Masons has taken advantage of its recent appointment to Lancashire County Council’s panel by beating Eversheds to one of the largest waste management private finance initiative (PFI) projects to date.
The project is a collaborative effort between Lancashire and Blackburn, Darwen and Blackpool Borough Councils, so the firm may also have scored a trio of new clients in the process.
Together with Irwin Mitchell, Eversheds had been Lancashire’s key commercial adviser until the creation of the legal panel. The firm continues to advise on a number of waste management deals, but this is a sign that it has serious competition. Addleshaw Goddard was also appointed to the panel.
The project is one of the largest and most ambitious waste projects to date. It will involve the local authorities working in partnership with the private sector to deliver an effective and sustainable long-term waste management solution for their area. The project will involve the use of innovative waste treatment technologies, which will reduce significantly the proportion of the authorities’ waste going to landfill.
The slew of PFI/public-private partnership projects was one of the key reasons that Lancashire set up its commercial panel.
Addleshaws, Eversheds, Irwin Mitchell and Masons won a beauty parade ahead of Cobbets, Hammonds Nabarro Nathanson and Pinsents. This is one of the first major deals to be announced since the creation of the panel, but there are more education and waste management projects in the pipeline.
Ian Fisher, head of legal services at Lancashire County Council, said: “The scheme is an extremely complex one and one which will require expert external lawyers to work with the in-house team.”
Leeds-based partner Alison Corry is leading the Masons team. Corry worked in local government before joining Masons and now specialises in PPPs. She was assisted by property partner Steve Chalcraft and environmental and planning consultant Patricia Hawthorn.