Eversheds, Hogan Lovells, Links capture prison PFI instructions

Eversheds, Hogan Lovells and Linklaters have acted on the £415m ­Belmarsh West Prison PFI ahead of Government plans to cut the £4bn prisons budget.

The deal, which was signed last week, is the first to be awarded to an alliance of private and voluntary ­sectors. The Serco-led ­consortium, advised by Hogan Lovells, also ­included voluntary organisations Turning Point and Catch22.

Construction work on the Category B prison, which will house 900 inmates, will begin immediately and is due for completion in the first half of 2012.

The Hogan Lovells team was led by infrastructure co-head Adrian Walker and infrastructure and project finance partners Christopher Cross and Andrew Gallagher. They were ­assisted by associates Simon Barrett, Alistair Cowling, Cheryl Enayati, James Larmour and Caroline Perry.

Senior debt was provided by a consortium of banks, including Bank of Ireland, Barclays Corporate and RBS, advised by Linklaters PFI/PPP head Bruce White.
Eversheds projects chief led the team advising the Ministry of Justice.

Walker said: “The Serco relationship is very important to us and we’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to contribute to their customers’ success over a particularly strong range of projects.”

Cross added: “This is the first prison contract in the UK to be awarded to an alliance of the private and voluntary sectors. This is also the first prison deal to close on the Government’s new standard terms and it took real teamwork from all participants to bring the various deal- and sector-specific issues to a successful conclusion.”