Liam Cowell > DLA Piper > Manchester, England > Lawyer Profile

DLA Piper
M2 3DE
Liam Cowell photo

Work Department

Finance and projects.


Liam is the UK Managing Partner.  Liam has been advising on major infrastructure projects for 20 years and has advised on in excess of 50 infrastructure projects through to financial close.  He has advised procuring authorities, sponsors, funders and the key supply chain members gaining a balanced view of the challenges and available solutions.  These have included projects under PPP, DBOM, D&B, O&M, NPD, PF2, DBFO, PFI, LIFT, batching and partnership frameworks.  His work spans many sectors, including transport (light rail, roads and bridges), social infrastructure (university, schools, hospitals, leisure, emergency services, prisons and courts), waste management and treatment projects and urban regeneration.  Many of the transactions Liam has worked on have been innovative deals in the relevant sector, and in the case of the Long Beach Court House PPP, California, a first in the relevant country.  Liam led the DLA Piper team advising Halton Borough council on the multi-award winning Mersey Gateway PPP Project and is currently advising the Welsh Government on its new Mutual Investment Model procurement of the A465 roads project.


Trained at DLA Piper (UK) LLP

Qualified 1996

Partner 2004

NW Office Managing Partner 01 January 2014

UK Managing Partner 01 January 2019




Law Society of England and Wales.


Durham University; Chester College of Law.

Lawyer Rankings

North West > Transport

DLA Piper UK LLP specialises in advising on major transport infrastructure projects, including motorways, railways and airports, among others. The firm’s practice has expertise in transport disputes, while also dealing with aircraft, shipping and super-yacht finance; equipment finance and leasing and smart ticketing. UK managing partner Liam Cowell heads the team and focuses on infrastructure and project finance transactions.

North West > Projects, energy and natural resources > Project finance and PFI

Within: Leading individuals -

Liam Cowell


DLA Piper UK LLP ‘s projects, energy and infrastructure team handles a raft of local, national and international projects. It stands out for its expertise in transport, health, education, energy, nuclear, waste and water sector projects and it is engaged by sponsors, funders and procuring authorities. PPP and PFI projects and disputes are also a key area of expertise. Team head Andrew S. Davies stands out for his waste and water sector expertise, while Liam Cowell regularly handles infrastructure projects. Legal directors Ben Morton and Sidrah Arif, who is experienced in project finance transactions, are also noted, as is senior associate Lorna Pattison.

North West > Public sector > Local government

DLA Piper UK LLP is ‘very dedicated and the team is quick to understand issues at hand‘. It advises its local government clients across the UK on a range of matters such as corporate and commercial projects, planning, outsourcing; real estate; projects; pensions; and disputes. Peter Brook is experienced in large scale outsourcing transactions, legal director Sophie Stewart handles planning, highways and compulsory purchase matters. Legal director Gemma  Cowap handles commercial matters, while Sarah Bell and Liam Cowell , who is ‘always available‘, jointly head the team.

London > Projects, energy and natural resources > Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP)

The infrastructure group at DLA Piper is well positioned in the market, assisting public and private sector clients with various matters. It has a particularly strong PPP practice, advising on closed PPP deals, as well as on the sale of infrastructure assets and refinancings. Head of the international projects group, Colin Wilson, knows the transport, defence and health sectors well. In Manchester, Liam Cowell is increasingly involved in deals in the social infrastructure and waste area, while Alison Fagan is a key contact in contentious matters. The practice was bolstered by the arrival of corporate expert Martin Nelson-Jones from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP in September 2018.