CPS denies claims of undermining inquiry

Nabarro Nathanson, Denton Hall, Linklaters & Paines and Clifford Chance celebrated the ground-breaking first-ever successful private finance initiative (PFI) financing of an NHS hospital last week.

The firms advised parties to the raising of £143m needed to build a 400-bed acute hospital for Dartford and Gravesham Trust.

The deal was signed last week at Nabarros' London office following Labour's re-prioritising and restructuring of health schemes in a bid to break the deadlock over hospital PFI projects. Dartford and Gravesham was one of the 14 schemes prioritised last month.

Nabarros has been advising the trust since it first decided to build a hospital under PFI in mid-1995. Its team, led by partner Robert Tudway, at one time amounted to 15 lawyers. Nabarros health specialist assistant Catherine Workman also acted as project manager on the scheme.

A Denton Hall team, led by banking partners Neil Cuthbert and Anthony Bonsor, is advising the THC consortium comprising Tarmac and United Medical Enterprises, which won the contract to build and service the hospital.

A Linklaters team, led by projects partner Bruce White, acted for Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, Rabobank and United Bank of Kuwait which arranged a £108m loan to THC.

White said that the deal “will set an industry-wide precedent, paving the way for others to follow”.

Clifford Chance advised BZW Private Equity and Innisfree on investing £13m equity in THC.