WELCOME TO CHARLES RUSSELL SPEECHLYS.
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The Projects team focuses on the UK infrastructure market, providing significant depth of experience across the social infrastructure, transport and energy sectors.
This focus gives us an expert understanding of the changing public sector landscape in the UK, particularly in the NHS and education sectors, and how it will affect capital investment going forward. We largely act for sponsors and lenders, but have a growing public sector practice, particularly on complex issues during the operational phase of a project.
The team advises clients on new projects, negotiating the full suite of contracts including the project agreement, construction contracts, facilities maintenance contracts, real estate agreements and the funding agreements. We also have a busy practice advising on issues arising during the operational phase of projects. This work has included variations, market testing of soft FM services, termination of sub-contracts, renegotiation of payment mechanisms, refinancings, voluntary termination of projects and the consequences of default termination of projects. We have an experienced dispute resolution team who understand the complex contracting structures involved in PFI, PF2 and strategic partnerships, and who appreciate the long term value of the relationships involved in PFI/PPP/PF2 projects.
Our team is also active in the secondary market, where we have advised on the acquisition and disposal of over 100 projects, including three major portfolios. We are familiar with due diligence requirements, the consents process and necessary corporate structuring and issues such as pre-emption rights. The depth of our experience in the UK market means we can quickly identify unusual risks and/or liabilities for investors.
We have a major health and social care practice which spans social, primary, acute and mental health care.
In the primary care sector we are one of the leading advisers in the Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) market acting for 10 LIFT companies and some of the leading investors and operators active in the primary healthcare market. Over the past 4 years we have closed 15 primary health care projects.
In the acute healthcare sector we have recently advised a Foundation Trust on the redevelopment of part of one of its sites and have advised various project companies on a number of refinancings, variations and additional developments at operational PFI hospital.
In the mental healthcare sector members of the team advised a long standing client on the development of a secure facility in southern England and are liaising with another client in relation to similar facilities elsewhere in the country.
We are also advising a long standing client in relation to its successful bid to partner with a County Council developing extra care adult facilities across that Council’s geographic area.
Members of our team advised sponsors and lenders on a number of grouped schools PFI projects pre-BSF, including Doncaster Schools and Northamptonshire Grouped Schools and we advised Atkins on the fall-out from the termination of the Cornwall Schools PFI project, the only schools PFI project to be terminated to date. Team members have advised sponsors on several BSF projects and have advised several sponsors and their lenders on the implications of community schools with PFI schemes converting to academies.
We have been involved in a number of HRA and non-HRA schemes in the notoriously complex Housing PFI sector. We work closely with our regeneration team on these projects and understand how to structure arrangements around shared infrastructure, mixed tenure and residual value. Our most recent success in this sector is completing the £150m Myatts Field HRA Scheme in Lambeth, where we had a dual role mandate acting for developer and building contractor. We are advising a number of investors on student accommodation developments.
Our partners have advised on some of the largest transport projects undertaken in the UK, including the M25 PFI project and the failed London Underground PPP. We are also active in the growing waste PFI/PPP sector and recently advised Masias SA as principal sub-contractor on the Essex Waste PFI scheme.
Working with colleagues across the firm, the team acted for the developer of a new on-shore wind farm in Scotland which is the first development in a planned pipeline of such developments across south-east Scotland. We advised the client on the construction, maintenance, supply and financing agreements for the project.