Energy, project finance and PFI in North West

DLA Piper

DLA Piper boasts an established team which advises major market-leading and innovative projects at national and regional levels, including heating schemes, solar energy and biogas projects. A key differentiator is also its offer of innovative tools such as an algorithm-based interactive training tool to support clients’ decision-making. Andrew S. Davies  heads the practice from Manchester with a wealth of experience in the water and energy sectors. Also based in Manchester, Liam Cowell is known for his ability to lead complex infrastructure projects while legal director Ben Morton is noted for his experience acting for sponsors, funders and procuring authorities across various sectors. Lorna Pattison is experienced in high-profile procurements.

Practice head(s):

Andrew S. Davies

Other key lawyers:

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


‘The service delivered by DLA Piper is professional and of a high standard. The advice is consistently strong with a committed approach to ensuring objectives are met.’

‘The team we work with on a regular basis thoroughly understand the complex nature of our sector and are skilled in communicating difficult legal principles to ensure the Client understands the position. The team are responsive and will swiftly act on any queries, fully supporting the Client’s requirements to enable project matters to close successfully.

‘The team has extensive experience of a range of PFI sectors, and practical experience of the operational issues associated with these projects.’

‘The team is led by Liam Cowell, with key individuals in Andrew Davies and Ben Morton. They provide a practical approach with commercial understanding and not just the dry legal arguments’

‘Their attention to detail is second to none. They are excellent at expressing different views in a non-confrontational manner. They listen and where appropriate amend their position and do not demonstrate ego in the manner that some firms do. I particularly enjoy working with Lauren Fisher.’

‘We have a long-standing relationship with DLA going back a number of years. This allows us to have positive conversations about our requirements with a supplier who is sensitive to our needs and objectives. It also means that although DLA provide specific specialisms, there is a high degree of collaboration and very positive support wherever we need it.’

‘We have worked with Liam Cowell for just over two years and he has been positive in finding us innovative solutions to difficult problems. His experience in the PFI sector is invaluable in this and being able to consider problems from all angles.’

‘Ben Morton remains as approachable as ever with his ‘can do’ attitude. Also special mention for Hayley Mason, we are really impressed with the quality and structure of her advice, clear and precise.

Key clients

SGN Commercial Services Limited

Indaver Rivanhall Ltd

Bio Capital Ltd

FCC Environment Services (UK) Ltd

Work highlights

  • 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.
  • Advising Sellafield Ltd on two separate procurements for the procurement of nuclear waste storage units.

Pinsent Masons LLP

The practice at Pinsent Masons LLP offers overarching expertise for the development of complex large-scale infrastructure and energy projects. The team in Manchester handles a broad range of matters, covering not only high profile national and regional projects, but also supporting international clients and initiatives. Graham Alty leads the team drawing on varied expertise in construction projects. Siân Hughes is known for her experience in dispute resolution. Senior associates Jo Falencka and Victoria Douglas are also noted, the former has experience developing new procurement models for the water sector while the latter specializes in public-private partnerships.

Practice head(s):

Graham Alty

Other key lawyers:

Siân Hughes; Scot Morrison; Mark Job; Jo Falencka; Victoria Douglas; Nick Ogden


‘Good strength across the team. Construction and infrastructure expertise.’

‘Nick Ogden – excellent strategic and partnering advice. Understands clients and their drivers and ensures advice is tailored accordingly.’

‘Mark Job – a “Ronseal” lawyer – does what it says on the tin – straightforward, construction advice.’


Key clients

Sellafield Limited

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

Lend Lease

Balfour Beatty

United Utilities

ISG plc

Southern Water

Anglian Water

Heathrow Airport Limited

Tees Valley Combined Authority

Work highlights

  • Advising the Ministry of Justice on its £7bn+ prisons estate development strategy across England and Wales.
  • Advising Southern Water on its £500m water resilience DPC/SRO Project.
  • Advising Yapı Merkezi İnşaat ve Sanayi A.Ş on its +$4bn rail projects in Ethiopia and Tanzania.

Addleshaw Goddard

The practice at Addleshaw Goddard handles major infrastructure projects in energy, education, transport and healthcare. With experience in advising private and public sector sponsors, equity investors and financial institutions, the Manchester-based team is able to handle complex and novel procurements and arrangements between the public and private sector.  Practice co-head Michael O’Connor excels in procurement and finance project loans at the basis of public-private transactions. Andrew Pettinger  and Sara Gilmore also co-head the practice; Pettinger is experienced in local government work and PFI, while Gilmore specializes in high-scale energy projects. Philip Dupres is emerging in the team as a leading advisor on water projects.

Practice head(s):

Michael O’Connor; Andrew Pettinger; Sara Gilmore

Other key lawyers:

Rob Thompson; Stephanie Townley; Philip Dupres

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 Trust

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


    The team at CMS based in Manchester and Sheffield regularly provides energy and infrastructure projects with commercially focused advice on all aspects of the built environment. Chris Hallam heads the team, he is experienced in advising on construction and engineering matters. Nigel Lewis is a dispute resolution specialist while Chris Henshaw provides expertise on a wide variety of sectors, notably PPP projects. Henshaw joined the team in January 2022 from Addleshaw Goddard as of counsel.

    Practice head(s):

    Chris Hallam; Nigel Lewis

    Other key lawyers:

    Fraser Askham; Nick Case; Chris Henshaw


    ‘They are demonstrating rapid and impressive growth in which the quality of domestic and international work is conducted to an exceptional standard. I would suggest their practice matches and exceeds a number of their London competitors.’

    ‘Nigel Lewis is commercial, thorough, courteous and well respected, Nick Case is an excellent up and coming lawyer.’


    Key clients

    Lendlease Construction


    UK Health Security Agency

    Balfour Beatty

    Moorfields NHS Trust

    University College London

    The Crown Estate

    Altrad SA

    Doosan Babcock


    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 Lendlease with regard to a £100m plus claim relating to a PPP hospital project – one of the largest construction disputes of recent years.
    • Advising an international joint venture on a ground-breaking multibillion-pound alliancing contract relating to a new nuclear power station.


    Drawing on in-depth knowledge across the energy and natural resources sectors, DWF’s team acts for sponsors, public authorities and lenders. Key areas of expertise include the conversion of coal and gas-fired power stations to renewable technologies, green hydrogen and nuclear developments. Darren Walsh in Liverpool and Manchester regularly handles international nuclear energy and cutting-edge renewable energy projects. Manchester-based Catherine Haslam leads solar projects and has excellent reputation in wind and biomass matters while Jonathan Branton in Manchester and Leeds is a leading competition and state aid lawyer. Melissa Hutchinson left the firm in July 2021 for an in-house position at Boohoo Group PLC.

    Practice head(s):

    Darren Walsh; Jonathan Branton

    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

    Yemene Solar (formerly 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 Limited

    Marks & Spencer plc

    Places for People

    Essar Oil UK Limited

    MRC Global

    Ansaldo Nuclear Limited

    Q-Park Limited

    Welsh Government

    Cavendish Nuclear Limited

    HyGen Energy (formerly Ryse Hydrogen Limited)

    Mostyn Sea Power

    The Carbon Trust

    KP Snacks Limited

    Trina Solar Limited

    Trina Storage Limited

    COSTA Coffee Limited

    Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Go Neutral

    Firma Energy Limited

    Cornwall Council

    Northumberland Estates

    Fortune Power

    Mura Technology Limited

    Work highlights

    • Advised Greater Manchester Combined Authority on the development of a multi-year, multi-project framework agreement to permit the GMCA and its 10 Authorities to seek private sector development of its land and buildings; with the specific intention of securing low or zero carbon emissions energy generation and storage projects.
    • Instructed by HyGen Energy Limited (formerly Ryse Hydrogen Limited) to assist them with 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. This included aspects associated with project structuring ad the partnering arrangements with their project partner.
    • Advising Northumberland Estates in connection with their development of over 1GW of new ground-mounted solar PV and battery energy storage systems on 2000 acres of its estate. This is a full cradle to grave (full-service) mandate, working with the client from inception of each scheme to design delivery and funding.

    Squire Patton Boggs

    The Manchester-based practice at Squire Patton Boggs is experienced in advising private and public actors in infrastructure, energy and PFI projects. It regularly deals with financial issues inherent to the developing of green field projects, such as assets acquisition, investment and financing. Nick Helm leads the team, his areas of focus include renewable energy, decarbonisation and clean air. Julian Scott specializes in battery storage and gas peaking projects, while senior associate Amy Scott plays a key supporting role.

    Practice head(s):

    Nick Helm

    Other key lawyers:

    Andrew Herring; Julian Scott; Ian Wood; Amy Scott


    ‘Squire Patton Boggs (SPB) have been a pleasure to work with over the past four years. They have efficiently assisted with the disposal of a number of PFI assets. SPB work collaboratively, keeping everything simple and easy to understand.’

    ‘I have worked with the current partner, Nick Helm on many occasions and have always found them to be responsive and knowledgeable and will always be able to find the answers required. They are proactive and think outside the box to find solutions as well as managing risk.’


    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




    National Energy

    Work highlights

    • Advising Transport for Greater Manchester (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, which included negotiating on all aspects of the project documents including in relation to governance arrangements, site, grid connection agreements, RDF supply, EPC and O&M documentation, financing and corporate structuring.
    • Advice and support to a number of infrastructure investors on a range of PFI schemes within their portfolios, including secondary market M&A disposals, project variations, distress events and general ongoing project support.