Project finance and PFI in South West

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP distinguishes itself in infrastructure projects in the waste and renewable energy, IT and transport sectors. The team acts for a broad spectrum of clients, such as funds, authorities, developers and technology providers. Practice head Ruth Murray has a strong track record acting for clients in both the public and private sectors. Brian Farrell is another key figure in the group, which was strengthened in 2018 by the arrival of Neel Mehta from TLT.

Practice head(s):

Ruth Murray

Other key lawyers:

Brian Farrell


Brilliant lawyers

Key clients

Ixora Energy


Mariana Capital Markets LLP

Work highlights

  • Advising a large construction company on multiple PFI, PPP and NHS trust project finance projects, including contentious matters.
  • Advising Ixora Energy on the optimisation of a £100m  portfolio of anaerobic digestion facilities.
  • Advised a thermal energy company on the development of an energy-from-waste plant using gasification technology at Hooton in the Wirral.
  • Advised Mariana Capital Markets LLP on the acquisition of two solar arrays.
  • Advised Public Power Solutions on the documentation required to facilitate the development of a renewable energy installation.

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP acts for public and private sector clients on the procurement, development and funding aspects of high-profile projects. The team also draws on the experience of practitioners in areas such as renewable energy, transport, waste management and water. Practice head Ian Salter is a recognised name nationally for his nuclear law expertise. Elsewhere, defence sector mandates are on the increase, with Mark PatersonKeith Beattie and Matthew Ramus being active practitioners in this space. Ramus is also experienced in projects with a nexus to the education sector. Brioney Thomas is the go-to contact for rail clients, which include passenger operators, freight operators, rolling stock manufacturers and government authorities.

Practice head(s):

Ian Salter


One of the most reliable project teams on the local market

Key clients

Ministry of Defence

Department for Transport

Department for Education

Foreign and Commonwealth Office


Greater London Authority



Transport for London

Marks & Spencer Group plc

Highways England


Transport for Wales

Work highlights

  • Advising the Ministry of Defence on the procurement of the Dreadnought and Astute class submarines.
  • Advising Transport for Wales on its procurement of the next Wales and Border Rail Service and Metro on behalf of the Welsh Government.
  • Advised the Ministry of Defence on the competition to supply five new Type 31e Frigates.
  • Advising the Isle of Anglesey County Council on its response to the proposed development of a new nuclear power station at Wylfa.
  • Advising a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Babcock International on the 25-year contract with the Ministry of Defence to provide the British Armed Forces with a training system.

Michelmores LLP

The projects group at Michelmores LLP has cutting-edge expertise in the sectors of healthcare and education, and is increasingly gaining recognition for its work on distressed projects. The team notably undertakes complex work for international clients, acting on high-value projects in developing jurisdictions, for which practice co-head Ben Hogan (‘a pleasure to work with’) is a key contact. Practice co-head Carol McCormack, who ‘takes proactive steps in handling her clients’ transactions’, advises on all aspects of PPP projects. McCormack has a particular specialism in social infrastructure. Associates Jo Spalding and Hannah Slater are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Carol McCormack; Ben Hogan

Other key lawyers:

Jo Spalding; Hannah Slater


The team is very responsive, practical and solution-driven, which certainly inspires confidence

Ben Hogan is always available, very pragmatic and provides commercially focused advice

Both Carol McCormack and Ben Hogan are able to advise on complex issues in a clear and concise manner

Carol McCormack provides highly authoritative and reliable advice

While the legal advice is always partner-driven, the partners are supported by a very solid team of associates

Key clients

ISS Mediclean

Innisfree Group

Gemalto UK

Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust

Aberystwyth University

Brighton & Sussex University Hospital NHS Trust

The Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation


Finance in Motion GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advised ISS Mediclean on efficiency savings programmes in relation to three UK hospital PFI projects.
  • Advised Gemalto UK on the UK ePassport Project and the DVLA Card Consumables Project.
  • Acted for the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime on its £250m acquisition of the Empress State Building in London.
  • Advised Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust on its procurement of a £190m new state-of-the-art Children’s Cancer Centre.

Osborne Clarke

Osborne Clarke has a well-established reputation acting on project finance transactions, as well as projects related to student accommodation, telecoms infrastructure, and renewable and conventional energy, among others. The team is led by Chris Wade, who has experience of high-end PFI/PPP infrastructure projects, while Catherine Wolfenden specialises in public and utilities regulated procurement. Another notable individual is Andrew Normington, who assists sponsors and financial institutions with European economic infrastructure and energy projects. Simon Hancock has 'a highly commercial outlook'.

Practice head(s):

Chris Wade


Good communication on all matters and no wasted time

The team is really good in handling PFI investment portfolio matters

The group offers full service advice, which is also very efficient and well priced

Contacting all partners is easy and they never experience difficulties in explaining things to clients

Simon Hancock is the most sensible and realistic solicitor I have worked with in my 27-year-long career


Key clients

EE Limited


John Laing Environmental Assets Group

Renewables Infrastructure Group

Green Frog Power

Triple Point


Campus Living Villages

Gas Power Developments

Dutch Infrastructure Fund

Arlington Advisors

University of Bristol


Aberdeen Standard Life

Work highlights

  • Acting for EE on the £1.2bn Home Office Emergency Services Network Project Contract to provide a next generation communication system for the three emergency services (police, fire and rescue, and ambulance).
  • Advised Green Frog Power on the £100m development and project financing of its existing 231MW and additional 180MW of flexible gas-fired power generating capacity in the UK.
  • Acting for Equitix and Engie Regeneration on the University of Leicester’s up to £100m PFI student housing project for approximately 1,200 new student beds and other facilities.
  • Advising Renewables Infrastructure Group  on its acquisition and the associated financing aspects regarding Solwaybank, an onshore wind farm project in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.
  • Advised Aberdeen Standard Life on its provision of £43m of private debt to finance six operational hydro-electric schemes in Scotland.

Bevan Brittan LLP

Bevan Brittan LLP provides advice on new PPP projects and delivery models, as well as on PFI and PPP variations, refinancing and disputes. The team has recognised expertise in the field of waste management, which is an area of specialism for department head Nadeem Arshad. Other sectors of focus include energy, health, education, leisure, rail, property regeneration and university accommodation. On the private sector side, the team acts for clients such as project developers, sub-contractors, and fund managers. It also generates work from public sector entities, such as local authorities, NHS trusts and government agencies.

Practice head(s):

Nadeem Arshad

Key clients


Morgan Sindall Investments

Engie Urban Energy

Sheffield City Council

North Yorkshire County Council

Birmingham City Council

Barts Health NHS Trust

North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust

Work highlights

  • Advising Cambridgeshire County Council on its £730m waste management project.
  • Advising North Yorkshire County Council on a number of operational issues concerning its waste management and energy project with Amey Cespa.
  • Advising Morgan Sindall Investments on the suite of documentation regarding its newly formed joint venture with Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Advising Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council on its waste management project with FCC Environment.
  • Advising Birmingham City Council on the new waste PPP project, future waste strategy and exit arrangements concerning the current 25-year contract with Veolia Environmental Services.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP acts for private and public clients across multiple sectors, including health, energy, defence, justice, housing and education. The 'highly experiencedGiles Taylor advises on PFI, PPP and project finance transactions. Legal director Alison Martin and 'pragmatic' senior associate Ioan Davies are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Giles Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Alison Martin; Ioan Davies


The team is well respected in the NHS

The team has deep knowledge and a lot of experience with PFI and all associated contractual arrangements

Alison Martin is very knowledgeable when it comes to all aspects of projects work

Ioan Davies is always available for consultation and comes up with pragmatic solutions

Key clients

Liverpool City Council

Somerset County Council

Oldham Council

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council

King’s College Hospital NHS Trust

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Breathe Energy

Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

John Laing Infrastructure Fund

Interserve Investments

Mitie PFI Limited

Bellrock Property and Facilities Management

Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust

Robertson Facilities Management

Work highlights

  • Advising Liverpool City Council on its portfolio of operational PFI schemes.
  • Advising Somerset County Council on its Building Schools for the Future programme.
  • Assisting facilities management contractor Mitie PFI with its portfolio of approximately 30 operational PFI projects.
  • Advised Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council on its Grouped Schools PFI scheme.
  • Advising Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust on its PFI ward refurbishment projects.


The projects group at VWV handles projects in the fields of education, construction, energy, waste management, local government, grant funding and procurement. The team’s growing client base includes charities and local authorities, schools and higher education institutions, as well as private sector organisations. A noteworthy aspect of the team’s recent work is its increasing prominence in state aid work, particularly in relation to advice on EU and UK project funding schemes. The ‘reliableStephanie Rickard heads up the practice.

Practice head(s):

Stephanie Rickard


A team of highly focused, professional and efficient lawyers

VWV has a very wide breadth of relevant experience and knowledge of the area

The team has a broad range of experience and is able to field practitioners in the specialist areas of law which some clients need, such as UK and EU law

Contracts prepared by the team are well drafted and understandable


Key clients

West of England Combined Authority

Cabot Learning Federation

Harris Federation

Bath and North East Somerset Council

Airbus Operations

University of Bristol

Hills Waste Solutions

National Composites Centre

University of Exeter

University of Hull

Thanet District Council

University of Bath

Dorset County Council

Surrey Heath Borough Council

Fareham Borough Council

REAch2 Academy Trust

Bath Spa University

Work highlights

  • Acting for Dorset County Council on a £40m procurement process for a development partner(s) to build and operate a care home and to provide social housing.
  • Representing Port of Ramsgate (Thanet District Council) during negotiations with the Department of Transport and a new entrant for the operation of a new cross-channel scheduled freight ferry service.
  • Providing ongoing legal support to National Composites Centre in connection with capital projects, including the £36.7m iCAP programme aiming to deliver new technologies for composite manufacture.
  • Advising the University of Bristol on the professional appointments for the design and planning team for its new Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus.
  • Advising Hills Waste Solutions on the development of an energy-from-waste facility adjacent to its existing waste treatment facility.