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Maria Pereira

International Head of Defence Sector

Maria Pereira has over 16 years’ experience advising on infrastructure projects and procurement law, focussing on complex commercial contracts, and large scale PPP and PFI infrastructure transactions. She advises throughout the lifecycle of a project, from feasibility and procurement to operational matters, distressed assets and, handback and expiry.

Her clients include public and private entities (particularly investors and contractors) in a range of sectors including defence, emergency services, transport and social infrastructure.

Maria's key strength lies in the depth and understanding of the commercial and legal issues affecting each party in a transaction and finding solutions acceptable to the parties to ensure the successful delivery of the transaction.

Professional QualificationsSolicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales


  • Advising Birmingham City Council on the strategic development of a revised project and governance structure in connection with the re-procurement of services on the Birmingham Highways project, following the exit of the previous service provider.
  • Advising a leading investor, developer and long-term fund manager in 2022 on a major variation to replace a core system in a hospital project, including novel structuring and settlements to ringfence the existing project structure and payment flows.
  • Advising on two pathfinder projects procured under the Welsh Government's Mutual Investment Model (MIM) programme, namely the strategic delivery partner for 21st Century Schools and the new Velindre Cancer Centre.
  • Advising the Ministry of Defence on the procurement of various infrastructure requirements at RAF Lossiemouth, including the procurement of a runway and related infrastructure.
  • Advising eight project companies on securing an interim services provider, the negotiation of key project documents, and ultimate transfer of the FM services following Carillion’s liquidation.
  • Advising The Fixed Wing joint venture in 2015/16 on its bid for the single-sourced 1B Fixed Wing package (training equipment and services) to the UK MoD. Maria led the team that advised on all aspects of the procurement, including funding and subcontract arrangements. In addition to the usual complexities relating to the use of high tech simulators in the military arena and the complex interfaces, there were added layers of complexity due to integration into the wider UKMFTS structure.
  • English
  • Spanish
  • French
  • College of Law, LPC, Distinction, 2003
  • London School of Economics and Political Science, LLF (Law with French Law), 2:1, 2002

Pro Bono

Maria is an active participant in DLA Piper's pro-bono initiatives, including being the pro-bono co-ordinator for the London Projects and Energy and Infrastructure Finance teams.


  • Panellist at the European Infrastructure Conference (17 Nov 2022) – “The Role of PPP models in Europe”
  • Panellist at DLA Piper’s Africa Week 2022 (6 October 2022) – “De-risking your African infrastructure investments”
  • Panellist at the Partnerships Bulletin UK Hub (14 June 2022) – “The Big Question Panel: What needs to be done to ensure that industry weathers handback and expiry and is positioned to deliver the next round of successful infrastructure projects?”

Additional information

Maria Pereira worked on the development of The DLA Piper Project Simulator - a market leading experiential learning tool which utilises gaming technology to assist with the delivery of sustainable and successful global infrastructure project.

Memberships And Affiliations

  • Member of the Procurement Lawyers Association