Infrastructure/Energy Team of the Year 2009

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24 June 2009

At this year's The Lawyer Awards we won the award for Infrastructure/ Energy Team of the Year. This was a new category so we are the first firm to have been awarded this accolade, highlighting pre-eminence in the sector.

Eight firms had been short listed: Burges Salmon, Linklaters (3rd placed), Herbert Smith, Clifford Chance, Pinsent Masons, Shearman & Sterling, Addleshaw Goddard and Sullivan & Cromwell (2nd placed).

In presenting the award, the judges praised Burges Salmon for its innovative and holistic approach to the needs of its energy clients. They observed that it was proof that big is not always best.

Our submission was based on the biomass project completed last year for Helius Energy Plc when we supported Helius in the sale of the development and operation rights to a 65MW biomass plant in Stallingborough, NE Lincs. This is one of the UK's largest biomass plants to date with a build out cost estimated at £200million.

The importance of biomass energy developments to the UK cannot be under-estimated. Without plants such as the Stallingborough project the UK has little or no chance of reaching its renewable energy targets. 

Biomass projects are very challenging, having to marry together often complicated fuel supply issues with sustainability criteria and a web of project documents. This project will be seen by many as a breakthrough project for Helius and UK renewables.

We are described by Chambers Guide to the UK Legal Profession as having a "dominant position in the renewables and nuclear energy fields" and being "the only real alternative to the City in this sector".

The project was just one within our broad infrastructure and energy practice; in the past 12 months we have supported clients in a number of others, including: 

  • acting on one of the UK 's largest onshore wind projects, the 66MW Fullabrook wind farm
  • continuing to advise Prenergy Power on its 350MW biomass power plant at Port Talbot
  • advising International Power on acquiring a portfolio of UK wind farm development projects
  • advising the UK's Nuclear Decommissioning Authority on the successful conclusion to the £387million online auction sale of the first tranche of UK nuclear build sites - Bradwell, Oldbury and Wylfa 
  • advising Costain Limited on being awarded a £397 million Greater Manchester waste project

As further testament to our excellent client service we had also been nominated for Private Client Team of the Year. Although not winning this time, our presence on the shortlist was commended and our work in this area recognised and applauded.

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