Simmons shrugs off MoD panel dismissal with role on £16bn project

Simmons & Simmons has managed to retain its leading role on one of the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) biggest-ever outsourcing deals, despite being booted off the panel last year.

The firm is advising the MoD on its new £16bn training programme, which has been outsourced to a joint venture consortium led by QinetiQ and Land Securities Trillium.

Herbert Smith has scooped the role as external counsel to both QinetiQ and Land Securities Trillium.

The firm advised QinetiQ on its controversial £1.1bn IPO in January last year.

The consortium will provide all non-military training to the armed services for 30 years after fending off a rival bid from a consortium led by BAE Systems and VT Group.

The scheme is known as the Defence Training Review and is one of the UK’s largest-ever PFI deals.

Paul Ryan, the Herbert Smith partner overseeing the deal, said: “It’s slightly different to any other deal, as we’re acting for both [QinetiQ and Land Securities].

“It’s a very important deal in all sorts of ways and is a major part of the MoD’s plans to make it an attractive career. It will take up a huge amount of time.”

David Nelligan is the Simmons partner advising the MoD, which began planning the training programme in November 2004.

The MoD excluded Simmons from its revamped panel in January 2006, which includes Denton Wilde Sapte, Pinsent Masons, Shepherd & Wedderburn and Wragge & Co.