Clifford Chance heads global PPP league

The PPP market may not be as lucrative as global infrastructure project financings, but it remains vitally important for law firms looking to run successful project finance practices.

There were 128 PPP deals completed worldwide in the first half of 2006, with a total deal value of $59.7bn (£32.39bn), according to figures provided by the Infrastructure Journal (IJ) website.

The figures were influenced by an overactive transport market, with five of the top 10 PPP deals for the period taking place in that sector. Four of those were in North America, most notably the $4.6bn (£2.5bn) Indiana toll road, which saw both White & Case and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe move up the league table.

The top UK deal, and second overall, was the $2.9bn (£1.57bn) Ministry of Defence’s Allenby Connaught accommodation project, which saw roles for Clifford ChanceCMS Cameron McKenna and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

IJ features editor Simon Ellis said the transport market was expected to cool in the second half of the year, with more activity in the UK’s education sector.

“We had the first Building Schools for the Future [BSF] deal close on 30 June in Bristol, with Allen & Overy [A&O] acting for the sponsor, Bevan Brittan acting for the public sector and Ashurst acting for the banks. Expect to see plenty more of these deals in the second half of the year,” said Ellis.

The £30bn BSF programme aims to modernise all secondary schools in the UK, heralding a boon for many practices.

While Scottish firms such as Dundas & Wilson and McGrigors have the work sown up north of the border, national and regional firms such as Addleshaw Goddard, Bevan Brittan, Eversheds, Nabarro Nathanson and Pinsent Masons will all be looking to capitalise on BSF. They face serious competition from magic circle firms looking to take a slice of the guaranteed cake though, with A&O not above dipping down into the midmarket for volume.

Top PPP legal advisers
Rank Firm Value ($bn) Value (£bn) No of Market
deals share (%)
1 Clifford Chance 6.44 3.49 6 10.78
2 White & Case 5.56 3.01 4 9.3
3 Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe 2.85 2 8.79
4 Allen & Overy 4.69 2.55 11 7.86
5 Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 2.37 4 7.32
6 CMS Cameron McKenna 3.28 1.78 3 5.49
7 Ashurst 3.18 1.73 6 5.32
8 Pinsent Masons 2.99 1.62 7 5
9 Dundas & Wilson 2.51 1.36 12 4.2
10 Herbert Smith 2.46 1.34 3 4.12