Energy, Utilities & Waste
Our Renewables, Energy & Resources Group has an extensive pedigree of acting in the sector. Our lawyers have been experts in the sector for years, and have not simply ‘reinvented’ themselves as sector specialists in order to jump on the bandwagon. Many of our Group have in-house experience within the energy industry, and this in-depth knowledge and experience means we have the technical and commercial skills necessary to deal with complex, innovative and practical legal and commercial issues.
The Group advises clients on all aspects of projects, from site selection and acquisition, through to construction and operation, with connection and energy purchase agreements also covered. In addition, we help our clients with a wide range of non-project related activities, such as regulated industry code matters, energy supply, acquisitions and disposals. We have an enviable client base in the sector, and regularly advise utility companies, gas and electricity transmission and distribution companies, power generators and suppliers, LNG terminal operators and shippers, energy from waste developers, water companies, project companies, commercial banks, local authorities and government agencies. This means our clients benefit from the broad perspective that the Group bring to their projects.
The Group also includes a range of specialists with experience in both energy and accommodation (including housing) projects, who provide advice on the legal options, delivery and funding structures available to achieve energy efficiency in residential and commercial buildings. We advise on asset and estate rationalisation, asset management, energy performance contracting and Green Deal.
Project managing complex transactions
Walker Morris advised Arla Foods on its proposed new dairy at Aylesbury. This included advising on the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the dedicated energy management centre (which includes CHP and dedicated effluent and waste water treatment plant, including anaerobic digestion), as well as negotiating with the utility providers on the gas, electricity and water connections required for the dairy. Completed in 12 months, and working closely with the client’s in-house lawyer, project manager and consultants, the Group showed real drive and commitment delivering the complex project on time.
Supporting you as a trusted adviser
The Renewables, Energy & Resources Group has been an adviser to Drax Power for many years and recently worked with Drax on the development of a third party aggregate production facility at the Drax site. The Lytag plant uses waste products from the power generation process to make building materials. As trusted adviser to Drax, we advised Drax on the property and commercial aspects of the project, ensuring that Drax’s interests were protected and that the amount of risk assumed by Drax was minimised.
Walker Morris advised National Grid on the negotiations with LNG importers for the commissioning of Phase 3 of the National Grid Grain LNG importation terminal in Kent. In addition to the negotiations to secure the delivery of the required commissioning cargoes by the new customers to the terminal, our lawyers helped National Grid with arrangements with existing customers to ensure that gas flows from the terminal during the commissioning period were allocated appropriately and fairly between the existing customers and the new customers, taking account of the increased flows that resulted from the commissioning process.
This work involved our lawyers working closely with the Grain LNG commercial team and the in-house lawyers to ensure that the final arrangement met National Grid’s needs within a tight commissioning schedule while at the same time being acceptable to both new and existing customers of the terminal.
The Group is advising FCC Environment (formerly WRG) on all aspects of a number of wind farm projects, helping the business continue its growth into this new area. The work has required the Walker Morris team to work closely together and with the FCC Environment team to deliver these high value assets. The advice we have provided includes advice on property matters, the construction and operation and maintenance of the turbines, and the connection of the wind farm to the electricity grid.
"Through the secondment of senior lawyers Walker Morris have invested in Drax, working in our project teams and really understanding what we are trying to achieve. Their commercial input has been an invaluable addition to our team."