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Construction and Infrastructure: Major Infrastructure: Projects and Public-Private Partnerships

Our firm practices across the spectrum of infrastructure project development, bringing together lawyers in interdisciplinary teams with the requisite commercial experience, market knowledge, technical and regulatory experience, and project management skills to counsel and guide clients through formulation, siting, permitting, procurement, financing, construction and ultimately successful delivery of complex projects.

We advise clients in many sectors including energy, water, wastewater, transportation, sports entertainment, telecommunications, health, accommodation, social housing, emergency services, custodial, education, and waste management all over the world. Our teams in the United States, Europe, and Australia collaborate in helping clients structure and implement innovative project delivery and infrastructure management arrangements, including public-private partnerships (PPP) and privatization transactions. Our experience with advising all types of market participants enables us to anticipate issues that may arise during a project’s conceptualization through ultimate delivery, and assist in finding and implementing creative and constructive solutions.

We have successfully represented the sponsors or promoters of PPP projects as well as lenders, investors, vendors, landowners, general contractors, operators, and equipment suppliers. Our lawyers advise on all phases of the project—from the initial concept, structuring, and development through bidding, financing, construction, and beyond. 

In handling complex project transactions, we draw on the knowledge and skills of our lawyers in related practice areas. This multidisciplinary, firmwide approach gives our clients seamless access to focused advice so that they can make the best decisions for their projects and execute those decisions in the most efficient and effective manner.

Our capabilities include:

PPP Project Structuring and Transaction Advisors

Our lawyers are highly experienced in private finance initiative (PFI) and similar project structures around the world. For example, our UK lawyers have advised on PPP/PFI projects since the inception of the UK Private Finance Initiative in 1992. They are well versed in EU procurement directives and rules, and familiar with the needs and objectives of governments, sponsors, equity investors, lending institutions, construction companies, operating companies, equipment suppliers, and other stakeholders.

In recent years, our lawyers have helped municipal and private sector clients in the United States to form and manage some of the largest and most complex public/private joint ventures, including the development of major cultural and sport facilities, large-scale urban redevelopment programs, and transportation infrastructure projects. These projects require a multidisciplinary approach to legal issues across a range of legal practices within our firm and a sensitivity to the cultural differences between public and private decision-making.

We have extensive experience in structuring, documenting, and implementing numerous public-private transactions, including negotiating exclusive rights agreements, participation agreements, development agreements, long-term design/build/operating and maintenance agreements, concession transactions, disposition and development agreements, operating agreements, reimbursement agreements, restrictive covenants, and conditions of approval with municipalities and redevelopment agencies.

As a result of our significant experience advising government, sponsors, financiers, and sub-contractors, we have become trusted advisors across a wide range of PPPs around the world. Our areas of work include:

  • Transport (encompassing road, rail, light rail, ports, and airports)
  • Education (schools and universities)
  • Health and hospitals
  • Water and waste
  • Justice (courts and prisons)
  • Accommodation (social housing, defense accommodation, sporting and entertainment stadiums, conference venues)

Our team prides itself on its through-life support of these projects from consortium formation and procurement, to project implementation issues during construction and operation.

Finance for PPP Projects

To facilitate the financing of PPPs, our lawyers have experience in structured finance methods including traditional project finance, Islamic finance, securitizations, project and municipal bonds, restructurings, funds, tax increment financing (TIF), and taxable and tax-advantaged debt.

In the United States, we pioneered the use of 63-20 financings, an innovative financing vehicle well suited to financing the public portion of projects that also include separate private components. These financings have been successfully used to provide tax-exempt financings utilizing a nonprofit corporation for projects that are used by, and ultimately will be owned by, a public entity. In this way, public entities are able to achieve their public purposes without incurring debt and with greater flexibility to negotiate contracts.

Privatization

We have successfully represented both government entities and private parties in various privatization transactions—the transfer of functions or assets from a public owner or operator to a private sector operator. In working on these matters, our lawyers collaborate with professionals in our employment and labor, government contracts, finance, and environmental regulatory practices. We have performed privatization work in the United States, Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia Pacific, often working closely with local lawyers in these jurisdictions. 

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