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Water & wastewater

Whether you're involved in desalination, wastewater or other water treatment project, you will need lawyers who understand the institutional reform, environmental and regulatory environment in which your project operates.

Pinsent Masons is one of the leading specialist water law firms and has particular experience in advising on the procurement of water infrastructure. We are unique amongst law firms in having had an industry-facing Water group for the last 20 years, now featuring more than 30 partners and other lawyers from across the firm. 

We act for the full spectrum of project participants from governments and public authorities, bidding consortia, special project vehicles and funders to construction and operation subcontractors.

Our experience in the water sector includes:

  • water and wastewater project structuring and finance
  • contracts including concessions, joint ventures and call off procurement frameworks
  • institutional reform
  • regulatory work (including dealings with water regulators)
  • planning issues (including discharge consents)
  • environmental issues (including water quality regulations and contamination)
  • desalination projects and industrial water outsourcing

We have advised on over 100 projects worldwide, from wastewater projects in Scotland and traditionally procured water supply projects in New Zealand to desalination projects in the Middle East. 

A small selection of our experience includes:

  • advising Dumfries and Galloway Council on all planning aspects of the promotion of the Whitesands Flood Protection and Regeneration Scheme, a major infrastructure project and one of the larger flood schemes underway in Scotland
  • advising Balfour Beatty as delivery partner to successful bidder CH2M Hill on the Environment Agency’s £300m, 10-year contract for managing flood risk across the Thames estuary. This contract represents the first 10 years of a 100-year programme to protect London and the Thames estuary from tidal flooding through to 2100
  • advising United Utilities Water Limited (UU) in its defence of a substantial claim for damages by Manchester Ship Canal Company Limited (a subsidiary of Peel Holdings) which is alleging trespass caused by UU’s discharges of water and treated sewage into the Manchester Ship Canal (and Bridgewater Canal)
  • providing on-going advice to the consortium (Morgan Sindall, Vinci and Bachy) providing the works in relation to Thames Water’s £635m Lee Tunnel project, the first stage of the Thames Tideway Tunnel project and the deepest tunnel ever bored in London
  • advising a member of the EPC construction consortium on the Marafiq desalination project at Jubail, Saudi Arabia 
  • advising bidders on the New Cairo, Egypt and Muharraq, Bahrain Wastewater Projects – some of the first water PPPs in the region
  • advising a joint venture of Degremont and Besix on a 10-year DBO contract for the restructuring of a 220,000 cu-metre-a day sewage treatment plant being built for Dubai’s Palm Water under its utilities concession for Jumeirah Golf Estates
  • advising a UK utility group on the Engineering Procurement Construction contract (Package 1), in connection with design, build, and operation, of the Beijing No 10 water treatment plant - the fourth formal BOT project in China 

Case Studies