Head of the CMS Energy Group
Head of the CMS Energy Group
78 Cannon Street
Robert Lane is Head of the CMS Energy Group, and is Head of Power and of Regulated Industries (power, water, gas & clean energy). He has been advising in the sector for over 30 years.
The Power/Clean Energy Practice is the market leader in the sector, covering all aspects, from nuclear, wind, solar and thermal generation through to networks, covering transmission, interconnectors and distribution, and projects and transactions in the sector generally, and includes M&A and financings, and commercial and competition/regulatory issues, trading and disputes.
Robert advises on all aspects, and clients include generators, networks, interconnectors, other utilities, traders, infrastructure funds, governments, banks, regulators and others. Work includes generation projects, with a focus on all types including nuclear, conventional and renewables, the commercial and regulatory aspects of projects, including subsidy arrangements, construction and project agreements, and offtake agreements. On networks, he wrote the first 2 Grid Codes in the world, and has written and advised on many others, and devised and documented the structures for network operation which is now the common model throughout the world, and writes and advises on legislation and all industry contracts, including connection, trading codes, CfDs, capacity agreements, ancillary services and project agreements. He has a particular expertise in interconnectors, having advised on many over the last 30 years, beginning with IFA1 and currently working on the first project financed interconnectors. He also advises on all aspects of regulatory matters, including regulatory appeals and disputes. He regularly advises on energy M&A transactions, joint ventures and projects.
His practice spans both the UK and the rest of Europe, and the wider world, with recent overseas advice including advice in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Japan. He regularly writes for industry publications and contributes to industry textbooks, the most recent one due to be published in the autumn of 2019 in Japan for investors into the UK.
- Transmission and Distribution: all aspects of transmission and distribution issues, having originally been part of the core team restructuring the E&W electricity system in 1990, and the NI electricity system in 1992. Work included writing the Grid Codes in both places, the Connection Agreements (which in GB he subsequently converted to the CUSC), the trading arrangements (the Pool in GB and then the new trading arrangements – NETA and BETTA, and long term PPAs in NI) and the ancillary services arrangements. He continues to advise on network issues in GB and NI, with recent work including the separation of the SO and TO functions in GB, regulatory appeals to the CMA and EV Charging. He also advises on IDNOs. Overseas, work has included advice on networks and restructuring in many jurisdictions, with recent overseas work including Saudi Arabia and Japan, building on work in jurisdictions as diverse as Ireland, New Zealand, Italy, Russia, Mexico, Canada, India and South Africa.
- Interconnectors: interconnector advice began in 1988 on the treatment of IFA1 in the GB electricity restructuring, and has continued with recent projects including being the lead partner on Western Link, Eastern Link, IFA2 (England-France), NSL (England-Norway) and the Channel Islands electricity grid interconnectors, covering all aspects of the commercial, project and regulatory elements. He has also given wider advice on Nemo (England-Belgium) and Britned (England-Netherlands), and on the proposed FABLink interconnector (England-France), and on the possible interconnector from Iceland to the UK. He has also advised on the Moyle. In addition to HVDC links, he also advises in relation to AC links, on capacity allocation arrangements and interconnector trading generally.
- OFTOs: He advises on OFTOs, acting for bidders on the TR rounds, beginning with TR1, with advice on all aspects of the project including project agreements, maintenance, certification and connection arrangements. He is currently advising on a bidder on TR6.
- Nuclear power: advising on nuclear generation in GB including on Sizewell B arrangements in the early 1990s, on the creation of Horizon Power, acting for the shareholders on this nuclear new build projects at Wylfa Anglesey and Oldbury, on the bid for British Energy and overseas has advised on nuclear issues in Slovakia, where he wrote the decommissioning legislation, and Saudi Arabia. He is a board member of the Nuclear Industry Association in GB.
- Other generation including renewables: advising on a wide range of projects, both conventional and renewable, including Kilroot and Ballylumford in NI, peat generation in Ireland, waste to heat projects, wind and solar, and pumped storage. Work includes both the UK and overseas, including recently in Saudi Arabia on its renewables projects.
- Electricity Market Reforms: all aspects of electricity market reforms, restructurings and provatisations, starting with the England and Wales Restructuring in 1988-90, and the Northern Ireland Restructuring in 1990-93. He has worked on all elements of reform in GB and NI since then, including Electricity Market Reform, which introduced the Capacity Market and CfDs, and the TO/SO Split, and a number of market developments. Other restructurings throughout the world include Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa, Mexico, Russia, Canada, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Italy, the Balkans and Turkey. Work includes writing all industry documentation and also drafting legislation and licences.
- Commercial and project advice: advising on all aspects of commercial and regulatory arrangements on power projects, including power purchase/offtake agreements, tolling arrangements, capacity arrangements, connection agreements, use of system arrangements, Crown Estate leases and licences, fuel supply arrangements, including coal, gas and pellets, EPC and O&M arrangements, ancillary services arrangements, decommissioning proposals and station leases including environmental arrangements.
- CMA Appeals: successful on the first appeals to the CMA in relation to price controls, where Robert acted for a DNO in relation to appeals brought by British Gas and NPG on the ED1 price control. He is currently advising on RIIO2, and also advised on the CMP261 Codes appeal in relation to the CUSC.
- Supply: he advises on all aspects of Supply arrangements, including advising supply companies, on setting up supply businesses, and the commercial and regulatory arrangements, including licensing, supply terms, trading, metering, supply competition.
- REMIT and other regulation: he and the wider team regularly advise on REMIT and compliance with the requirements, and on enforcement action of both REMIT and wider licensing arrangements.
- IME Requirements: regularly advises on certification requirements under the Internal Market Directives, including on Article 9(9) certification. He advises on all aspects of European directives and regulations affecting the electricity industry.
- M&A: regularly advises in relation to M&A transactions in the industry, covering nuclear, conventional and renewable generation, OFTOs, networks and supply related businesses, with a recent example including the ENW distribution sale.
- Gas and Water, and other sectors: he regularly advises in the downstream gas sector, with clients including Cadent and Centrica in GB, and overseas work including work in Saudi Arabia. On Water, he advises on all aspects with clients including Thames Water and Severn Trent, and again work also overseas including in Saudi Arabia and Oman, where he is currently advising on the new legislation. Other areas of advice include airports regulation.
- 1982 - Solicitor of the Supreme Court
- 1979 – LLB (Hons) - University College London
- Past Chairman, The UK Government's Power Sector Advisory Group
- Executive Member, The Parliamentary Group for Energy Studies
- Board Member, The British Electricity Association
- Board Member, The Energy Industries Club
- Chairman, The Energy Committee of the City of London Solicitors Company
- Board Member of the Nuclear Industry Association
- Appointed CBE in 2001 for services to trade and business.