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Energy in North West

DLA Piper

At DLA Piper, nuclear work is a keystone of the practice, with the team relied upon for both development and decommissioning matters. Also active on the renewable energy front, the group handles solar projects, district hearing schemes and energy efficiency-related instructions. In addition, waste projects are a key strength of the team and are a particular specialism of practice head Andrew Davies, praised for his ‘great knowledge of the sector’. Legal director Ben Morton represents sponsors, funders and procuring authorities across a wide array of energy sub-sectors.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Davies

Other key lawyers:

Ben Morton; Paul Giles; David Moss


Andrew Davies is the lawyer’s lawyer, par excellence. Calm, helpful, pragmatic, commercial, great knowledge of the sector.’

Key clients

Kelda Water Services Limited

Sellafield Limited

Korea Electric Power Corporation

Rolls-Royce PLC

Renewi UK Services Limited

Vital Energi Solutions Limited


Tees Valley Combined Authority


Ansaldo Nuclear


Nu-Generation Limited

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

United Utilities

GE / Alstom Power

Yorkshire Water Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Greater Manchester Combined Authority on the procurement of c£1bn of services contracts to provide the services previously provided pursuant to the Manchester Waste PFI Contract.  This Project involved the development of a new model of standard form contract.
  • Advising Yorkshire Water Services Limited on the creation of a framework to develop c100 sites into solar farms.
  • Advising Sellafield Limited on the procurement of c£1bn of nuclear waste encapsulation units.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Clients hail Pinsent Masons LLP as ‘the pre-eminent energy firm in the North West’. Practice head Graham Alty handles projects in the nuclear, oil refining and power sectors while Mark Job has recently advised on several major private and PPP joint venture regeneration projects. The team also possesses expertise in the offshore wind, energy from waste, thermal power, gas and biomass sectors and counts both public sector bodies and bluechip companies among its client list. Director Ian Fairclough is an active member of the team with experience in supporting on nuclear, conventional energy and renewables projects. Clients cite Sian Hughes as 'a pleasure to have on the team'.

Practice head(s):

Graham Alty


‘Pinsent Masons are in my view pre-eminent in this sector in the North West, and this is as a result of the breadth of experience and the depth of knowledge of the team. They have an outstanding team, who are not only first rate lawyers, but also understand their client’s business and have real commercial acumen.’

‘Anthony Bradley is outstanding – very bright, outstandingly conscientious, and a lawyer in whom his client have complete confidence.’

‘Pinsent Masons is the go-to construction firm in the country. Its reputation in the energy section (in particular EFW) is second to none.’

‘Sian Hughes – oozes personality and charm. A pleasure to have on the team.’

‘Anthony Bradley – fastidious, personable, likeable, a really top-notch energy/construction lawyer.’

‘Pragmatic, forward thinking and have a wide range of expertise.’

Key clients

Sellafield Limited

Cayman Islands Government

United Utilities

Johnson Matthey plc

Balfour Beatty

Laing O’Rourke


Stag Energy

Brockwell Energy

Work highlights

  • Advised a global utility on its project contracts for a £18bn new build nuclear power plant and associated infrastructure in the UK.
  • Advising a global power generating company in connection with the c.£600m conversion of certain of its coal fired units to gas powered units
  • Advising a global renewables developer in relation to its c.£3bn offshore wind project in the North Sea.

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard's team has broad expertise, acting on a wide range of power projects for both small and large energy companies while also handling nuclear decommissioning, research and development. Renewables work, including solar, offshore, wind, electric vehicle and district heating, are all keystones of the practice, as are oil and gas transactions and matters relating to the water industry. Michael O’Connor is extensively experienced in respect of public-private and project finance transactions; he heads the practice alongside Rob Thompson.

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Maskill

Key clients

Macquarie Principal Finance (MPF) (part of the Macquarie Group)

Consortium of banks, including MUFG Bank, Societe Generale, SMBC and Mizuho Bank

SSE plc (Retail)

National Grid Electricity Transmission plc

Northern Ireland Electricity Networks Limited

Foresight Metering Limited

SSE plc (Seagreen)

Muse Developments Limited

Scotia Gas Networks (SGN)

West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Transport For Greater Manchester

Work highlights

  • Advised Transport for Greater Manchester on the procurement for the expansion of their GMEV (Greater Manchester Electric Vehicle) network.
  • Advising Wakefield City Council on a variation to its street lighting PFI agreement.
  • Advised Peel Holdings Wind Farms on the disposal of two onshore wind farms.


DWF advises a wide range of energy clients on corporate, finance, commercial, real estate, planning, environmental and projects matters. Practice head Catherine Haslam is an expert in renewable energy projects, namely wind, solar, biomass and energy storage, while the wider team is also adept in the gas, electricity, battery storage and water sectors. A further distinguishing feature of the department is its extensive knowledge of regulatory issues. The practice was recently significantly bolstered by the arrival of former DLA Piper practice head Darren Walsh; as former head of legal services for the British Nuclear Group, he strengthens the team's already reputed offering in the nuclear sector.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Haslam

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Branton; Darren Walsh

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

Aaron & Partners LLP

The team at Aaron & Partners LLP is praised for its ability to ‘find solutions to complex environmental, technical and planning policy issues’. The team mainly represents non-plc energy developers, especially those backed by venture finance, on everything from land and rights acquisitions through to planning advice, regulatory requirements, power purchase agreements and disposals. The ‘exemplaryDavid Harries  heads the practice, leveraging his experience in renewable energy matters.

Practice head(s):

David Harries


‘Aaron & Partners ensure that their leading personnel fully participate as team players on complex development projects which involve a wide range and numerous consultants providing specialist evidence on environmental and technical matters. At all times, the team is looking for solutions not problems, finding solutions to complex environmental, technical and planning policy issues.’

‘The energy and personal engagement of the partners is exemplary in assuring that all planning issues arising from complex renewable energy projects have been comprehensively addressed so as to present the best prospects for the client in achieving planning permission.’

Key clients

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water

Bryn Blaen Wind Farm Ltd

Hendy Wind Farm Ltd

North Wales Tidal Energy & Coastal Protection Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of Bryn Blaen Wind Farm the team was, after an inquiry, successful in obtaining planning permission for a six turbine development near Llangurig, Powys. the group also successfully defended a number of legal challenges to the development.
  • Advising North Wales Tidal Energy on all aspects of its proposed development of a tidal lagoon.
  • Acting on behalf of Hendy Wind Farm the team was, after an Inquiry, successful in obtaining planning permission for a seven-turbine development in mid-Powys. In addition the group successfully defended a number of legal challenges to the development from those who oppose the development.