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Nuclear windfall: Slaughters gifted with £12m fees for Hinkley Point C

Slaughter and May earned £12m in fees for its government work on the controversial £18bn Hinkley Point C project, it has emerged.

According to figures released by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Slaughters advised the department of energy and climate change between 2011 and 2016, alongside KPMG, financial advisory and asset management firm Lazards and Fisher strategic planning and technical advice from Leigh Fisher.

Slaughters raked in a total of £12,038,989 – a figure that dwarfs the individual amounts paid to other advisers. KPMG picked up just £4,363,767 in comparison while Lazards received £2,583,131 and Leigh Fisher got £1,247,630.

The substantial mandate saw a raft of firms advise, including Clifford Chance (CC), Allen & Overy (A&O), Ashurst, Eversheds, Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) and Pinsent Masons.

HSF carried out the bulk of work on the deal, acting for EDF Energy since the beginning of the project with a team led by Julia Pyke advising the French energy company and Hinckley project company NNB.

CC was also brought in to advise EDF on the corporate aspects of the deal, with a team led by John Wilkins. Meanwhile, Eversheds advised a consortium of Chinese banks, led by China Development Bank Corporation, on financial features of the deal as well as separately acting on the planning, contractual and maritime aspects.

Over the last three years Ashurst has advised China General Nuclear Power Corporation’s (CGN) investment into the power station, the establishment of a broader UK partnership for the development of new nuclear power stations at Sizewell in Suffolk and Bradwell in Essex and a key joint venture designed to bring Chinese nuclear technology to the UK for future projects.

The go-ahead for the Hinkley C nuclear power station was finally given in September by the Government after months of indecision.

EDF is funding two-thirds of the project, which will create more than 25,000 jobs, with China investing the remaining £6bn.

The Chinese agreed to take a stake in Hinkley, which will meet 7% of Britain’s electricity needs, and to develop a new nuclear power station at Sizewell in Suffolk on the understanding that the Government would approve a Chinese-led and designed project at Bradwell in Essex.