Infrastructure projects can include a wide range of different sectors, from energy, to defence, to engineering – civil/process/coastal/chemical, to IT/telecoms. Our Infrastructure Project lawyers have worked on contracts, advice and legal analyses of regulations relating to infrastructure projects from major PFIs worth billions of British pounds to smaller scale projects worth millions of British pounds.
The defence sector in the UK has undergone major changes due to Government spending cuts in major programs, however, new projects have continued to be instructed, and our team have experience of advising main contractors on the delivery engineering procurement and construction agreement, operation and maintenance agreement, supply chain contracts and regulations surrounding DEFCONs and concession contract flow down into works and maintenance agreements for Government defence programs.
Our team advised the main contractor on the UK Ministry of Defence’s £13Bn Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft 27 year PFI concession agreement flow-down to the client’s engineering procurement and construction agreement, and operation and maintenance agreement, and also advised the main board on their overall risk-matrix from a legal perspective given the main Government concession agreement and the Contractor’s prospective duties over the 27 year PFI-period of the project. This instruction gave rise to repeat to repeat instruction on major matters for the same client in both France and India, with our team acting as supervising counsel alongside local top-tier lawyers in Paris and Delhi.
Our defence team are well placed to advise all defence contractors acting on projects governed by English law and sub-contractors on their current agreements, and sub-contracts, and management of those contracts, to advice on procurement law and regulations relating to new projects that contractors may be tendering upon, including advice on drafting all contracts for such tenders from cradle to grave.
Engineering – civil/process/coastal/chemical
The engineering sector in the UK is undergoing somewhat of a renaissance as the economic position improves for all, and project participants, from sponsor to sub-contractor, are all working once more with renewed vigour in what is for the next few years likely to be a very strong sector for UK business.
Our engineering team have advised developers, contractors, finance units of major multi-disciplinary companies, sponsors, sub-contractors, consultants, employer’s agents, build managers, harbor commissioners, councils, local authorities and large property portfolio employers, on their complete bespoke building contract solutions using the following contract forms:-
- IChemE (including International IChemE)
- FIDIC Silver and Gold Books
- MF1 – MF4
It is often the case that bespoke building contracts that amend the terms of the underlying “standard terms and conditions” is not only necessary, but essential, as the drafting in the standard terms and conditions simply does not reflect the particular facts of the project at hand. Our team has extensive experience of the drafting, amendment and negotiation through to execution of bespoke agreements, and are well placed in the market to deliver cost-effective expert construction-related legal advice.
Our engineering team is led by Bhalindra Bath who has completed the main global benchmark master of science in construction law and dispute resolution at King’s College London taught by the top contractors/consultants/disputes and non-contentious lawyers in the engineering field, globally. Our team can craft legal advice and contracts solutions for your engineering project, working with the technical team to develop nuanced contracts aligned to the performance/availability or other metric that guides the employer as to how to ensure that they are receiving what they desire from the project if it is a power project, to having sufficient latent defects and insurance coverage in the legal provisions of the agreements to manage the period within which claims may be brought following the date of practical completion of a civil/coastal engineering project.
Where an engineering project is governed by English law, globally, our team can also advise.
Our infrastructure projects team has advised the main contractor on their complex IT PFI agreements for example on the Transport for London Automatic NumberPlate Recognition Dedicated Short Range Communications (ANPR-DSRC) £40m PFI project, advising on all aspects of the agreement for the service supply, installation, licensing of the technology for the lifetime of the project, and the operations and maintenance during the term of the project, and can advise on the procurement process and regulations, as well as all commercial agreements relating to IT projects working alongside the technical team of the client contractor.
Our IT team in My Business Counsel, are uniquely placed to advise on all telecommunications, information technology and intellectual property law matters with experts on these forms of legal service provision being well placed to advise sponsors, employers, contractors, suppliers, start-ups/inventors to local authorities or councils wishing to run the procurement process.
Our combined infrastructure projects team of projects, procurement and IT legal specialists, are therefore well placed to advise on IT infrastructure projects in the UK, or where a project is globally located and the agreements are governed by English law working alongside local counsel for local regulatory advice.
The renewable energy sector in the UK is rapidly expanding in the area of solar energy, from rooftop mounted residential to rooftop mounted commercial, to groundmounted commercial solar plants, the entire world is focused on achieving the development, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of solar electricity plants that achieve accreditation from OfGEM for feed-in-tariffs or, at present at least, renewable obligations certificates (ROCs) (which may change to contracts for difference (CfDs) early next year), levy exemption certificates (LECs) and the at present no-value renewable energy guarantees of origin (REGOs).
Our solar team have worked on in excess of 100MW of UK solar transactions since 2012.
Energy from Waste (Waste to Energy)
The renewable energy sector in the UK has had major energy from waste facilities being built in it for many years, and our team has advised on major PFIs such as the £0.5Bn Derby Waste PFI to PFIs in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and southern England. Our infrastructure team has also advised on projects in Italy under the international IChemE Red Book, to FIDIC Silver Book and ENAA, and under FIDIC Silver Book in Scandinavia. With the burgeoning UK market-place for merchant-sized plants of 5-50MW size, our team are well-placed to advise on large-scale plants or translating their experience in such advice to crafting bespoke legal solutions for contractors/sponsors/employers upon small-mid sized energy from waste plants, working on throughput calculations, building in provisions on the gate fee, availability and performance, through to change of control. Our experience includes advice on any ‘EPC-wrapper’ engineering procurement and construction agreement, the flow down of terms from an overarching concession agreement, through to the plant-supply agreement – where relevant, and the technical support agreement or operation and maintenance agreement.
Our energy from waste team have worked on in excess of 400MW of energy from waste transactions globally since 2010.
Planning, Environment and Regeneration
The UK planning and environment legislation affects all new developments and in obtaining a consent or appealing a refusal of consent it is crucial to have on board the right legal-team to augment your chances of getting a planning permission to build your project. My Business Counsel’s lawyers advise on the non-contentious planning application and planning law aspects of transactions, to advising on all aspects of a refused planning consent all the way from appeal of a decision at the Planning Inspectorate all the way up to an appeal at the English High Court. Issues on contamination of land, for example, by heavy metals, chemicals, oil and tar, gases, asbestos or radioactive substances, can require expert environmental legal analysis and advice and again My Business Counsel’s lawyers are on hand to provide that. Regeneration use of brownfield sites which have had a former industrial use are within the experience bank of the planning and property lawyers’ experience in My Business Counsel too, advising on major site redevelopments to change of use of small-scale units.
Infrastructure Conveyancing (Legal Work relating to Property Law)
Our infrastructure conveyancing team have advised sponsors, contractors, developers and other interested parties on agreements for lease, leases, option to lease agreements, to title issues, third party rights, and registration of property rights in a broad range of infrastructure project from property redevelopments to power plants, and can advise our clients on the intricacies of such projects.
How We Work
Our firm is comprised of senior lawyers that have worked for top tier US, UK and French law firms, as well as Infrastructure Project lawyers that have been senior legal counsel in leading global companies. Our fees are cost-effective as compared to leading regional or City law firms as we operate a low-outlay business-model which helps us to drive down our fees to match the expectation of our clients of top service delivery and value for their money. In return, our lawyers provide service coverage that often goes beyond that of our competitors, because our lawyers have long experience of being on transactions and projects where the same or similar issues have arisen.
Our team can also provide top tier legal advice on matters relating to corporate law and intellectual property.