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Dealwatch: Herbert Smith Freehills leads on winning bid for £4.2bn Thames super-sewer project

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) have advised the consortium picked to deliver a £4.2bn super-sewer stretching 15 miles under London to prevent untreated sewage flowing into the Thames.

HSF fielded a nine-partner team, spearheaded by the firm’s EMEA head of infrastructure Patrick Mitchell, to advise the Bazalgette Consortium on its winning bid to become the infrastructure provider for the Thames Tideway Tunnel. With construction on one of the UK’s biggest infrastructure projects set to commence in 2016 and complete by 2023, HSF is set for years of legal fees from a project aimed at preventing 39 million tonnes of untreated sewage flowing into the Thames.

Named after the civil engineer who designed London’s Victorian sewer system, Sir Joseph Bazalgette, the consortium will own, finance and deliver the project. The group, selected yesterday as the preferred bidder, is made up of funds managed by Allianz Capital Partners, Amber Infrastructure, Dalmore Capital and DIF. Thames Water, which will operate the tunnel running beneath the Thames from Acton to Stratford, instructed Linklaters for its legal advice with a team led by Charlotte Morgan.

Other HSF partners advising the consortium included corporate specialist Gavin Williams, finance duo David Wyles and Jake Jackaman, regulatory specialist Tim Briggs, real estate lawyer Julian Pollock, construction partner Jillian Chung and planning solicitor Matthew White.

Mitchell, who counts London Underground and Transport for London as clients, said: ‘We are delighted to be advising the Bazalgette Consortium on its bid to become the infrastructure provider of the Thames Tideway Tunnel project. In addition to being a hugely significant and necessary project for London, the project structure has great potential to be utilised in the provision of other infrastructure.’

Partners Philip Vernon and Derwin Jenkinson led for Ashurst in advising the Department of Food and Rural Affairs on the bidding process, while water and sewage regulator Ofwat instructed a team led by Peter Hall at Norton Rose Fulbright for its legal advice.