Burges Salmon has been chosen as the sole external adviser to handle legal work generated by the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority's (LFEPA) corporate property project.
According to a Burges Salmon spokesman, the project will be one of the largest property-related public-private partnerships in London. The work will be carried out by Burges Salmon's dedicated PFI team. The team consists of six partners and a further eight lawyers. Partners Marcus Harling and David Gidney will be leading the team on this project. Harling says that the team won the work in a competitive tendering process against four City firms and one regional firm. "However," he added, "the LFEPA won't reveal to us who they were." The project will cover 115 fire stations and 15 other properties across the whole of London. It will mainly involve giving private property developers the right to build residential accommodation above existing fire stations. Harling is confident the project will be a success. He said: "Most fire stations are two storeys high, which creates great potential for building flats above them. Developers will be invited to create residential properties above the stations and will then be responsible for maintaining and refurbishing the stations. "The project is likely to create surplus funds, which will be ploughed back into the existing properties." Burges Salmon has worked for the LFEPA before, advising on a PFI project to procure, manage and maintain its fleet of fire appliances and 20,000 items of operational equipment. This was the main reason that the firm won the tender. "We worked closely with Burges Salmon on this project and are happy to be doing so again," said Terry Brewer, head of procurement at the LFEPA. The PFI team's most notable work includes advising the MoD on a £2.5bn atomic weapons contract and an £80m outsourcing of fixed telecoms work to BT.