Water & Waste

Our Practice

In emerging regions, population growth and historic under-investment in assets have increased the pressure to upgrade and improve water and waste management facilities. The successful introduction of Independent Water and Power Projects (IWPPs) has created new investment opportunities worldwide.

We have a leading reputation in the water industry, having advised on some of the most ambitious IWPPs worldwide. Our lawyers are able to advise on the legal aspects of engineering, design, procurement, maintenance and operating contracts in addition to advising on the project finance, construction and competition issues.


Taweelah A1 IWPP (Abu Dhabi)

  • the recently completed US$1.2bn Taweelah A1 IWPP involved the first privatisation of assets in the sector. The project is to be developed on a build-own-operate basis. We have advised on the financing (including the insurance arrangements) for the rehabilitation and upgrade of the existing Taweelah A1 power generation and desalination plant and on the engineering, design, procurement, maintenance and operating contracts.

Taweelah A2 Project (Abu Dhabi)

  • advising the Sumitomo Bank as financier in its bid in respect of the construction of the A2 Taweelah combined water and energy plant.

Shuweihat IWPP

  • Shuweihat 1 is the most ambitious IWPP (Independent Water and Power Project) in the Arabian Gulf, valued at US$1.6bn, with a first-phase capacity of approximately 1,500MW and water-production capacity of 100m gallons per day. We advised on all aspects of the project including the gas supply arrangements, power sales arrangements, the construction contract, project financing and the competition law issues.

Um Al Nar IWPP (Abu Dhabi)

  • Um Al Nar is a US$ 1.8bn IWPP.

Taweelah C RO Water Project (Abu Dhabi)

  • Taweelah C is an RO Water Project valued at approximately US$350m.

Project Sohar - Power Plant and Aluminium Smelter Project (Abu Dhabi)

  • advising in relation to the construction of the Sohar power plant and aluminium smelter valued at approximately US$1bn.

Black & Veatch - Arzew Power Desalination Project (Algeria)

  • advising Black & Veatch, sponsor of the first IWP desalination plant (the "Arzew Power Desalination" Project, a 300MW/40,000 cubic metres per day plant), on the project and financing documentation. The value of this project is US$330m. This groundbreaking project is the first under the newly liberalised electricity regime in Algeria and will, it is thought, serve as the template for a forthcoming 2,000MW project.

Southern Water

  • advising Vivendi Water UK plc on its acquisition of First Aqua (JVCo) Limited, the holding company of Southern Water, the provider of water and sewerage to 4.4 million inhabitants of Southern England, for £2.05bn.

Bristol Water plc

  • advising Vivendi Water UK plc on the divestment of its stake in Bristol Water Holdings plc to Ecofin Water & Power Opportunities plc, a split-capital investment trust for £23m.

Guangdong Investment Limited

  • advising on the acquisition of a controlling interest in the Dongshen Water Supply Project - the principal source of water for Hong Kong.

Other experience in this field includes:

Butler (1843)

  • advising in its successful settlement of a Chancery Division action for damages for contamination of controlled waters.

Country Landowners' Association

  • negotiating on its behalf on the Model Agreement with Water UK (the water companies' trade association) to govern the spreading of sewage sludge on land.

English Nature

  • advising on environmental issues relating to the AMP3 review of water charges.

General Utilities

  • ongoing regulatory advice to (the UK holding company for the UK Water interests of Vivendi). This is the largest group of water-only companies (formerly statutory water companies).

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

  • advising with respect to the legal duties of conservation relevant to Asset Management Plan 3 and the UK Government's periodic review of water company investment for the years 2000 - 2005.

SAUR Water Services

  • advising the Trustees of SAUR Water Services pension fund.

Thameswey Homes

  • advising and successfully defending throughout its prosecution by the Environment Agency for allegedly causing pollution to controlled water. Costs were awarded to our client out of Central Funds. A number of further water prosecutions are currently sub judice.

Three Valleys Water

  • acting in its judicial review action against Anglian Water Services in respect of entitlement to water from the Grafham Reservoir. Three Valleys was successful in its action.