CMS, Freshfields and Pinsents land Aspire’s £8bn MoD PFI deal

CMS Cameron McKenna, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Pinsent Masons all landed roles on the biggest Private Finance Initiative (PFI) accommodation contract in the UK advising a Carillion-led consortium.

The £8bn Allenby/Connaught project was awarded to the consortium by the Ministry of Defence for the redevelopment of barracks at Aldershot and garrisons on Salisbury plain.

The transaction includes six major construction projects, new or refurbished accommodation for more than 11,000 personnel and long term service provision at four garrisons. The consortium, which trades as Aspire Defence, consists of Kellog Brown and Root (KBR) and HSBC in addition to Carillion.

Camerons, led by projects partner Frank Dufficy, advised Aspire Defence, the special purpose vehicle set up to deliver the project. Pinsents, led by partner Mark Sanderson, was instructed by Aspire Defence Services and Aspire Defence Construction Works.

The deal is both the largest accommodation PFI project for the MoD and the largest most complex accommodation PFI contract ever in the UK. The contract has a 35-year term.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, led by partner Nick Bliss, acted for the MoD.

The deal also included Clifford Chance who acted for the monoline insurers, Stephenson Harwood for EDF Energy and Thames Water Services on infrastructure services and Winward Fearon for St Pauls, New Hampshire and Zurich as surety providers.