• Mersey Gateway Bridge, UK
Advising the local authority, Halton Borough Council, in relation to its procurement of this high profile, £450 million Mersey river crossing project. The Mersey Gateway Project will build a new 6-lane toll bridge over the Mersey between the towns of Runcorn and Widnes and provide modifications to the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge. The selected contractor will be responsible for the design, build, finance, operation and maintenance.

The DLA Piper team has advised on: procurement and concession structures; contract structuring and risk management, including advising on and drafting the full suite of contractual documentation; and provided advice in respect of legal risks associated with demand risk and tolling, and maintenance and operation of the existing bridge.

The UK Treasury proposed that the UK Guarantee Scheme (a government backed guarantee) be used on the Mersey Gateway Project and we have worked with the Council, bidders, Government and Treasury to assist bidders to take advantage of the credit enhancement options available for the project in the context of a live procurement, understanding the implications of those options on PPP documentation and supporting the development of proposals involving a UK Guarantee alongside project finance and capital markets solutions as part of a competitive dialogue competition.

  • Birmingham Highways Maintenance PFI Project
We advised Birmingham City Council on this innovative highways maintenance project, which reached financial close in May 2010 with Amey plc as service provider. As a pathfinder project for the first highways maintenance project on a full PFI structure, some aspects of this project were particularly complex and we drafted the full suite of documentation, including the output specification (in conjunction with MottMac) and the payment mechanism. These later became the precedent documents for procurements of this nature across the UK. Furthermore, at £2.7 billion, the project is one of the largest local authority procurements in Europe. The project was awarded the Partnerships Bulletin’s Best Transport Highways Maintenance Award 2011 and European PPP deal of 2010.

  • Nottingham Express Transit Phase Two
Advised Nottingham City Council in connection with the design, construction, finance and commissioning of Phase Two of the Nottingham Express Transit light rail system which includes two new lines to create an integrated network and any future extensions, together with the operation and maintenance of the entire extended network including NET Line One over a period of approximately 23 years. Unusually, this complex £570m PFI project also involved a corporate acquisition by a local authority of the incumbent concessionaire. DLA Piper was commended for its role in this project in the FT's 'Most Innovative Firms in Finance Law' awards 2012.

  • Sheffield Highways Maintenance PFI Project
Advised Sheffield City Council in respect of their £2 billion highways maintenance and street lighting PFI project, which deals with the rehabilitation and ongoing maintenance of over 2,000 km of carriageways and footways, 350 bridges and other structures. Financial close was reached in Summer 2012 with Amey, its private sector contractor, for a 25 year contract

  • Department for Education

Since 2007 we have advised the UK Department for Education on the PFI Academies programme, which includes drafting the model documents and facilitating conversion of schools within the PFI schemes to Academy status. To date we have advised on the conversion of over 120 schools. Leeds Independent

  • Living Non-HRA PFI Project
We advised Leeds City Council on this c.£60 million non-HRA supported living project across 39 sites in Leeds which closed in June 2008. The project has provided registered care homes, registered children's homes, a range of flats, houses and bungalows across the city for people with learning disabilities, and includes specialist units for people with autism, challenging behaviour and early onset dementia. Since financial close we have continued to advise on operational aspects, including a variation to project scope to allow for the construction of an additional children's home using funding from another central government department.

  • Highways Agency, M25 DBFO
Another helpful example of a complex operational example on which we are acting is the M25 DBFO, one of the largest most complex roads projects to be procured in the last 15 years. We are advising the UK Highway Agency providing operational support and strategic advice on the implementation of a number of significant contract changes to this 30-year contract.