The Crown Estate said that the move ‘consolidated legal advice across an extremely diverse portfolio’, cutting the body’s previous specialist panel from five to two advisers after a competitive tender process. The appointments will be considered as trophy roles for both firms, in particular underlining their credentials in the renewable energy sector, which remains a coveted area for advisers despite protracted challenges in Europe’s sustainable energy sector.
Norton Rose Fulbright, which was one of only two firms appointed to the Crown Estate’s first energy panel in 2008, will advise on its activities in offshore wind, carbon capture, wave energy, natural gas storage and emerging technologies such as biomass. Bond Dickinson will advise on the estate’s marine aggregates business and its interest in transmission and pipelines, with chairman Nick Page acting as relationship partner to the client.
Bond Pearce was also on the energy panel prior its merger with Dickinson Dees in May this year, and also previously provided advice on other matters across the body’s marine, urban, rural and Windsor estates.
Crown Estate legal director Vivienne King said: ‘The energy and infrastructure portfolio is one of the most diverse and exciting parts of our business making for an extremely competitive tender process. Having worked with both Norton Rose Fulbright and Bond Dickinson before, we know that they share our values understand our ambitions for the portfolio which is at the forefront of the offshore low carbon industry.’
Norton Rose and US law firm Hunton & Williams were the only two firms to take a place on the Crown Estate’s initial energy panel in 2008, offering advice on the development of the UK’s offshore wind capacity.
The panel was later expanded to include the legacy Bond Pearce, as well as Burges Salmon and Scots practice Anderson Strathern.
The Crown Estate, which is responsible to the UK Treasury, manages a property portfolio valued at £8.6bn. The body is responsible for the management of almost the entire UK seabed and around 50% of the UK foreshore as well as holding rights to all natural resources on the UK continental shelf, excluding fossil fuels. It also holds the rights to license the generation of renewable energy and gas storage in the same area.