28 September 2021

Independent UK law firm Burges Salmon is pleased to announce that is has been shortlisted in the ‘Outstanding Legal Adviser’ category at the inaugural Inspiratia Energy & Sustainability Awards 2021.

This year will mark the very first edition of the Inspiratia Energy & Sustainability Awards, which will celebrate the achievements of pioneering companies and individuals within the industry, globally

For the ‘Outstanding Legal Adviser’ category, the judges are looking for firms who can demonstrate experience of working across multiple sectors, asset classes, counterparties, geographies and regulatory frameworks, with good legal stewardship being crucial to the success of any venture.

Burges Salmon has been shortlisted for its work advising clients on the following three projects and deals:

1. Eden Geothermal

Eden Geothermal was set up by three partners: Eden Project, EGS Energy Ltd, and Bestec (UK) Ltd to unlock the geothermal energy deep in the granite beneath Cornwall by drilling a 4.5km deep well at the Eden Project.

Burges Salmon acted as legal advisors on the debt financing for this landmark project after Eden Geothermal secured funding of £9.9m from the European Regional Development Fund, alongside £1.4m from Cornwall Council and £5.5m from institutional investors Gravis Capital Management (GCP).

Our multi-disciplinary team has been involved in the project since 2009, alongside our long-standing client GCP.  We played a key role in structuring and negotiating bespoke arrangements with the government to unlock the public funding for this project, due diligence, land arrangements, project documentation and construction contracts.  Victoria Allsopp, a partner in our Energy Finance team is a specialist working in the energy and infrastructure sector and played a crucial role alongside her colleagues Ross Fairley, Energy partner making this a real team effort.

Gus Grand, Director of Eden Geothermal Limited, who has led Eden’s geothermal project for the last seven years, says: “It has been a long and involved project and the Burges Salmon team have been terrific to work with: always swift to come up with elegant solutions across a wide range of issues.”

2. Ripple Energy

With the launch of the UK’s first consumer-owned onshore wind farm project in June 2020, Ripple Energy is another mould-breaking business in our portfolio of work at the forefront of the renewable energy market.  Founded in 2017 by Sarah Merrick, Ripple is a new form of energy company, which is working to give individual households the power to combat climate change and to make living a low-carbon lifestyle easy through clean energy ownership.

With a unique proposition, Ripple develops and manages the construction of new onshore renewable energy projects whose ownership is then sold to consumers who take up membership in a managed co-operative.  Consumers then receive their electricity directly from the projects through supply partner Co-op Energy, powered by Octopus Energy.

Burges Salmon advised on the legal aspects of Ripple’s ground-breaking model, including forming the co-operative which consumers can invest in and negotiating and drafting its consumer contracts.  The team was led by partners Ross Fairley (Head of Renewable Energy) and Camilla Usher-Clark (Head of Corporate Energy), with support from senior associates Emma Andrews and Briony Barber.

Sarah Merrick comments: “The support we received from the Burges Salmon team was absolutely invaluable. They saw the potential in Ripple when we were not much more than an idea on the back of an envelope. We really couldn't have done it without their flexibility, creativity and experience.”

  • The firm is also delighted to see that Ripple Energy has been shortlisted for the ‘New Horizons & Innovation’ Award.  This category is open to innovative companies that are able to demonstrate new technologies, new business models or new ways of doing things amid a constantly shifting paradigm, along with successfully being ahead of the curve in a meaningful way.

3. Octopus Renewables

In April 2021, Burges Salmon’s Corporate Energy team, led by partner Camilla Usher-Clark, advised funds managed by Octopus Renewables on the acquisition of two operational UK biomass power plants with a combined capacity of 85.7MW in the east of England from a joint venture by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor (BWSC).

The CIP and BWSC joint venture completed construction of the £162m (€186m) Brigg plant and the £175m Snetterton plant in 2016 and 2017 respectively.  Octopus Renewables will now managed both sites, adding to the five biomass plants that it currently manages across the UK.

Peter Dias, Investment Director at Octopus Renewables, says: “We’re delighted to grow our portfolio of biomass power with these two plants – marking one of the largest deals of its kind in the UK.  As one of the UK’s leading specialist investors in energy generation, we view biomass as playing a crucial role in diversifying the UK’s energy mix and supporting the UK farming industry through the sourcing of feedstock fuels.  The acquisition marked a significant step for our fund that had Nest as a cornerstone investor. The fund benefits from a healthy pipeline that will help target strong and stable returns. We see institutions and pension funds as playing a vital role in hastening the energy transition and helping to unleash pent up capital to fight climate change.”

Burges Salmon’s Energy team

Burges Salmon’s team of 100+ Energy and Renewables lawyers are known for ground-breaking work in the energy, power and utilities sector.  Providing clients with innovative and creative solutions, the team works at the cutting edge of the sector.  The firm’s reputation in this sector is built upon first-of-a-kind projects and deals, and the team provides expert advice throughout the entire project/plant life cycle.

This shortlisting follows the firm being named ‘Energy & Infrastructure Team of the Year 2020’ at the Legal Week British Legal Awards in November last year.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony, taking place at the Sheraton Grand London in London on Thursday 28 October 2021.

Please see the Inspiratia Awards website  for full details.


Key contact

Camilla Usher-Clark

Camilla Usher-Clark Partner

  • Corporate
  • Energy and Utilities
  • Co-operatives

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