Next Generation Partners

Energy, project finance and PFI in Northern Ireland

A&L Goodbody

A&L Goodbody is a leading choice for high-value projects in Northern Ireland, with expertise in electricity regulation, onshore & offshore wind farms, solar farms, and mining. The firm works for major international companies, including on matters involving leading technologies such as anaerobic digestion and battery storage. Team leader Mark Stockdale works with a broad range of high-profile clients and is supported by Mark Thompson, who has expertise in M&A in large-cap energy transactions and advises clients on corporate, regulatory and governance issues. Also active in the department are Ciaran McAlinney and Micaela Diver. Associate Stephen Abram is a name to watch.

Practice head(s):

Mark Stockdale

Other key lawyers:

Mark Thompson; Ciaran McAlinney; Micaela Diver; Stephen Abram

Testimonials

‘Within the NI market the A&L Goodbody team is a clear market leader in energy and project finance.’

‘Mark Stockdale and Ciaran McAlinney are market experts with deep sectoral knowledge and a breadth of experience that allows them to fully assess the consequences of current market movements or new innovations.’

‘A&L Goodbody is responsive and has assisted us with innovative project support.’

‘Excellent negotiators, great knowledge of the energy market and definitely a team to have in your corner.’

‘Mark Stockdale stands out. Unflappable, takes everything in his stride no matter the challenge. Gets the job done efficiently and well.’

‘Innovative ideas. Friendly. Easy to work with. Good experience and in-depth knowledge.’

‘ALG has a very commercial approach and very relevant experience and expertise in wind power development.’

‘Mark Stockdale is an excellent corporate lawyer. It’s common to discuss an instruction with one agreement structure in mind, to find he has much better solutions than those anticipated.’

Work highlights

  • Advising Foresight on the sale of the second largest anaerobic digestion plant in Northern Ireland to specialist waste energy investment fund Pioneer Point.
  • Advising SHV Group, Europe’s largest independent energy company on the sale of Balcas Limited, the UK’s largest producer of wood pellets for energy generation.
  • Advising EP Investments on the conversion of the 700MW coal fired Kilroot power station to Natural Gas to reduce its carbon emissions.

Carson McDowell

Carson McDowell‘s ‘excellent team’ acts on a diverse set of matters for a range of high-profile clients, including Bright Energy, SONI ltd and Octopus Investments. The caseload covers natural gas, solar energy, and wind, and the department is particularly active on electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Senior partner Neasa Quigley leads the team and brings a wealth of experience in M&A. Planning expert Gary McGhee and real estate specialists Emma Cooper and Dawson McConkey as well as Sinead McGrath, whose finance practice is highly respected, are other key names. Associate Le-ann Campbell works closely with Quigley.

Practice head(s):

Neasa Quigley

Other key lawyers:

Gary McGhee; Sinead McGrath; Emma Cooper; Dawson McConkey; Lee-Ann Campbell

Testimonials

‘I without hesitation recommend the Carson McDowell, energy and renewable team to anyone looking for legal assistance.’

‘Neasa Quigley is our main point of contact in the Carson McDowell team and a pleasure to work with, a leader in this field. Le-ann Campbell works alongside Neasa and is definitely an associate to watch.’

‘Carson McDowell’s expertise and experience in this sector is exceptional. We have worked with them on a number of transactions and found them to be easy to work with and highly efficient.’

‘Excellent team providing top quality advice and for reasonable fees. Very open and approachable. Make difficult concepts straightforward and always work well to achieve our goals within the required timeframes.’

‘Excellent at forming and cementing relationships. Availability is excellent. Fees are reasonable. Dawson McConkey is really stand-out in terms of client service and value for money. Quality of work is high.’

Key clients

Firmus Energy

Evermore Developments Limited

Octopus Investments Ltd

AirCore EV Ltd

DunPort Capital Management (DAC)

SONI Ltd

Northern Ireland Electricity Networks

Causeway Energy Limited

Bright Energy

Glenmore Generation

Work highlights

  • Advised AirCore in relation to its investment in Ireland’s largest EV charging network operator EasyGo to fund an additional 500 Rapid Chargers to its electric vehicle charging network across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
  • Represented SONI Ltd to successfully obtain planning permissions for the Northern Ireland element of the proposed North-South electricity interconnector development.
  • Advised the supply and distribution sides of the Firmus Energy business across a broad range of matters, including drafting commercial contracts with 3rd party suppliers, licence compliance, utility regulator queries and every day matters such as network damages, access issues, complaints and debt recovery.

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP is particularly active on wind energy, with experience spanning the acquisition and development of wind farm projects. The wider practice spans the full range of energy and regulatory matters, drawing on support of other offices across the UK to act on complex projects with multi-jurisdictional elements. Energy specialist Richard Murphy is dual-qualified in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and leads the department for both regions. Associate Matthew McMurray plays a key support role on the team.

Practice head(s):

Richard Murphy

Other key lawyers:

Matthew McMurray

Testimonials

‘Great knowledge and experience of Northern Ireland’s regulatory frameworks. Very empathetic and responsive service.’

‘I work with Richard Murphy and Matthew McMurray. Both very knowledgeable in their field and keen to provide service promptly, empathetically and at reasonable cost.’

‘Good value, good industry knowledge and commercially-minded.’

‘Associate Matthew McMurray is a safe pair of hands – good commercially and technically.’

Key clients

EP UK Investments

Aught Wind Farm

Strategic Power Projects

SUSI Partners

NTR Plc

firmus energy

Bluefield Partners LLP

Mutual Energy Group

Ørsted

Resonance

Work highlights

  • Advised Bluefield Partners LLP on acquisition of 109 small/medium-scale wind projects across the UK (all jurisdictions with majority of assets in NI).
  • Advising Ørsted on its acquisition and construction of the 16 MW Ballykeel Wind Farm in Northern Ireland.
  • Advising leading Irish energy trading and services firm ElectroRoute on two long-term Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with Evishagaran Wind Farm Limited and Craiggore Energy Limited, which are being developed by ERG, a leading Italian independent producer of energy from renewable sources.

Arthur Cox Belfast

Arthur Cox Belfast fields an all-Ireland team active for a diverse range of clients, including energy companies, public organisations and housing associations across both jurisdictions. Procurement law specialist William Curry co-leads the department alongside David White, who is experienced in the energy sector. Alan Taylor and Chris Ritchie are also active in the team.

Practice head(s):

David White; William Curry

Other key lawyers:

Alan Taylor; Chris Ritchie

Testimonials

‘The team seeks innovative solutions to complex public procurement problems. Through discussion they have always been able to navigate a path that perhaps allows us to achieve the correct end goal.’

‘William Curry is extremely pragmatic, he understands that in the real world everything is not clear-cut and that sometimes clients require require real world solutions rather than textbook solutions.’

Key clients

Mutual Energy Group (including Moyle Interconnector Limited and Premier Transmission Limited)

Arena Capital Partners Limited

Pioneer Point Partners LLP

Ørsted A/S

Gas Networks Ireland

HHT Renewables

WindNI Limited

Everun Limited

Phoenix Natural Gas Limited

iPower Solutions Limited

Cool Planet Group

Northern Ireland Housing Executive

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council

Ulster University

arc21

Department of Finance (LPS)

Apex Housing Association

Premier Transmission Limited

Radius Housing Association

Tourism Northern Ireland

Eden Project Foyle

Work highlights

  • Advised Ørsted A/S, a multi-national energy company based in Denmark, on the Northern Irish law aspects of its acquisition of a 100% equity interest in Brookfield Renewable’s Irish and UK onshore wind business.
  • Appointed by Arena Capital Partners Limited as lead counsel on the disposal of 109 single-wind-turbine projects across the UK to Bluefield Solar Income Fund.
  • Advise the arc21 grouping of 6 district councils on the procurement of the largest PFI/PPP Project and the first procurement of an Energy from Waste Facility ever to be undertaken in Northern Ireland.

Cleaver Fulton Rankin

Cleaver Fulton Rankin provides advice at every level of the NI energy market, including cross-border guidance as part of a consultancy framework for EirGrid and SONI, the electricity system operators for RoI and NI. Stephen Cross leads the team which includes property specialist Joe Marley and planning expert Karen Blair.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Cross

Other key lawyers:

Hilary Griffith; Joe Marley; Brendan Martyn

Testimonials

‘Stephen Cross maintains his knowledge of the Northern Ireland power market and has excellent connectivity with regards to current market practice and pricing.’

‘Well-informed and well connected within the legal community they offer a degree of assuredness that is welcome in a place with a significant culture of lawlessness.’

Key clients

SSE

Dalradian Gold Limited

Axpo UK Limited

Close Brothers

EirGrid Plc/SONI Limited

Blackrock Asset Management

Power NI

Canadian Solar

AIB (NI) (formerly First Trust Bank)

Northern Ireland Electricity Networks

Work highlights

  • Advising Dalradian on the consents for a proposed gold, silver and copper mine in County Tyrone and a public inquiry in respect of the regionally significant planning applications.
  • Advising Harland and Wolff Group on the refinancing of the Harland and Wolff group of companies, including Island Magee Storage Limited, which holds the Gas Storage Licence for the proposed Gas storage facility in natural salt mines at Islandmagee.
  • Advising Global Infrastructure Investment LLC on the Northern Irish aspects of the purchase of 25% of the issued share capital in Scotia Gas Networks Limited.

Shoosmiths LLP

The ‘brilliantShoosmiths LLP team acts on a range of projects, including wind farm portfolios, battery storage facilities, new hydrogen technologies, and anaerobic digestion plants. Team leader John Palmer is a specialist energy lawyer who sits on the CBI Infrastructure & Energy Working Group and was a founding member of Hydrogen NI. Anna Vangrove and associate Michael Kelly, who both joined the firm’s banking department from TLT in early 2021, are active on financing work.

Practice head(s):

John Palmer

Other key lawyers:

Anna Vangrove; Michael Kelly

Testimonials

‘From my experience Shoosmiths have cemented a leading role within the renewable energy sector across a range of technologies, with a strong insight particularly within the onshore wind, solar and hydrogen sector.’

‘This is a brilliant firm to work with. They truly understand our business and are helping us become better and more successful.’

‘John Palmer provides well-considered advice and insightful commentary on a wide range of issues associated with the renewable energy sector.’

Key clients

ABO Wind

ERG Spa

MPG Wind

MPG Energy

Solo Renewables

Reserflex Ltd

B9 Energy

Cape Renewables

Newbridge Energy

Lisleen Energy

Industrial Finance & Leasing

AIB Group (UK) plc

Skylark Control

Work highlights

  • Advised ABO Wind on the development, construction and disposal of a 50MW BESS project (including all regulatory matters).
  • Advising developer Evishagaran Wind Farm Ltd (ERG spa) in the site assembly, development and energisation of the 46.88MW Evishagaran Wind Farm site in County Londonderry, which is the first subsidy free wind farm in Northern Ireland.
  • Advising AIB on its multi-million financing of the acquisition of a portfolio of wind projects across Northern Ireland.

TLT

TLT advises on a wide range of issues for high-value projects in the energy and utilities sectors. Notably, the firm is advising on the real estate and planning aspects for the conversion of Kilroot power station from coal to gas – a development worth upwards of £600m. Planning and environmental lawyer Andrew Ryan leads the team, bringing significant expertise in infrastructure. Real estate specialist Kevin Murphy has experience advising on wind farms and anaerobic digestion plants.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Ryan

Other key lawyers:

Kevin Murphy; Sarah Mulholland

Key clients

ABO Wind NI Ltd

Albion Capital

Alpha Real Capital

Deepbridge Capital

EP Kilroot Limited

Low Carbon

SSE Renewable Developments

EP UK Investments

Greenville Energy Limited

Energia Renewables Company

Work highlights

  • Advising the new owners of Kilroot power station – the largest power station in NI, and a key part of NI’s energy generation infrastructure – on a series of major upgrade projects.
  • Advising Deepbridge Capital in relation to an exit for investors in its Deepbridge Renewable Energy Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) fund, which provided investors with access to a portfolio of small-scale onshore wind turbines in Northern Ireland.
  • Advising Energia Renewables Company & ABO Wind NI Ltd in relation to the successful challenge of the legality of advice issued by the Department for Infrastructure regarding a proposed battery energy storage system development (BESS).

Tughans

Tughans acts on high-value energy and infrastructure projects, with a strong presence in the waste and anaerobic digestion space. The firm has a strong relationship with electricity network operator SONI. Co-head Andrew Kirke specialises in the regulatory and contractual aspects of energy transactions. Co-head Chris Milligan has extensive experience in property matters.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Kirke; Chris Milligan

Testimonials

‘We always find that they quickly engage in the project as a whole and we consider them to be much more than just our legal advisers, but our strategic partners.’

‘Stand-out individuals include Chris Milligan, who is the lead adviser on many of our projects and has a very strong background in the energy sector.’

‘They make an effort to engage with you and return calls and emails promptly even on smaller projects, all opinions are clear concise and helpful.’

‘They have a great knowledge of the sector and understand the needs and legal responsibilities for developing businesses such as ours.’

Key clients

Indaver NV

SONI Limited

SSE Plc

ESB Group

Adman Civil Projects Limited

Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company (t/a Translink)

Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners

Greencoat Capital

ERG S.p.A.

Natural World Products

Northern Ireland Water

Granville Ecopark

Lissan Coal Company (LCC) T/A Go Power

Work highlights

  • Provided advice in respect of the engineer, procure and construct contract and overall procurement pathway being adopted for the development of a waste-to-energy facility in Rivenhall, Essex.
  • Secondment from Tughans to SONI (the sole operator of the high voltage electricity transmission network in Ireland) on a part-time basis as their sole in-house legal counsel in Northern Ireland.
  • Advised Adman on a number of wind farm projects both in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Mills Selig

Mills Selig acts on investments, acquisitions and disposals and is primarily active within the wind energy market. Anna-Marie McAlinden co-leads the team with Glenn Watterson. McAlinden has experience in all areas of renewable energy and has acted for both local and national clients. Watterson is the key contact for corporate matters in addition to advising on contractual and commercial issues. Associate Emma McCloskey plays a key support role.

Practice head(s):

Anna-Marie McAlinden; Glenn Watterson

Other key lawyers:

Emma McCloskey

Testimonials

‘Mills Selig has a combination of technical excellence and client focus that we have found to be excellent. It means that we get great advice and we receive it in a manner that is aligned with our business needs.’

‘Glenn Watterson has been exceptionally good at working right alongside us through several tricky phases. He has always been clear, direct and empathetic when advising us.’

Key clients

Natural World Products Limited

Power On Technologies Limited

Girona Energy Limited

BSI Wind Ltd

Natural World Products Limited

3T Power Limited

Alpha Real Renewables

Work highlights

  • Acted for Alpha Real Capital on its largest solar transaction to date with the acquisition of Innova Energy, of a multi-million multi-asset operating portfolio.
  • Advise Power On Technologies on regulatory issues regarding its requirements for a generation licence pursuant to the Electricity (Northern Ireland) Order.