Simmons & Simmons won the Ministry of Defence (MoD) work in a competitive tender against five other City firms in November 1998. This public-private partnership (PPP) is a high-profile transaction because it is the first time that the MoD has been the sponsor behind a Government project. This is the first time a country has tried to privatise a scientific research capability. Because the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (Dera) is a military agency, it had to be split into two separate companies, keeping the most highly-sensitive functions of the MoD within the Government. Under the PPP, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) will stay with the Government, while QinetiQ, which represents nearly 75 per cent of Dera, will become a separate entity. The Government intends to ultimately float QuinetiQ, should the conditions be judged favourably. Simmons advised the MoD on two PFI contracts in August last year. It also acted for the MoD in 1999 in relation to a new training facility for the RAF.