NewSchools

McGrigor Donald took on the role of dual adviser in this PFI deal, acting for both the consortium and the bank. This is an approach preferred by the NewSchools consortium for deals of this size, and one which is becoming increasingly common. It suits PFI transactions when only one bank is involved and if that bank does not want to syndicate post financial close.`Rather than use Chinese walls, McGrigor Donald advised both parties according to agreed principles between the bank and the consortium. Doubling up inevitably reduces due diligence costs, but also enables close communications between all parties, helping them keep to a tight timetable. The McGrigors team was led by projects partner Drysdale Graham, who advised NewSchools, and banking partner Michael Watson, who advised the Royal Bank of Scotland. `McGrigor Donald has now closed two of the four PFI deals which NewSchools has signed and is working on others that are in the pipeline.