01 December 2017
International law firm Gowling WLG has won Energy and Infrastructure Team of the Year and Commercial Team of the Year at the prestigious British Legal Awards, following last night's ceremony in Finsbury Square, London.
Gowling WLG was also recognised for its corporate social responsibility work at the Legal Week awards on a night where private practice lawyers and senior corporate counsel were brought together to celebrate the achievements of the industry. The awards continue the firm's recent success, after it won Infrastructure Projects Team of the Year at The Lawyer Awards in June, with the Energy team also being Highly Commended, and winning in two categories at the Legal Business Awards.
Energy and Infrastructure Team of the Year: Winner
The firm won the award for Energy and Infrastructure Team of the Year for its work for the UK government on the £11 billion Smart Metering programme. Gowling WLG's Energy team, led by partners John Cooper and Gus Wood and director Ravi Randhawa has advised the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on the development of the regulations governing this ground-breaking infrastructure project.
This is the largest new technology project of its kind in the UK – its objective is that smart gas and electricity meters will be installed in all domestic and small business premises in Great Britain by the end of 2020. The team's work on the smart metering programme involved advising on and drafting the regulatory framework necessary for the roll-out and operation of smart meters. This included creating a licence for a new activity – the provision of a smart meter communications service – drafting a major industry code, and advising on new legislation.
Speaking following the team's win, partner John Cooper, said: "This is a hugely significant project that will transform the energy market, empower consumers, and deliver the infrastructure necessary to support the smart energy networks of the future. We have been delighted to have the opportunity to work with BEIS on a project of this magnitude and importance. We're proud that the expertise and hard work of the team to deliver an entirely new legal framework has been recognised on a national scale by Legal Week."
Commercial Team of the Year: Winner
Gowling WLG scooped its second British Legal Award of the night for Commercial Team of the Year, following the firm's work with South London Waste Partnership on an ambitious programme of infrastructure works. The project, comprising the London Boroughs of Croydon, Merton and Sutton and the Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames, is the largest waste service programme in Europe, delivered new recycling centres and investment in waste collection and energy recovery infrastructure in a sensitive political environment.
Partner Stephen Kenny, who worked alongside senior associate Alexandra Poynter on the matter at Gowling WLG, said: "The South London Waste Partnership Programme is a fantastic initiative producing significant environmental benefits and delivered savings to over one million South London residents – we're extremely proud to be supporting waste collection and energy recovery infrastructure. I'm delighted that the team has again been recognised for their hard work on what was a complex, challenging project."
Assisted by partner Lee McBride (Real Estate), principal associate Kevin Milton (Pensions) and director Louise Clifford (Employment), the firm's Commercial team supported and worked alongside an in-house legal team led by Sean Murphy, Head of Commercial and Property Law at Croydon Council, the lead contracting authority for South London Waste Partnership.