Pinsents bags solo role on broadband project

Pinsent Masons has won the role to act as sole legal adviser on the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) £530m project to deliver super-fast broadband across the UK.

The firm, led by partner Simon Colvin, is advising Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), which was set up by the DCMS to deliver the Government’s strategy to bring super-fast broadband to the whole of the UK, including the so-called ’final third’ – rural areas that are uneconomical for commercial broadband providers to service.

Pinsent Masons was appointed at the beginning of May. The firm won the role through being on the legal panel of Catalist, part of Buying Solutions, which is in turn an executive agency of the Office of ­Government Commerce.

There are around 15 law firms on the panel, which are considered pre-qualified to tender. Of the 15 firms, three made it onto the shortlist and were interviewed in a more in-depth manner about their capacity.

Pinsent Masons will advise on all aspects of the project, offering expertise on commercial, state aid, telecoms, procurement and local government law for up to four years.BDUK is now in the process of starting the procurement process, with Pinsent Masons helping BDUK draft project documents.

The project, which involves the allocation of state aid, will face heavy EU regulation.