A&O wins double first with PFI deal

Allen & Overy has secured a double first from the Treasury – the first private finance initiative (PFI) to use the firm's online dealroom and the standardised PFI documentation.

The A&O team, led by partner Anne Baldock, advised monoline insurer Ambac Assurance UK and underwriters Warburg Dillon Read on the provision of a £127.8m index-linked guaranteed secured project bond and a mezzanine facility for the Treasury Building, or Government Offices, PFI project.

The transaction was the first to be completed entirely online, using the firm's 'newchange dealroom' service. Launched in January, the facility can be set up on request in relation to any matter via password-protected access.

It also marked the debut use of PFI Standard documentation, for which partner David Lee was the main author as part of the Treasury Taskforce.

The papers were drafted and designed to remove the need for negotiation of standard provisions and accelerate the completion of PFI projects.

The project, on which the financial element took four months to close, includes the renovation and facilities management of the office block which is to house the majority of Treasury staff for an estimated 37 years.

Baldock, head of A&O's PFI team, says: “The approach taken towards the financing of this deal and the newchange dealroom method of working assisted this transaction to meet the Government timetable.”