PFI / PPP
Our nationally recognised team has an extensive proven track record of advising both public and private sector clients on all aspects of PPP/PFI transactions and regularly achieves financial close on PPP/PFI projects in the UK.
We advise over a wide range of sectors, including education, waste, housing/regeneration, local government, leisure and health and care sector projects. As PFI projects have declined, we have become more involved in delivering innovative PPP projects –usually involving new approaches to risk allocation and funding. In particular, we have experience of PPPs addressing difficult funding markets through construction finance solutions with public authorities using their borrowing powers to refinance during the operations period.
We help our public sector clients navigate the procurement process from pre-procurement, during the bid stages and evaluation, negotiating contracts and closing the project. Our team focusses on delivering practical, commercial, solution based legal advice which maximises competition but moves projects towards successful completion. We have significant expertise in using standardised documents and liaising with central government departments such as HMT for approvals for derogations.
We also regularly act for the private sector in PPP/PFI projects, assisting with the analysis of commercial risks in project agreements, the development of sub-contracts, finance documents, equity structures and driving the process efficiently to close. Our private sector clients appreciate our pragmatic commercial approach and in depth knowledge of the PPP/PFI market.
As well as advising on the procurement of projects, we also regularly advise on the variation of operational PFI/PPP projects. We provide commercial advice about structuring the variation in the most efficient manner, taking account of EU procurement requirements and the requirements of stakeholders including banks and sponsors. We are experienced in revising project agreements, subcontracts and obtaining funder consent to effectively implement the variation.
The PPP/PFI team includes experts advising on construction, operation and engineering contracts, project finance, employment and pensions, intellectual property, environmental law (including permits and contamination), planning, property acquisitions, disposals and compulsory purchase orders and other issues which can arise during the course of a PPP/PFI project, including dispute resolution, judicial review and procurement challenges