Energy, project finance and PFI in Northern Ireland

A&L Goodbody

A&L Goodbody is an established name for representing sponsors of major project financings across the whole of Ireland, particularly in relation to private finance initiatives, and the team is building a reputation for advising on sustainable projects such as anaerobic digestion and hydrogen-fuelled wind power. Project finance specialist Ciaran McAlinney jointly leads the practice, and is particularly active on projects concerning renewable energy and higher education. Also leading the team is Mark Thompson who is an expert in energy-related corporate deals. The practice has recently been enhanced with the promotion of energy specialist Mark Stockdale, who advises on contracts, joint ventures and regulatory compliance.

Other key lawyers:

Mark Stockdale

Key clients

Bank of Ireland

Energia Group

SONI

Brookfield Renewables

Granville Ecopark

Foresight

Renewable Energy Systems

Statkraft

First Trust Bank

Renewable Heat Association

SG

Work highlights

  • Advised on the financing of Huntstown Bioenergy with Allied Irish Banks regarding one of the largest anaerobic digestion projects on the island of Ireland.
  • Advised Glenmount on the sale of three large onshore windfarms.

Arthur Cox Belfast

Arthur Cox Belfast's strong presence in both Belfast and Dublin means the firm is well-placed to handle projects that cover all of Ireland; the practice also has distinguishable attributes in procurement law. William Curry jointly leads the team and is key name in the region for both public and private sector procurement. Curry works in tandem with Alan Taylor, who advises on the corporate aspects of conventional and renewable energy projects. Paul McBride is another key name for corporate mandates, with complementary skills in project finance work.

Practice head(s):

William Curry; Alan Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Paul McBride

Key clients

Mutual Energy Group

ERG s.P.a

Phoenix Natural Gas Limited

ESB Group

Arena Capital Partners Limited

Northern Ireland Housing Executive

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council

Ulster University

arc21

Department of Finance

Work highlights

  • Advised ERG UK Holding Limited on its acquisition of Craiggore Energy Limited from RES UK & Ireland Limited.
  • Advised Gas Networks Ireland on the invitation to tender contracts.
  • Advised six councils on the first procurement of an energy-from-waste facility ever to be undertaken in Northern Ireland.

Carson McDowell

The practice at Carson McDowell runs the gamut of corporate, commercial and finance work relating to energy projects, and also draws on the support of planning and environment specialist Gary McGhee. Neasa Quigley, who leads the team, is an expert in energy-related corporate transactions. Project finance work is primarily handled by Sinead McGrath, while property work is Emma Cooper's core area of expertise. Gerard Armstrong has extensive experience in PFI/PPP work.

Practice head(s):

Neasa Quigley

Key clients

TCI Renewables Limited

Belfast Power Limited

ESB Renewables Limited

System Operator for Northern Ireland Limited (SONI)

RES (UK & Ireland) Limited

firmus energy Group

Northern Ireland Electricity Networks Limited

Brookfield Renewable Ireland Limited

Gore Street Capital

Wind Renewables Income Holdco 2 Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised SONI on a 34km project consisting of 102 new electricity pylons and a major new substation connecting the electricity grids of Northern Ireland and Ireland.
  • Advised iCon Infrastructure on the sale of Firmus Energy to London based infrastructure investor Equitix Investment Management.
  • Advised TCI Renewables Limited on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Ballyutoag Wind Farm Ltd to BSI Wind Ltd.

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP is particularly active in the wind energy space, and advises on the financing, acquisition and regulatory compliance of onshore wind farms. Richard Murphy heads the Irish energy and natural resources team and handles energy transactions and related advisory issues, with a particular emphasis on the renewables sector. Construction specialist Ciaran McNamara is another important name and is adept in infrastructure projects concerning transport and education. Associate Laura Donnelly, who assists Murphy on most mandates, is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Richard Murphy

Other key lawyers:

Ciaran McNamara

Testimonials

‘Pinsent Masons have actively engaged with our organisation. Delivering not just on what is asked, but also being proactive in bringing knowledge and expertise to our work.’

‘Richard Murphy has been instrumental in the work of our organisation, has taken a personal interest in what we are doing and shown a passion for our shared projects. As well as the expertise that Richard brings, his commitment has been particularly welcome.’

‘In my experience, this practice is a market leader in the services it provides. My engagement is with extremely professional, proficient and knowledgeable lawyers who deliver empathetic, fully considered and effective solutions.’

‘Richard Murphy is extremely knowledgeable and highly respected in his subject matter, throughout Ireland. Richard is great at distilling issues into a clear and focused solution, and particularly good at making himself available to clients, despite being highly in demand and working to a challenging schedule.’

‘Richard offers a “second to none” service to our business.’

Key clients

Energia Group

NTR

Naturgy

TCI Renewables Limited

The Renewable Infrastructure Group (TRIG)

Oxford Capital

Mutual Energy

SONI

Firmus Energy

Foresight Group LLP

EPH Group

Resonance Asset Management

Capital Dynamics

SSE Airtricity

Gas Market Operator for Northern Ireland (“GMO”)

Sacyr- Somague- Wills Bros. JV

Queen’s University, Belfast

Sacyr Somague SA

Work highlights

  • Adviser to EPH Group on its strategic acquisition of Kilroot and Ballylumford power stations in Northern Ireland.
  • Advising Sacyr SA, Sacyr Somague SA and Wills Bros. Ltd jointly in relation to the A6 Derry to Dungiven dualling project.
  • Acquisition of a c. 6MW portfolio of onshore wind turbines located across Northern Ireland.

Cleaver Fulton Rankin

Cleaver Fulton Rankin advises on major projects in the region, encompassing mining, gas networks and wind and solar farms. Stephen Cross helms the team and advises both energy companies and financial sponsors on renewable energy projects in the region. The team also draws on the corporate expertise of Hilary Griffith and real estate experience of Joe Marley, who are both active in this sector.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Cross 

Other key lawyers:

Hilary Griffith; Joe Marley

Key clients

Equitix Investment Management

Axpo UK

Arena Capital Partners

EirGrid

Dalradian Gold

SONI Limited

Power NI

Canadian Solar

AIB

Northern Ireland Electricity Network

Work highlights

  • Advised Equitix Investment Management on its acquisition of Firmus Energy, one of three Northern Irish gas transmission and distribution network operators.
  • Advised Canadian Solar on the sale of a significant solar farm in Northern Ireland.
  • Advised Dalradian Gold Limited on its multibillion-pound gold mining project in County Tyrone.

TLT

Regularly representing both sponsors and lenders, TLT is building its reputation in the clean energy space, most notably in wind energy and waste-to-energy projects. Andrew Ryan leads the practice and advises on the construction, planning and regulatory compliance of renewable projects. The team also draws upon Kevin Murphy, an expert in the real estate aspects of energy projects.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Ryan

Other key lawyers:

Kevin Murphy

Key clients

Greenville Energy No

ABO Wind NI Ltd No

Low Carbon Group

Albion Community Power Limited

Brookfield Renewable

B9 Organic Energy/Granville EcoPark Ltd

Allied Irish Bank

First Trust Ban

Work highlights

  • Advised AIB NI on its renewables finance facilities to Foresight Group LLP in respect of the recently acquired Gruig and Todmorden Wind Farms.
  • Advising Albion Community Power on the refinancing of a 14 single turbine portfolio located across NI.
  • Advising ABO on its Castlegore windfarm project, a seven turbine wind farm worth over £50m.

Millar McCall Wylie LLP

Led by Andrew Kerr, Millar McCall Wylie LLP is highly experienced in the fields of wind and solar energy, with Scottish Power among its client roster. Kerr advises on commercial and shareholder agreements, as well as acquisitions and disposals.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Kerr

Key clients

Scottish Power

Tughans

Tughans operates under the leadership of director Andrew Kirke, who has particular insight into the energy sector having worked on secondment for SONI, the transmission system operator for Northern Ireland. He has particular experience in commercial agreements and leases, as well as disputes with the utility regulator. Construction specialist Tim Kinney is also heavily involved in the energy and natural resources sector.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Kirke

Other key lawyers:

Tim Kinney

Key clients

SONI Ltd

Greencoat Capital

Adman Civil Engineering

First Trust

Budget Energy

B9 Energy

Northern Ireland Water

Granville Ecopark

Lissan Coal Company

Air Core

Work highlights

  • Advised SONI on general commercial agreements.
  • Advised Adman on a number of wind farm projects both in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
  • Acted for NI Water in the defence of a procurement challenge brought by an unsuccessful tenderer.