Energy, project finance and PFI in North West

DLA Piper

DLA Piper advises across a diverse range of major infrastructure, energy, and transport projects, including leading involvement in the Welsh A465 road development, which closed in 2020. The team is noted for its innovative approach to tenders and contracts, and works on a national and international basis from Manchester. Andrew Davies leads the team, and has a strong record in energy sector work, including waste-to-energy and nuclear developments. Liam Cowell and Lorna Pattison specialise in transport and infrastructure work respectively. Meanwhile director Ben Morton acts for funders, sponsors, and local authorities on major energy and transport infrastructure projects. Associates Lauren Fisher and Hayley Mason are credited with key roles on a number of projects, most notably the A465 development.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Davies

Other key lawyers:

Ben Morton; Lauren Fisher; Hayley Mason; Liam Cowell; Lorna Pattison


‘DLA in my view have the best quality across the board outside the magic circle. They are though prepared to deal with smaller companies with high growth potential and agree fee structures that makes it possible to instruct them. Attitude and aptitude both first class.’

‘Andrew Davies is a top lawyer. He speaks with calm and authoritative knowledge. Commercially and technically one of the best we have worked with.’

Key clients

Welsh Ministers

Tees Valley Combined Authority

Yorkshire Water Services Limited

Kelda Water Services Limited

Sellafield Limited

Renewi UK Services Limited

Vital Energi Solutions Limited

LondonEnergy  Limited

Wastefront AS


London Energy Limited

Aviva Public Private Finance Limited

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Bank of Scotland Plc

Dexia Credit Local SA


Market Operator Services Limited

Orthios Group

Magnox Limited

Ambac Assurance UK Limited

Avrenim Facilities Management Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Welsh Ministers on the A465 Roads Project.
  • Advised Tees Valley Combined Authority, Newcastle City Council and Durham County Council on the procurement of an energy recovery facility to treat c450,000 tonnes of waste each year.
  • Advising Yorkshire Water Services Limited on the creation of a framework to develop c100 sites into solar farms.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP leads major national and international energy and infrastructure projects from its Manchester office, with an extensive team handling construction, transportation, project finance, and public procurement issues for public and private sector sponsors and funders. The team is led by: Graham Alty, who has great experience in international project management;  construction and engineering-focused Mark Job; PPP and property specialist Scot Morrison, and construction advisory head Siân Hughes. Director Ian Fairclough advises on transactional construction issues for nuclear and renewable energy developments. Senior associates Jo FalenckaLaura Tetlow, and Rob Parry are noted for their key roles in high-profile projects and strong client relationships.

Practice head(s):

Graham Alty; Mark Job; Scot Morrison; Sian Hughes

Other key lawyers:

Jo Falencka; Laura Tetlow; Rob Parry; Ian Fairclough


‘Extremely commercial and pragmatic advice. Very can-do attitude; nothing is too big or too small for this team. ’

‘Laura Tetlow is definitely a rising star on the projects team. Extremely approachable and so down to earth but excellent legal acumen. ’

‘This team has provided significant high calibre support to the in-house team and demonstrated an unfailing commitment to both to this business and the industry. ’

‘The team is highly regarded and recognised as industry and sector specialists. Graham Alty, Partner and lead client contact, has demonstrated a willingness to support however necessary both from within his own team and however necessary in the interests of the business. This commitment to the organisation and industry really does cause this team to stand out.’


Key clients

Sellafield Limited

Cayman Islands Government

Yapı Merkezi İnşaat ve Sanayi A.Ş.

Ministry of Justice

Transport Infrastructure Ireland (“TII”)

Eiffage Génie Civil, Kier Infrastructure and Overseas Limited

Ferrovial Construction Limited

BAM Nuttall Limited

Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council

London Borough of Wandsworth

London Borough of Harrow

MSC Cruises SA

Himor (Carrington) Limited

Suffolk County Council

Lend Lease

Balfour Beatty

United Utilities

ISG plc





SCS Railways (Skanska, Costain and STRABAG (SCS) joint venture)


Work highlights

  • Advising Sellafield Limited in relation to over £15bn of capital projects at its nuclear decommissioning site in Cumbria, by far the largest and most complex nuclear site in the UK.
  • Advising the Cayman Islands Government (“CIG”) in connection with its: (i) $50m east-to-west corridor arterial access road and associated infrastructure works in Grand Cayman (the “EW Project”); and (ii) $300m 30 year Design Build Finance Maintain cruise and cargo berthing facility and associated infrastructure works at George Town Port (the “Cruise and Cargo Project”).
  • Advising Yapı Merkezi İnşaat ve Sanayi A.Ş  on major rail infrastructure projects that demonstrate our leadership in high profile, high value, significant projects with innovative finance structures, and our commitment to Africa, where we have 40 years of experience across more than 40 countries

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard advises public and private sector project proponents, financial institutions, and equity investors, on large-scale project financings, acting on a national and international basis on major infrastructure projects in transport, healthcare, education, and energy. The team is led by Michael O’Connor, an experienced expert in public-private transactions, including procurement and project finance loans. Also leading the team, Andrew Pettinger specialises in PFI and local government work, and newly-promoted partner Sara Gilmore, who leads on major energy projects. Director Rob Thompson has notable expertise in waste developments and international projects.

Practice head(s):

Michael O’Connor; Andrew Pettinger; Sara Gilmore

Other key lawyers:

Rob Thompson

Key clients

Gresham House Investment Management (Guernsey) Ltd

Liberty Charge Limited

Green Investment Group

Manchester Metropolitan University

Muse Developments Limited

National Grid plc

National Grid Electricity Transmission plc

National Grid Gas plc

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited

Northern Ireland Electricity Networks Limited

Opus Energy

Scotia Gas Networks (SGN)

SGN Place Limited

Southern Water Services Limited

SSE Enterprises

SSE plc (Retail)

SSE plc (Seagreen)

Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS)

West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Anglian Water

Cheshire East Council

Cheshire West and Chester Council

Department for Transport

Greater London Authority


Health & Safety Executive

High Speeds Two (HS2) Limited

Kingston-upon-Hull City Council

Imagile Group Ltd

Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust

Leeds City Council

Luton Borough Council

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

MUFG Bank Ltd

Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation


The Council of the City of Salford

Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council

Transport for London

United Utilities plc

University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust

Wakefield City Council

West Midlands Combined Authority

Work highlights

  • Advised the Universities Superannuation Scheme on its bid for a shareholding in an offshore wind farm.
  • Advising Bradford Council on the procurement of the design, construction and operation of a compressed gas fuel centre.
  • Advising United Utilities on its £1bn Haweswater Aqueduct Resilience Project.


DWF acts for a combination of high-profile private and public sector clients, including local authorities, energy companies, banks, and other financial institutions, handling an array of major national and international projects, particularly within nuclear and renewable energy. Practice head Darren Walsh joined from DLA Piper in early 2020, and is widely recognised for his expertise in international nuclear energy projects, and innovative renewable energy schemes in areas such as green hydrogen and solar. Catherine Haslam heads up the firm's solar team, and is a leading figure on wind, solar and biomass projects, advising developers, funders, and investors. Jonathan Branton provides expertise on competition and state aid issues, while senior associate Melissa Hutchinson is noted for her work on battery storage projects.

Practice head(s):

Darren Walsh; Catherine Haslam; Jonathan Branton

Other key lawyers:

Melissa Hutchinson

Key clients

ScottishPower Group (including ScottishPower Energy Retail, ScottishPower Energy Networks, SP Transmission, ScottishPower Generation, ScottishPower Energy Management and ScottishPower Renewables)

Yorkshire Gas and Power

Yingli Namene Solar Limited & Yingli Green Energy Europe GmbH

Doosan Power Systems SA

Whitbread Group plc

Vensys Energy AG

Canary Wharf Group

Aberdeenshire Council, Aberdeen City Council and Moray Council

Dundee City Council and Angus Council

South Staffordshire plc

Steag energy solutions GmbH

Discovery Park Limited

Farm Energy Partnership LLP

United Utilities Renewable Energy Limited


WM Morrisons Supermarkets plc

Marks & Spencer plc

Places for People

Essar Oil

MRC Global

Ansaldo Nuclear Limited


Welsh Government

Franklin EV Limited

Cavendish Nuclear Limited

Ryse Hydrogen Limited

Mostyn Sea Power

Work highlights

  • Advising Ryse Hydrogen on the development of a 13,000 kg/day green hydrogen production facility that will be co-located with an on-shore wind farm in the UK.
  • Advising Aberdeen City Council on the rollout of a district energy scheme.
  • Advising Lloyds Bank on a £100m financing of a series of battery energy storage sites (“BESS”) and gas peaking plants across the UK.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs advises a combination of public and private sector proponents, as well as notable financiers, on energy, transport, and social infrastructure developments. It has a strong flow of ongoing PFI work, alongside leading advice on HS2 and clean air projects. The team is led by Nick Helm, who has expertise in a broad range of infrastructure and PPP projects, including major net-zero and clean air developments.  Andrew Herring has notable capabilities in rail infrastructure, working nationally and internationally. Julian Scott is noted for his work on battery storage for investment funds, and Ian Wood  for his nuclear power specialism. Senior associate Amy Scott has wide expertise in infrastructure and energy projects.

Practice head(s):

Nick Helm

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Herring; Julian Scott; Ian Wood; Amy Scott


‘SPB have assembled a great team here. Given the relatively small size of the team they punch well above their weight and offer much better value than many of their competitors in the infrastructure world. ’

‘Nick Helm leads the team well, he always gives us a positive experience, is reliable, always willing to assist, to educate and to try to find alternative solutions that lead to better commercial outcomes.’


Key clients

Transport for Greater Manchester

Sheffield City Council

Leeds City Council

Vital Energi

Galliford Try Investments

Amber Infrastructure

Dolphin (Costain Pension Fund)

InfraRed Capital Partners



Work highlights

  • Advising TfGM (and indirectly the 10 GM local authorities) on the proposed Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan.
  • Advised Vital Energi on its 18MW energy from waste scheme sited at Drakelow, Burton-upon-Trent.
  • Advice and support to a number of infrastructure investors on a range of PFI schemes within their portfolios, including secondary market M&A disposals.

Aaron & Partners LLP

Aaron & Partners LLP offers specialist energy expertise to a variety of proponent clients, working primarily on renewable energy developments, handling issues such as site permissions, regulatory issues, and appeals, alongside financing and transactions. The team is led by David Harries , who has led on national and international energy developments. Consultant Richard Forrester has strong expertise in natural resources and waste-to-energy matters, while Keith McKinney specialises in onshore wind projects.

Practice head(s):

David Harries

Other key lawyers:

Richard Forrester; Keith McKinney


‘Renewable energy projects require specialists in a number of different field which the company was able to provide working seamlessly across disciplines.’

‘Diligent, flexible and knowledgeable. ’

‘Aarons have a hard working and thorough team with a good command of the law and policy in the planning and environment field.’

‘David Harries and Keith McKinney are charming and thorough solicitors who prepare an excellent brief. They have a comprehensive knowledge of the law and policy in the planning and environmental field and come up with good new ideas.’

‘This team has a niche practice which is exceptional in term of commitment, energy deployed on behalf of the client and dept of experience.’

‘David Harries is a terrific strategist with insight into problems and how to solve them which is so rarely found. Keith McKinney leaves no stone unturned in any case and commands complete confidence.’


Key clients

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water

Bryn Blaen Wind Farm Ltd

Hendy Wind Farm Ltd

North Wales Tidal Energy & Coastal Protection Ltd

Cornish Lithium Plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Cornish Lithium plc on the legal position regarding mineral rich deep underground brines, and successfully pioneered a Crown Estate Lease for their extraction for Cornish Lithium plc.
  • Advised Bryn Blaen Wind Farm on obtaining planning permission for a 6 turbine development near Llangurig, Powys.
  • Represented Hendy Wind Farm in the appeal process following initial rejection of permission for the wind farm.


CMS advises public sector bodies and private proponents on large-scale transport, housing, and healthcare projects, alongside energy developments, with a strong focus on construction elements, as well as PFI and project financing. The team is led by Chris Hallam, who leads on major projects across the North-West and nationally, and is a regular contributor to thought leadership on construction issues, alongside Nigel Lewis, a construction and engineering dispute resolution specialist.

Practice head(s):

Chris Hallam; Nigel Lewis


‘The Manchester office works closely with other UK offices and effectively part of of the as one, UK team. They are working on National and International infrastructure projects.’

‘My impression is the Contentious (Nigel Lewis) and non contentious (Chris Hallam) teams work seamlessly together to offer Clients a first rate, commercial and effective service. Both Nigel and Chris are leaders in their fields and are responsible for the rapid growth of the Manchester office with a strategy of recruitment from high calibre competitor firms.’

‘The CMS North West team is going from strength to strength, and the quality of their work in this area is up there with not only the other top firms in the region but across the UK.’

‘The team in Manchester was started by Chris Hallam 5 years ago and has now gone on to have 13 lawyers in Manchester and 12 in Sheffield The team is a dynamic energetic and can do group and has an eclectic mix of highly experienced and professional people.’


Key clients

Lendlease Construction

Muse Developments

Public Health England

Balfour Beatty

Moorfields NHS Trust

University College London

The Crown Estate

Altrad SA

Doosan Babcock

Ask Real Estate

Cavendish Nuclear

Manchester Airport Group

Viridor Waste Management

GRS Roadstone Group

Studytel Project Services

Lodha Group


NG Bailey

Education & Skills Funding Agency

Ipsen Pharma

Equinor New Energy

Work highlights

  • Advising Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Trust on a new 430,000 sqft £250m state-of-the-art eye hospital and centre of ophthalmological excellence.
  • Advising on the construction of the operations and maintenance base at Port of Tyne for the Doggerbank wind farm.
  • Advising the Mayfield Partnership, a public/private partnership, on a ten year £1.2bn+ regeneration of a 21 acre site in Manchester city centre.