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Ashfords LLP

ASHFORD HOUSE, GRENADIER ROAD, EXETER, EX1 3LH, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 01392 337000
DX:
150000 EXETER 24
Email:
Web:
www.ashfords.co.uk

Elizabeth Gibson

Tel:
Work 01392 333802
Email:
Ashfords LLP

Work Department

Public Sector & Technology.

Position

Partner and Head of Public Sector. She has a particular specialism in procurement for complex projects.

Career

Elizabeth is renowned for her pragmatic and commercial approach for both public and private sector clients and frequently advises them on a diverse mixture of procurements and local government matters. Before joining Ashfords, Elizabeth qualified as a Barrister after a career in journalism. While at Ashfords Elizabeth transferred to be a Solicitor.

Her team is currently working on a diverse mixture of innovative local government projects, including leisure, housing regeneration, traditional outsourcing and shared services arrangements.

Relevant experience:

  • London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea: Acting for the council in relation to its Edenham Way regeneration project. Our involvement includes providing advice on the procurement strategy, planning matters, governance and vires as well as working with technical advisers CBRE.
  • Exeter City Council ("ECC"): Advising the council in relation to the procurement of its EXESeed Construction Contractors Framework ("EXEseed Framework") under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 ("PCR 2015") utilising the restricted procedure to appoint three "Lots" of contractors which have the ability to work collaboratively with ECC to deliver high quality residential and commercial sustainable energy efficient developments and/or refurbishment projects with a focus on "Passivhaus" and building biology principles and designs that meet ECC's long term objectives. This work included full procurement support and management.
  • CORSERV Ltd (a Cornwall Council wholly-owned "Teckal" company): Acting for the client on its highway maintenance corporate joint venture with Nottinghamshire County Council. This has included advising on complex procurement issues together with due diligence of the existing highways service and negotiations on risk allocation for the joint venture company and associated services contracts.
  • North Yorkshire County Council: Advising the council on the establishment of a collaboration agreement between contracting authorities to legislate for the joint procurement of waste related services. Further advising on the establishment of a Teckal vehicle, together with the necessary constitutional/contractual arrangements, and the subsequent waste services contract.
  • Devon County Council ("DCC"): Acting for the council in respect of its regulated social care procurement process. DCC was the lead commissioner for "light touch" procurement process under the PCR 2015 which also included two clinical commissioning groups and an NHS Trust. This was a complex procurement for the establishment of an 8 Lot Framework Agreement to provide all regulated care services in Devon.


London: Public sector

Local government

Within: Local government

Ashfords LLP offers the full range of services to local government authorities from its West Country and London offices. It is advising the London Borough of Brent on complex development and planning matters in relation to the Wembley Park development. In other work it advises Wandsworth Borough Council, and the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames with which it has a service sharing agreement, on diverse areas including housing, employment and litigation. Elizabeth Gibson  leads the team and some of her senior colleagues include Chris Coughlan ,  Richard Voke and  Sian Gibbon .

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London: Real estate

Social housing: local authorities and registered providers

Within: Social housing: local authorities and registered providers

Ashfords LLP handles property transactions and public sector procurement, and is ‘particularly strong in housing sector litigation’, where it acts for housing associations and local authorities. Sian Gibbon is perhaps ‘the driving force behind the litigation team’s success’; she represented a national housing association in a long-running damages claims and handled all non-routine contentious matters for London Borough of Wandsworth and London Borough of Richmond, including residential possessions, homelessness reviews and disrepair claims. Tim Heal has advised a registered provider on residential acquisitions and shared ownership sales, and Jessica Taylor and procurement specialist Elizabeth Gibson are acting for a central London borough in relation to the redevelopment of a housing estate. Also recommended are legal director Joanne Young (‘an absolute star’) and associate Marjorie Hill.

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South West: Corporate and commercial

EU and competition

Within: EU and competition

Acting primarily for local authorities and public sector companies, Ashfords LLP’s dedicated state aid practice has expertise in state aid funding structures for significant local infrastructure and services projects. Department head Elizabeth Gibson provides ongoing state aid advice to clients such as North Yorkshire County Council. Additionally, Gibson is advising Herefordshire Council and Gloucestershire County Council on the state aid aspects of a £67m project to provide enhanced broadband services to rural areas. The department head has also provided state aid advice to the Council of the Isles of Scilly in relation to various energy projects. Lucy Woods is an active senior associate in the department, with experience in state aid and public procurement.

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South West: Projects, energy and natural resources

Project finance and PFI

Within: Project finance and PFI

Ashfords LLP acts for a range of public and private sector clients on contentious and non-contentious project financing mandates in the waste, renewable energy, transport and IT infrastructure sectors. Department head Ruth Murray acted for a prominent private equity house in connection with the liquidation of the operator and project sponsor of nine anaerobic digestion SPVs funded by the client; this included restructuring the shareholding and operating mechanisms for each SPV, as well as establishing a new operating entity. A cross-departmental team including Elizabeth Gibson and associate Jonathan Croley assisted Swindon Borough Council with the procurement of domiciliary care services in the borough. Further, Clare Brewer is instructed by a central government department in relation to a headline infrastructure project of national significance. In the contentious space, Brian Farrell is advising a major service provider in a massive multi-party dispute concerning a particular PFI project. Additional clients include CoGen, VINCI Construction and North Yorkshire County Council.

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South West: Public sector

Local government

Within: Local government

Ashfords LLP advises unitary, county and district councils on issues such as procurement, state aid, real estate, planning, employment, governance, construction law, outsourcing and joint ventures, housing management and regulatory matters. Elizabeth Gibson heads the team and led on advising CORMAC Solutions and Cornwall Council on a highways joint venture with Nottinghamshire County Council. Other highlights included advising Exeter City Council on the procurement of a design team for its Passivhaus leisure facility and bus station, and advising Cornwall Council on the appointment of three framework agreements covering major and minor works and consultants for construction and mechanical and electrical works. Sian Gibbon heads the property litigation team and undertakes work for social housing clients. Also recommended are employment specialist Charles Pallot, Lucy Woods], who advises on European procurement rules and state aid, and Graham Cridland. Other clients include London Borough of Brent, Wandsworth Borough Council, Historic England and Devon County Council.

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South West: Real estate

Social housing

Within: Social housing

Ashfords LLP  handles property transactions and joint venture agreements for housing associations and local authorities, but is particularly strong in social housing-related litigation. Indeed, the ‘unflappable’ Sian Gibbon has acted for registered providers and local authorities in a range of property disputes. In the non-contentious space, Michael Gay advises Knightstone Housing Association on lease-hold flat and house disposals in accordance with certain Housing and Communities Agency standards. Additionally, Tim Heal has acted for housing associations in a litany of housing unit acquisitions. Specialising in public procurement, Elizabeth Gibson is advising a London borough on the establishment of a corporate group for the development of social and market housing. Similarly, Gibson assisted Exeter City Council with the establishment of a wholly-owned housing company for the development of social and affordable housing. Sovereign Housing Association, TGP and London Borough of Croydon are also among the team’s clients.

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