Pinsent Masons advises the University of Sussex on two transformational projects

06 Jan 2014 | 12:00 pm | 1 min. read

International law firm Pinsent Masons has advised the University of Sussex on two 10-year transformational projects – a £43 million outsourcing of catering and conference services and a £150 million partnership to deliver facilities management services.

The first project, for the provision of catering and conference services on campus, resulted in the appointment of Chartwells (part of the Compass Group) to provide these services with effect from 1 September 2013.

The outsourcing sees the University and Chartwells working together to deliver improved food and dining for the whole of the campus community. The goal of the University in appointing Chartwells is "to bring about a significant improvement in services, tackle a chronic deficit and allow the services to make a step change and grow as student numbers increase at the University".

The Pinsent Masons team advising on the project was led by commercial partner Martin Priestley and senior associate Gayle Ditchburn, together with support from the procurement, property and employment teams.

The second project saw the creation of an innovative partnership vehicle with Interserve (Facilities Management) Ltd – Sussex Estates and Facilities LLP – to deliver a broad range of facilities management services to the University. Interserve will provide management and administration services to the partnership, which will take up full operational responsibility for facilities management services at the University from 1 January 2014.

The University’s aim in creating this partnership is "to bring about a significant improvement in services, create a single coherent contract in place of the current mix of in-house and external contracts; and bring in a high-quality, experienced partner to deliver best practice systems, processes and technology as the University grows".

The Pinsent Masons team advising on this project was again led by commercial partner Martin Priestley with support from members of the commercial, procurement, employment, property, corporate and banking teams.

On both projects Pinsent Masons led the drafting of the various project documents and worked closely the University’s commercial advisors and the University’s project team, which comprised of Registrar and Secretary, John Duffy, Director of Finance, Allan Spencer and Director of Human Resources, Jane Summerville.

Martin Priestley said, "We were delighted to assist the University of Sussex with these groundbreaking outsourcing projects. With our strong commercial expertise and as a leading advisor to universities, we were ideally placed to help guide and support the University of Sussex through these complex and significant deals to achieve their long term strategic goals for future growth and expansion". 

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