Simmons wins MoD role against all odds

Simmons & Simmons has managed to retain its leading role on one of the Ministry of Defence’s biggest ever outsourcing deals, despite being booted off the panel last year.

The firm is advising the MoD on its new £16bn training program, outsourced to a joint-venture consortium led by QinetiQ and Land Securities Trillium.

Herbert Smith has scooped the role as external counsel to both QinetiQ and Land Securities Trillium.

The firm advised QinetiQ on its £1.1bn IPO in January last year.

The consortium will provide all non-military training to the armed services for 30 years, and fended off a rival bid from the a consortium led by BAE Systems and VT Group.

The scheme is known as the Defence Training Review and is one of the UK’s biggest ever PFI deals.

Paul Ryan, the Herbert Smith partner overseeing the deal, said: “It’s slightly different to any other deal as we are acting for both [QinetiQ and Land Securities.]”

He added: “It is a very important deal in all sorts of ways and is a major part of the MoD’s plans to make it an attractive career. It will take up a huge amount of time.”

David Nelligan is the Simmons & Simmons partner advising the MoD, which began planning the training program in November 2004.

The MoD excluded Simmons from its revamped panel in January 2006 which includes Pinsent Masons, Shepherd & Wedderburn and Wragge & Co and Denton Wilde Sapte.