Ministry of Defence

27 Jul 1999



Simmons & Simmons advised the Ministry of Defence (the "MoD") on a new simulator training facility for the Royal Air Force to be constructed and provided under the Private Finance Initiative. The firm was also recently appointed to advise the MoD on its largest PFI project to date, the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft project.

The Tornado simulator project fulfils a requirement from the RAF to train pilots in a safe and cost-effective manner using "state of the art" technology. Two new Tornado GR4 Synthetic Training Facilities will be built at RAF Marham in Norfolk and at RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, Scotland, and will provide the annual training expected to be required by the RAF. The training will be carried out using three full mission simulators and a ground school. The contract has been let to Thomson ACE Aircrew Training Limited, part of the Thomson-CSF Group.

The Simmons & Simmons team was led by partner Jeremy Sivyer (Commercial) assisted by Harry Brunt (Commercial) and partner James Bresslaw (Banking and Capital Markets). Natasha Hassall of MoD Legal Advisers provided employment law advice, and Jill Iles of Michelmores and Karen Hunt of McGrigor Donald advised the MoD on the property aspects.

Jeremy Sivyer commented:

"This project involved a small but highly cohesive team of lawyers. This enabled us to work particularly closely with the MoD team and to build up an excellent rapport, whilst optimising efficiency and effectiveness.

As the contractor's group are providing finance for the project but wish to retain the flexibility to syndicate the debt, the most challenging legal aspect was to accommodate this whilst still meeting the MoD's requirements.

We were very pleased to have been involved in what has been the fourth successful conclusion by us of a defence PFI project for the MoD during the past two years. This adds to our substantial expertise in the defence sector."

Suppliers to the contractor include Thomson Training & Simulation, Evans & Sutherland, British Aerospace, Marconi Avionics and Datel Defence Limited. The contractor was advised by Clifford Chance and Tods Murray.

ENDS Notes for editors:

1. Simmons & Simmons is worldclass law firm with offices in London, Paris, Brussels, Düsseldorf, Lisbon, Milan, Rome, Madrid, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Shanghai and New York with over 1,400 staff worldwide. For further information on Simmons & Simmons please visit our website at

2 Simmons & Simmons has been and continues to be involved in a number of other substantial and complex projects for both the public and private sectors under the PFI, including the £5.3 billion Channel Tunnel Rail Link project (the largest PPP transaction in the UK to date under this Government) and Project Prime (the provision of office accommodation to the DSS).

3. Simmons & Simmons has advised the Ministry of Defence for over twelve years in relation to a number of major projects including the Medium Support Aircrew Training Facility project (the first PFI contract issued by the Defence Procurement Agency) which recently won the Award in the Defence Section of the PFI Awards 1999; the Hawk Synthetic Training Facility project; the Attack Helicopter Training Service project; the privatisation of Devonport Royal Dockyard; and the contracturisation of the Atomic Weapons Establishment. To date the firm has advised the MoD on eleven PFI projects.

4. Simmons & Simmons was appointed at the end of last year to advise the MoD on legal issues associated with the development and implementation of Public/Private Partnership options for the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency. Simmons & Simmons' appointment is not only for the initial phase of developing recommendations to Ministers (in conjunction with PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Warburg Dillon Read, the MoD's financial advisers) but also for the implementation of the course of action chosen by Ministers and could involve a number of major transactions over a period of three years.