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Nicholson Graham & Jones is expanding its presence in targeting the growing PFI and public-private partnership (PPP) market with the hire of a projects partner from Rowe & Maw.
Christopher Causer takes up the new role as head of Nicholson Graham's PFI team within its construction and engineering department. Head of department David Race says the appointment will be followed by more hires and could lead to the creation of a separate department.
Causer joins after five years as a partner at Rowe & Maw. Before that he was at Lovells, where he helped set up the firm's PFI business, and he has also spent nine years in merchant banking. His hire comes in response to demand from existing clients at Nicholson Graham that are involved in PFI and PPP.
Race says: "We've grown so much during the past 5-10 years that we haven't done justice to PFI work in that period. We've been doing it, but not in a concerted way. We need someone like Christopher who can lead on PFI work and get us into that business in a full-time way."
Causer says: "The firm has a very highly-rated construction group with lots of clients in the industry. Many of them are involved in PFI and PPP work at the moment, and they've been asking why the firm is not doing more in the field."
Causer says he will build on the existing projects practice and is particularly keen to attract more public sector work.
He brings a number of connections from Rowe & Maw and Lovells and has already had two invitations to pitch for PPP-related work since arriving at the firm.
He also aims to boost international project finance work on the back of the firm's construction work in areas such as Africa and Saudi Arabia.
A spokesman for Rowe & Maw says: "Naturally, we're sorry to see Christopher go, but we have known about this for some time and we've done a fair bit of work beefing up our projects team with the hire of three new projects assistants."
The firm's banking and projects department will be joined by Eversheds banking partner Simon Pullen this summer (The Lawyer, 23 April).