Water in London
Allen & Overy LLP’s team has a well-established position in the water sector and sits as part of the firm’s global infrastructure group allowing it to draw on specialists in a wide range of areas covering waste and wastewater projects. The group’s recent workload includes a number of financing matters where practice head Tim Conduit, who has vast experience in bond, bank and institutional debt markets, is the key name.
‘Compares very well with other Magic Circle firms.‘
‘Always reliable and available. They’re all excellent professionals.‘
John Laing Infrastructure Fund
Department for Transport (DfT) and HM Treasury
OTPP, AimCo and Wren House Infrastructure Management
Macquarie Capital | Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets │ Green Investment Group
Borealis │ OMERS Infrastructure
- Advised BNP Paribas on the Anglian (Osprey) Water update 2019.
- Advised NatWest Markets Plc on the refinancing of AWOF plc’s existing holdco £125,000,000 revolving credit facility.
- Advised NatWest – Kemble (Thames Water) on a bond programme update.
Baker McKenzie has deep expertise in advising clients on complex and challenging transactions in the water and ports sector. The firm is able to draw upon expertise in energy, mining, and infrastructure allowing clients to fully benefit from the firm’s multidisciplinary team. Notable highlights include advising on the $2.5bn Anaklia port project in Georgia and handling transaction agreements concerning an Australian port business. Head of corporate Mike Webster, global head of renewable energy Marc Fèvre, and Andy Moody in dispute resolution head the practice.
Other key lawyers:
Anaklia Development Corporation
C. Ro Ports
- Advised CDPQ on the transaction agreements relating to an Australian port business.
- Assisting ADC on the development project in relation to the construction arrangements and project financing.
- Advising C.RO Ports on the development of a new car storage facility at one of their terminals adjacent to the River Thames in Purfleet, Essex.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP has in-depth industry knowledge and advises across a wide range of matters within the water sector, with particular experience advising the UK’s regulated water companies and their investors. The practice advises clients in the water industry on finance, construction, planning, environmental and regulatory matters. A notable highlight includes advising Tideway on the Thames Tideway Tunnel, a £4.2bn project to construct and operate a 15-mile long sewer. Andrew Hockley heads the practice. James Good is praised for his 'proactive solutions'.
Other key lawyers:
‘James Good – A great combination of diligence and proactive solutions.’
‘Practical and common sense advice.’
‘Easy to work with and help solve problems in a practical way.’
‘Excellent knowledge and expertise of the water sector and how planning and environmental regulations/legislation/regulations are increasingly applying to companies who may have benefitted from statutory undertaker responsibilities.’
‘The team are really responsive and quick to engage. There have been instances where a peripheral issue has stemmed from a primary issue which BCLP have investigated and brought to the business’s attention.’
Port of London Authority
- Advising Tideway on the £4.2 billion Thames super sewer.
Gowling WLG's team has specialist expertise and knowledge of all aspects of water, wastewater and desalination projects and frameworks. The firm has experience advising governments, regulators, utilities and developers on both domestic and overseas projects. Testament to the firm's strength in international work, regulatory practice head John Cooper advised Almar Water on a significant desalination project in Kenya. Andrew Newberry and Jonathan Brufal have an extensive background in water, and Gareth Baker leads on corporate energy matters.
The Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat)
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
International Finance Corporation
- Advising Almar Water in respect of the first private sector- financed desalination project, to be located in Mombasa County, Kenya.
- Mandated by the IFC to act as legal transaction advisor in its role providing support to the eThkwini Municipatlty in the development of two new wastewater projects in the Durban area.
- Advised Ofwat, throughout the PR19 price review period, on a range of public and administrative law matters and on the interpretation and application of the statutory and regulatory framework in respect of Ofwat’s draft and final determinations on the PR19 price controls.
Linklaters LLP's experienced team is a popular choice for water companies thanks in part to the breadth of its practice, with work in this space including M&A, finance, regulation and competition issues. A key highlight for the firm includes advising Southern Water on its issue of £825m sustainability bonds. Other clients include Thames Water and Anglian Water. It has also recently been at the forefront in advising water companies on matters related to the Ofwat price control review (PR19). Julian Davies and Natura Gracia head the practice.
‘The Linklaters team are top notch.’
South East Water
Sutton and East Surrey Water
The Royal Bank of Scotland
South Staffs Water
- Advising Southern Water on its issue of £825m sustainability bonds.
- Advising Thames Water and Anglian Water on the PR19 Ofwat price control review and advising Anglian Water and Northumbrian Water on their subsequent appeals to the Competition and Markets Authority.
- Advising Yorkshire Water on its multi-source debt consent process and bondholder consent solicitation in respect of conforming the interest cover ratios to reflect Ofwat’s Final Price Determination.
Addleshaw Goddard has has 'real in-depth understanding' of the sector and related regulatory issues. The group advises on a wide range of areas within the water and wastewater sector, including regulatory matters, construction, litigation, environmental issues and transactions. The firm assists key regulated water companies and suppliers. In one highlight, it advised United Utilities on the c.£750m Haweswater Aqueduct Resilience Project. National practice head David Shaw and London-based practice head Rona-Bar Isaac are noted. Andrew Walker is the firm’s Scotland-based practice head.
‘AG planning and environment team have a real in-depth understanding of the roles of, and requirements on, their clients arising from the regulatory frameworks that they operate within. This leads to clear and robust strategising and advice to overcome barriers and problem solve.’
MOSL (Market Operator Services)
South East Water
- Advising United Utilities on its £750m+ project finance scheme to replace Haweswater Aqueduct.
- Advising Southern Water on the funding of the new reservoir at Havant Thicket.
- Advising Water Resources South East Group on their collaboration, development and legal assurance of a regional water resource management plan for 2024.
Burges Salmon LLP has a strong water and waste management practice and a broad range of expertise, including advising on water supply agreements and water retail licensees. Regulatory work is another key strength, with the firm recently advising Ofwat on its Water 2020 programme and its 2019 Price Review process. Michael Barlow heads the practice, which includes Noel Beale.
Other key lawyers:
‘A well-integrated, disciplined and well-managed team. Very hard working, under difficult circumstances.’
‘Real specialist expertise and experience.’
‘Noel Beale – true water industry specialist, tremendous experience, very calm under pressure.’
Canal & River Trust
Water Services Regulation Authority (OFWAT)
Environment Agency and Canal & River Trust
Severn Trent Water
- Representing Canal & River Trust in unique arbitration proceedings connected with Bristol Water’s largest supply of water.
- Advising Affinity Water in relation to the negotiation of two framework contracts for its river restoration and maintenance programme.
- Advising Ofwat on PR19 which is fundamental to the water sector and company charges for water and wastewater services between 2020 and 2025.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's team includes specialists in water and wastewater with particular experience advising on PR19 price control and water regulatory matters. The practice is assisting Bazalgette Tunnel Limited with the development of Thames Tideway. Key contacts include global infrastructure head Patrick Mitchell, infrastructure M&A partner Malcolm Lombers and Tim Briggs, who has a strong background in regulatory and competition matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘Very attentive and good relationship management. Great ability to act on large and complex matters, and keep us up-to-date on knowhow.’
‘Malcolm Lombers is our relationship partner and manages the relationship very well.’
‘We have been impressed with the commercial and corporate advice given.’
- Advised Southern Water in connection with all aspects of Ofwat’s PR19 price control review process, including a possible reference to the CMA.
- Advised Severn Trent on an extensive range of corporate, regulatory and finance matters.
- Acting for Tideway throughout 2019 on the corporate, financing, regulatory and construction aspects of its business.
Hogan Lovells International LLP has a sizeable water and utilities group with a multidisciplinary approach, demonstrating experience in energy, utilities, and natural resources. The practice handles a broad range of water-related matters from corporate, finance and litigation to regulatory matters. The practice is led by Philip Robb and Charles Ford. Julian Craughan is also noted.
Other key lawyers:
- Advised Affinity Water on the substitution of the issuer under its c.£1.1 billion whole business securitisation structure that Affinity used to finance its regulated activities.
- Advising Affinity Water on all of its ongoing financing and liability management matters – addressing the changes and challenges to the industry presented by the conclusion of PR 19.
Pinsent Masons LLP
Shepherd and Wedderburn
Shepherd and Wedderburn has expertise across a range of regulatory issues and advises on major projects within the water sector. The practice also has experience in waste and resource projects. Practice head Gordon Downie’s team includes Liz McRobb and John Grady. The team is 'extremely dedicated' and 'hard-working' with 'substantial background knowledge' of the water sector.
‘Niche player in energy and water, specialists in oil, gas and water resources.’
‘Gordon Downie: highly experienced and clever.’
‘The team is extremely dedicated and hard-working with a particular strength in managing litigation risk through carefully-planned strategic decisions. The team also has a substantial background knowledge in relation to the water and energy industries.’
‘Attentiveness to and anticipation of need. Understanding of what we are trying to achieve and why. We work primarily with Gordon Downie and Liz McRobb. Both demonstrate the characteristics noted above.’
Market Operator Services Limited
Caledonian Environmental Services
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)
Ayr Environmental Services
- Advising on the Thames Tideway Tunnel (TTT) legal framework and have been further appointed to deliver a discrete piece of work in the retail market space.
- Advising the Water Industry Commission for Scotland on a significant review and reform of the retail water market legal and regulatory framework.
- Defending Water Plus on a portfolio of claims relating to charges for water and sewerage services in the retail market.
Tuppers Law is praised for its 'exceptional knowledge of the water industry'. The group specialises in the water and utilities sector and advises on regulatory matters, PR19, and compliance with the Competition and Markets Authority. Managing partner Stephen Tupper heads the practice alongside Lisa Navarro. Stephen Robson is also noted and has significant in-house experience.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team combines competition law expertise and hands-on practical in-house experience. This enables them to better understand a client’s needs, its DNA and to deliver well focused advice accordingly.’
‘Lisa Navarro is a star. She is delightful to work with and is always happy to roll up her sleeves and get stuck into solving problems.’
‘Stephen Robson has a wealth of practical legal and commercial experience in the utilities sector.’
‘Exceptional knowledge of the water industry, in particular the economic regulatory framework that underpins it – without which it’s not possible to advise effectively. TupperS Law also has rare experience of regulatory price determination appeals to the CMA.’
‘Three individuals that stand out are Stephen Tupper, Lisa Navarro and Stephen Robson. They are able to bring deep insights and new perspectives to issues, dealing with them in a measured and logical way. They are able to bring a tremendous breadth of experience having been partners in major international law firms and/or general counsel in regulated companies.’
‘Lisa Navarro: We rely on her knowledge of regulation in water and on the conduct of CMA referrals. She is very responsive and completely user friendly, as well as hugely experienced and flexible.’
‘The team has substantial experience and a very detailed knowledge of water, energy and natural resources law, particularly with respect to regulation and competition. They are able to combine this with their excellent knowledge and experience of competition law and administrative law.’
- Advising Northumbrian Water on its PR19 price control redetermination by the Competition and Markets Authority.
- Advising Bristol Water through a monitoring role for its compliance with the Commitments, reporting quarterly to Ofwat.
- Assisting Southern Water with its ongoing engagement with Ofwat and the sector in relation to the development of effective competition in contestable services.