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We have worked on water projects around the world and bring our core experience of commercial and regulatory frameworks operating across regulated industries. We have advised on some of the largest and most complex transactions within the utilities sector.

We regularly advise water utilities, investors, sponsors, sub-contractors and lenders on the range of issues that arise in the water industry. This ranges from procurement to public works programmes, private sector finance, and ongoing operational advice to mergers and acquisitions.

The water sector is heavily regulated and faces many challenges. Its distribution is unevenly spread and infrastructure improvements require considerable capital outlay. As such you require lawyers that truly understand the nuances of the sector.

Our recent experience related to water includes advising:

  • Scottish Water on its capital investment programmes for the current regulatory period, on its portfolio of 9 wastewater treatment and sludge treatment PFI projects throughout Scotland and on disputes.
  • Scottish Water on its acquisition of the Project Grampian PFI from the Kelda Group, the owners of Yorkshire Water. The four Project Grampian companies acquired by Scottish Water own and operate various wastewater treatment works, associated pumping stations and renewable power generating assets. 
  • The Government of Ras Al Khaimah on the procurement and development of the Emirate-wide wastewater system.
  • A purchaser on a simultaneous acquisition, group restructuring and refinancing of a portfolio of hydro projects in Scotland.
  • International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Municipality of Bucharest on the privatisation of RGAB, the supplier of water and sewage services for Bucharest, including establishing the joint venture to manage the concession for all water and sanitation services in Bucharest.
  • SSE Water on the sale of SSE Water to Leep Utilities, a JV between Ancala Partners and Peel Group. 
  • Northumbrian Water on their £100 million US private placement issue. Our specialist water team with our debt capital markets team meant that we were able to provide the full range of finance and regulatory advice required to ensure the success of this transaction and all the follow-on work required once the bond issue completed.
  • AMP Capital on the disposal of its entire stake in Thames Water to Borealis Infrastructure. Our role included advice on the provisions of the Thames Water shareholders agreement, including, in particular, the pre-emption provisions, as well as drafting the transaction documentation and negotiating it with Borealis and its advisers.
  • Severn Trent on the issues raised by the Cave Review and on mechanisms for easier access to water networks with a revised form of Network Access Code. We also advised on extending competition, regulatory issues and on the treatment of new sources.
  • Thames Tideway on the acquisition and funding of the Infrastructure Provider, the entity that will be the regulated utility responsible for delivering the £4.2bn Thames Tideway Tunnel and its ongoing operation. This project involved a new and unique way of funding major infrastructure projects, resulting from a change in the regulatory framework.
  • Dalmore and GLIL on their acquisition of a 15% stake in Anglian Water Group plc from 3i.
  • Northern Ireland Water on its clean water PPP programme.
  • Northern Ireland Water on its acquisition of the Project Alpha Public Private Partnership (PPP) from Kelda Group, the owners of Yorkshire Water.

To find out more about other related services you can visit the Energy & Climate Change expertise section

"CMS are responsive, knowledgeable (about the law, the market and their client), and efficient in delivery."

Legal 500, 2021

“They do not waste time on unnecessary activity, but focus on the client request and execute it."

Legal 500, 2021

"CMS always provide a very collaborative approach to commercial matters, ensuring areas of contention were resolved to our satisfaction."

Legal 500, 2022

"Commercial. High-quality advice given efficiently and on time. Rather than simply saying what the law says they explain what it means and will advise on strategy. This is rare for lawyers."

Legal 500, 2022
Ad­vising the Board


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De­liv­er­ing first-class ex­pert­ise to the wa­ter sec­tor
We have worked on wa­ter pro­jects around the world and bring our core ex­per­i­ence of com­mer­cial and reg­u­lat­ory frame­works op­er­at­ing across reg­u­lated in­dus­tries. We have ad­vised on some of the largest and...
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