Herbies gets £10m for DTI advice

Herbert Smith has racked up almost £10m in fees after advising the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on the launch of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).

The firm pitched against a number of City rivals to scoop the two-year contract to advise the DTI on issues including the contractual framework needed to be put in place by the NDA, the new body responsible for the Government’s £48bn nuclear clean-up programme.

As first revealed by The Lawyer (8 September 2003), Slaughter and May, historically the Government’s principal adviser on nuclear issues, was not invited to pitch for the NDA mandate. Slaughters was already advising the Government on the high-profile British Energy restructuring and the DTI was concerned about over-dependence on a single firm.

This NDA mandate has proved ever more profitable than British Energy. Last November it was revealed that total fees for all advisers on the British Energy restructuring totalled £13.5m.

It is understood that Herbert Smith will support the body’s legal director and company secretary Fiona Hammond in her review of its legal function.

Herbert Smith declined to comment.