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Arthur Cox Belfast’s projects team acts across the infrastructure, energy and real estate spaces, and has been particularly busy acting for public bodies and government departments in procurement matters. Highlights included advising Arc21, which comprises six district councils in the eastern region of Northern Ireland, on the procurement of waste contracts, including the £1bn residual waste PPP; and advising Ulster University on the development of a new campus in the centre of Belfast as part of the Greater Belfast Development programme. The firm is also advising the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs on all aspects of the procurement of a new IT system to record and track the movements and health of food animals in Northern Ireland, and is advising the Northern Ireland Housing Executive on a project to replace its current IT systems with new and up-to-date systems. William Curry leads the team and is an established practitioner in the field of procurement.

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP is best known for its infrastructure expertise and represents bidders and government departments on procurement issues. In a highlight mandate the firm is advising the Education Authority of Northern Ireland on all operational matters pertaining to the £500m Belfast School Strategic Partnership Project, which is the first PFI project to use the strategic partnership scheme. Stuart Cairns is the key partner in the Belfast office; an expert in procurement for major infrastructure projects, Cairns led the advice to the Ards and North Down Borough Council on the procurement to maintain and operate a newly refurbished aquarium in Porta ferry. London-based partner Adrian Eakin is another name to note for projects and is currently leading the advice to Amber Infrastructure Fund on the bid to become the fund manager for the Northern Ireland Infrastructure Fund. Director Ciara Seymour is highly regarded for PPP work and acts for private and public sector clients.

A&L Goodbody’s expertise spans traditional project finance, where the team represents banks and investment funds, and also encompasses advising government departments on the procurement of contracts for a range of systems. Corporate partner Mark Thompson led the advice to Newtownabbey Borough Council on the procurement and development of a crematorium. On the project finance side, finance partner Ciaran McAlinney has been advising the lenders, on the project financing of a 4.5mw anaerobic digestion plant in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. In another key mandate McAlinney acted for a major bank on multimillion-pound facilities for c.20MW of windfarms in Northern Ireland.

Carson McDowell’s team is particularly well known for representing contractors; on the PPP front the team advised FMP Joint Venture as the contractor for the Dumfries and Galloway Council Smarter School project. The firm also advised concessionaire, Amey Roads, on a major road scheme in Northern Ireland worth £250m. On the finance side Neasa Quigley led the advice to NTR on the $45.7m financing of the Ora More and Altaveedan windfarms by Ulster Bank Ireland. Gerard Armstrong heads the team and is particularly well known for his PPP/PFI expertise.

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