Birmingham’s largest legal firm, Wragge & Co, worked with infrastructure firm AMEC to set up a billion-pound contract to manage the Sellafield nuclear plant.
The firm’s corporate group advised AMEC in the bid which won it the £1.3?billion-a-year management and operations (M&O) contract at the UK’s oldest nuclear energy site.
AMEC’s preferred bid was as part of the Nuclear Management Partners (NMP) consortium, along with URS Washington Division and Areva.
The NMP is now contracted to run areas like financing, resource deployment and improving performance at the site in Cumbria.
The agreement was signed for a five-year period, with options for further extension periods, subject to performance, up to a total of 17 years. All the assets involved are still owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.
Wragge’s London-based corporate partner Richard Haywood and associate Gareth Baker advised AMEC on the terms of the shareholders’ agreement between the consortium parties.
Partner Simon Taylor advised on public procurement and antitrust in relation to merger control issues. A cross-firm team including IP partner Michael Luckman, dispute resolution partner Clark Sargent, employment partner Patrick Brodie and banking & finance partner Julian Pallett also advised. They worked closely with Kevin Smith, the legal director of AMEC’s Power & Process division.
Mr Haywood said: “It was a real pleasure working with Kevin Smith, the AMEC team and the other consortium members and their advisers on this pivotal deal for the UK’s nuclear industry. AMEC and the consortium members will contribute world-class skills to the Sellafield site.”
The Sellafield nuclear facility, owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, is based in Cumbria. It contains the Thorp and Magnox reprocessing plants, the Sellafield MOX plant, Calder Hall power station and waste management facilities. The contract will also cover Windscale, the Capenhurst nuclear facility and an engineering design centre near Warrington.
AMEC is the largest UK nuclear management firm, has annual revenues of £2.3?billion, and employs more than 23,000 people in more than 30 countries globally.
Hammonds advised URS Washington Division and NMP during the bid. The Paris office of US firm Davis Polk & Wardwell advised Areva.
Wragge’s 70-strong corporate team has scooped several high-profile jobs in recent months, despite the freeze in the corporate market.
Meanwhile, the firm’s pensions team has been appointed to advise the trustees of the £120?million Fujitsu Comparable Pension Scheme.
The scheme is Fujitsu Services’ primary pension vehicle for employees joining under the set of European rules known as the TUPE regulations.
Pensions partner Jason Coates led the team, assisted by Wragge’s public sector pensions specialists, director Paul Carberry and associate Jenny Naylor. The team will work with Fujitsu Services’ in-house pensions team to advise the trustees.
Mr Coates said: “The appointment to such a well-known and respected name as Fujitsu highlights Wragge & Co’s stand-out reputation in the pensions sector.”
Fujitsu Services’ pensions manager Paula Evans said: “Wragge & Co’s depth of resource in the public sector outsourcing arena was key to our decision.”