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Paul Smith

Head of the CMS Energy, Projects and Construction 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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"He's very calm and collegial."

Chambers, 2024

"Paul is pragmatic in his advice, he's quick to analyse and understand the issues and is never fazed by complexity."

Chambers, 2023

"[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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Memberships & Roles

  • 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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  • 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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