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Paul Smith

Head of the CMS Energy, Projects and Construction Group and Co-head of Infrastructure & Projects Group.

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
Cannon Place
78 Cannon Street
United Kingdom
Languages English

Paul Smith is Head of the CMS Energy, Projects and Construction (EPC) Group and Co-head of the firm’s Infrastructure & Projects Group. He leads an international team of over 200 lawyers.

He has extensive experience advising sponsors, funders and contractors in relation to infrastructure projects that are typically funded on a project finance basis (including those that adopt models such as PFI, PPP and NPD) in a variety of sectors and jurisdictions including defence, custodial, education, housing, health, roads and utility infrastructure. 

More recently, he has been advising in relation to projects where parties are in dispute or the projects are in distress. 

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"[Paul] Smith is credited with being “extremely down to earth and easy to do a deal with, so you can be confident that you’ll have a straightforward transaction.” "

Chambers, 2009

"[Paul Smith] is credited with being “an exceptional lawyer” "

Legal 500, 2015

Relevant experience

  • Funders and/or sponsors in relation to the Dumfries & Galloway, Papworth, Alder Hey, The Royal Liverpool, CHUM (Montreal), Walsgrave, North Staffs, Forth Valley and Pembury NHS PFI / NPD or Canadian P3 projects.
  • Sponsors in relation to health and custodial projects in the Czech Republic.
  • A sponsor in relation to the Thames Tideway project.
  • Aspire Defence in relation to the Allenby & Connaught MoD PFI project.
  • Sponsors in relation to the Building Schools for the Future projects in Bristol, Kent, South Tyneside, Derbyshire and Cambridgeshire.
  • Laing O’Rourke in relation to the Priority Schools Building Programme projects.
  • Carillion / Clinicenta in relation to the Independent Sector Treatment Centres in London and Hertfordshire.
  • Funders and/or contractors in relation to social housing projects in Leeds, Manchester and Barking.
  • Laing O’Rourke in relation to the award winning social housing projects in Barking.
  • Sponsors and/or funders in relation to DBFO road projects in the UK and Ireland.
  • FCC in relation to waste projects in the UK.
  • The Contingency Planning Team in relation to the preparation of the Monitor procured review of the Peterborough and Stamford Foundation Trust.
  • Sponsors in relation to custodial projects in West Yorkshire, Exeter and London.
  • Sponsors, funders and contractors on a variety of projects that are in the construction or operational phase, including variations, market testing, disputes, refinancings or secondary market disposals.  More recently, this has involved advising in relation to more material disputes; principally in the health sector.
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  • 2000 - LPC, College of Law
  • 1997 - LLB, John Moores University, Liverpool
  • 1995 – Associate of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
  • 1992 - BSc Quantity Surveying, Salford University, Salford
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  • Member, The Royal Institution of Quantity Surveyors
  • Member, The Law Society of England and Wales
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  • Paul has contributed a chapter on health PPPs in Europe included in a book on PPPs published in October 2006.
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21 March 2019
CMS PFI Dis­putes Con­fer­ence Bro­chure
Risk, Re­si­li­ence & Repu­ta­tion
In­fra­struc­ture Fin­ance Re­view
On 13 March 2019, HM Treas­ury and the In­fra­struc­ture and Pro­jects Au­thor­ity, pub­lished a con­sulta­tion to kick-start the “In­fra­struc­ture Fin­ance Re­view” (the “Con­sulta­tion”) to as­sess the fu­ture of in­fra­struc­ture fin­ance in the UK and the chal­lenges it faces.
January 2019
Our glob­al in­fra­struc­ture and en­ergy prac­tice
New re­port | Con­nec­ted Fu­ture: in­vest­ment op­por­tun­it­ies in the rad­ic­ally...
Tech­no­logy-driv­en trans­form­a­tions are not only dis­rupt­ing our every­day lives, but are also rad­ic­ally trans­form­ing the in­fra­struc­ture sec­tor. On the one hand, in­nov­a­tion is driv­ing an up­grade of ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­ture, such as di­git­al; on the oth­er hand, it.
Nov 2018
Con­nec­ted Fu­ture
Glob­al in­fra­struc­ture re­port
TCC Bars Ad­ju­dic­a­tion Pro­ceed­ings for Com­pan­ies in Li­quid­a­tion
A re­cent TCC de­cision has ruled that ad­ju­dic­a­tion pro­ceed­ings can­not be brought by com­pan­ies in li­quid­a­tion in re­la­tion to fin­an­cial claims un­der a con­struc­tion con­tract. The de­cision will have con­sid­er­able rami­fic­a­tions for the prac­tic­al man­age­ment of li­quid­a­tions.
New in­fra­struc­ture per­form­ance plan pub­lished
The In­fra­struc­ture and Pro­jects Au­thor­ity (IPA) made its New Year’s res­ol­u­tions early by pub­lish­ing the Trans­form­ing In­fra­struc­ture Per­form­ance plan (TIP) on 6 Decem­ber 2017. The TIP sets am­bi­tious ob­ject­ives to trans­form the way in­fra­struc­ture in the UK.
A Brexit bump in the road for in­fra­struc­ture
The 2017 CMS In­fra­struc­ture In­dex, titled ‘A New Dir­ec­tion’, shows that the UK has fallen from first to fourth in a glob­al rank­ing of at­tract­ive­ness as a des­tin­a­tion for in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment. The In­dex shows that Brexit and the gen­er­al elec­tion have cre­ated.
MIM’s the word
With a total cap­it­al value of over £1bn, the three schemes set to be pro­cured by the Welsh Gov­ern­ment through its Mu­tu­al In­vest­ment Mod­el are catch­ing the eye, es­pe­cially in the ab­sence of a pipeline of PF2 schemes.
In­fra­struc­ture Pledges in the 2017 Gen­er­al Elec­tion Mani­fes­tos
As cam­paign­ing for the 2017 Gen­er­al Elec­tion gath­ers pace, there was a flurry of mani­festo launches for the main polit­ic­al parties in Eng­land last week. We take a closer look at the in­fra­struc­ture pledges made in each mani­festo.
Pro­ject Phoenix: Is NHS PPP about to rise from the ashes?
Com­munity Health Part­ner­ships (CHP), a wholly owned De­part­ment of Health (DoH) com­pany, cur­rently provides pub­lic sec­tor in­vest­ment in the primary health­care and com­munity es­tate through the NHS Loc­al Im­prove­ment Fin­ance Trust (LIFT).
Au­tumn State­ment 2016: High­lights for the Pro­jects and In­fra­struc­ture...
In an oth­er­wise un­ex­cit­ing Au­tumn State­ment, there was some good news for the in­fra­struc­ture sec­tor. Chan­cel­lor Philip Ham­mond pri­or­it­ised high-value in­vest­ment in in­fra­struc­ture and in­nov­a­tion to raise Bri­tain’s pro­ductiv­ity.