environmental Services
South West Water
- Providing a range of advice and support to Water Plus across commercial contracts, regulation and financial services throughout the year.
- Advising a local authority on the procurement of the UK’s first large-scale water source heat pump district heating system.
- Providing regulatory advice to the Water Industry Commission for Scotland on a wide market review exercise with a view to reform the retail market arrangements in Scotland.
Winston & Strawn LLP's James Simpson advises project sponsors, developers, investors, contractors, operating companies, service companies, and governments on large-scale water and wastewater projects and related financings around the world, including Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Turkey.
Other key lawyers:
Electrogas Malta Limited
Emirates Water and Electric Company (formerly ADWEA)