Pinsents wins PFI housing contract

Pinsent Curtis has beaten three leading projects firms to advise on the standardisation of housing PFI work.

Dibb Lupton Alsop, Trowers & Hamlins and Nabarro Nathanson were shortlisted for the work by the Treasury Taskforce. Each was invited to enter the competitive process at the beginning of this year.

Pinsent Curtis lead partner Alan Aisbett believes that the firm's joint experience in projects and housing swung the decision in its favour.

He says: “I have done both housing and PFI. Things like housing legislation and case law can take time to resolve if you do not have that capability. We have a fairly unique knowledge.”

Pinsents will advise eight local authorities from across the country which are developing “pathfinder” social housing PFI schemes.

The work will be handled in the firm's three offices in Birmingham, Leeds and London and will include housing finance, PFI and local government.

Partners Patrick Twist, Nicholas Dobson and Andrew Walsh will lead teams at individual offices.

The work comes at the same time as the UK's largest mental health services PFI deal is signed. Pinsent Curtis also worked on that deal, advising the Royal Bank of Scotland on its £47m loan to Bradford & Northern, which is building the facilities.

Trowers, Nabarros and Dibbs were unavailable for comment.