Specialisation pays off for planning and environment head Trinick as companies flock for advice
Bond Pearce is taking a leading role in the Government's plans to develop offshore wind farms. Head of the South West firm's planning and environmental group Marcus Trinick has won appointments from the majority of companies that were granted leases to build hundreds of turbines on 13 sites around the UK. The leases were granted earlier this year by Crown Estates, the agency responsible for the sea bed around the UK. Trinick has so far won instructions from nine of the companies involved through a mixture of formal pitches and longstanding relationships. His clients for the scheme now include Scottish Power, Enron Wind Europe, NEG Micon, TXU Energi and Energikontor. Bond Pearce was also involved earlier on in the scheme, when the firm's property department advised Crown Estates on the leases. But Trinick said there was no conflict between this and his role for the energy companies. He explained: "Once the ink's dry on the pro forma lease, there's no conflict. That process has finished. We're now on to the development." The property work was led by Bond Pearce property partner David D'Arcy Hughes with associate Tim Bailey. The scheme is the UK's first major drive to develop offshore wind farms. The only existing farm is off the coast at Blythe, Northumberland. The licences granted by Crown Estates are just the first stage in the process. The companies now need to gain planning permission and must carry out an environmental impact study. Trinick said: "The main skill base for this kind of work is a knowledge of offshore planning, a knowledge of environmental law and a general knowledge of environmental impact assessment." Scientists are currently working on the environmental impact studies. "We advise on the legal framework of what the scientists do," commented Trinick. As one of the country's leading planning and environmental lawyers, Trinick has been involved in the wind energy sector for more than 10 years. Two years ago, he reported to the Department of Trade and Industry on what would be required for the development of offshore wind farms. Other firms with specialist capabilities in the sector include Hammond Suddards Edge and Norton Rose.