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Herbert Smith has been appointed by the Treasury to advise on the establishment of Partnerships UK - the Government's so-called PFI bank - which will fund and develop public finance initiative (PFI) projects. Herbert Smith was selected from a shortlist of four firms, which finance and banking partner Nicholas Tott says included "the usual suspects".
Tott says "We will be looking at the legal structure of how it will operate on a day-to-day basis - corporate governance, that sort of thing." This includes the relationship between the bank and the Treasury, regulatory issues and how the bank fits into the process of funding projects.
The firm's core team comprises PFI specialist Tott, senior partner Edward Walker-Arnott, corporate partner Michael Walter and competition partner Elizabeth McKnight.
"In something like this, which is a start-up, the issues will develop as the concept develops and we will draw in appropriate resources as issues arise," says Tott.
"The timetable is to get it in place as soon as possible next year. We are advising the Treasury on the establishment [of the bank] and there is a separate issue about who advises on it going forward."