Energy and utilities

  • Overview

    Our energy and utilities sector provides dedicated support and assistance to our energy, water and resources and waste clients.

    We have market-leading specialist teams providing bespoke and tailored services to our clients, including a number of the big six energy providers, licensed water companies and leading resources and waste companies. We also work with a number of funds and developers in the renewables space.

    Our teams advise on the full range of matters for these clients from large complex projects to smaller discreet matters and our national coverage in the UK enables us to meet all of our clients’ needs wherever they are located.

    Our deep understanding of the Energy and Utilities sector enables us to provide clients with the most relevant, insightful and commercially focused advice they need to achieve their goals.

    Through access to our network of international firms, we can also service domestic clients seeking to do business abroad or international organisations who are looking to do business in the United Kingdom.

    As a firm, we are accredited to ISO14001 and will shortly have 50001. We take our own environmental and energy compliance obligations very seriously and have put them at the heart of our business so that we can lead by example.

    Energy

    We provide commercially focused legal advice from a team of sector experts that understand the new energy landscape that is being created as we transition to an increasingly low carbon, smarter and de-centralised energy system. Our multi-disciplinary team can advise you across a wide range of areas in order to take advantage of the many and varied opportunities created by energy market regulation, policy and market drivers.

    This includes:

    • the development, construction, acquisition, sale and financing of all types of renewables and power projects (including oil, gas, hydro and nuclear);
    • implementing energy management strategies to achieve strategic goals such as reducing your carbon footprint, lowering energy consumption and procuring renewable power from on-site or off-site sources;
    • the development and implementation of district utilities projects for residential and mixed use developments;
    • electric vehicles and electric vehicle charging infrastructure;
    • planning and environmental advice; and
    • pragmatic regulatory advice.

    We continue to grow and expand our team of specialists to reflect the ever-increasing demands of the energy market. As businesses, utilities and individuals have had to adapt with an ever-changing energy market we have transformed and continue to transform the way in which Weightmans operates in order to service the needs of our clients. Through organic growth and lateral hires, Weightmans continues to be at the forefront in advising clients on energy and utility projects.

    The current focus of the team is on:

    • The decarbonisation of heat;
    • Traditional renewables projects
    • EVs and air quality
    • Corporate power purchase agreements – both direct and sleeved

    Recent experience of the team includes:

    • Advising on commercial matters for the Mersey Tidal Project.
    • Advising on the funding and roll out of 25 small scale CHP projects;
    • Advising on the strategy and creation of an energy management plan and onsite network for a Higher Education Institute
    • Advising on corporate PPAs in relation to rooftop solar projects
    • Advising on the consenting and funding of a 12MW EfW plant in Mid Wales
    • Advising on the consenting of the Wylfa nuclear power station
    • Advising on the consenting and subsequent disposal of a 299MW biomass plant

    Water

    We act for a number of licensed water companies providing them with the full range of legal services. We recognise and understand the pressures they are subject to from Ofwat and other regulators such as the EA, SEPA and NRW. We know the absolute focus they have on delivering exceptional client service and work with them to achieve their goals.

    Through our work, we have developed an in-depth knowledge and understanding of:

    • the work of Ofwat including price reviews and asset management plans;
    • the Water Industry Act and the powers and rights that water companies have; and
    • the risks associated in operating in such sensitive environments

    Recent examples of our work include:

    • Advising on the legal obligations and risks associated with operating reservoirs and specifically flooding;
    • Advising on compensation claims pursuant to the WIA 1991
    • Advising on multiple claims in relation to bursts and leaks associated with the ‘Beast from the East’
    • Advising on enforcement action and prosecutions arising from water pollution events and environmental damage, including civil sanctions
    • The provision of GDPR advice in relation to customers and their details

    We are members of the Institute of Water and write regularly for Utility Week.

    Waste & resources

    We are market leaders when it comes to working with resources and waste clients.

    We have a deep understanding of what the circular economy means for the UK and how we are going to implement the Resources and Waste strategy.

    We act for a number of leading operators, and mid-tier operators in all areas of the sector, including processors and exporters. We also act for a number of local authorities too.

    We are members of CIWM and write a regular column for them. We host and contribute to events too.

    Recent experience includes advising on:

    • End of waste applications including appeals to the Court of Appeal;
    • The surrender of environmental permits associated with closed landfills
    • The sale of closed landfills
    • The export of SRF and RDF including the associated bonds and contractual requirements
    • Training to a number of organisations on the waste duty of care, as well as related enforcement action and prosecutions
    • Long term waste contracts for waste disposal and collection

    Related publications

    Services Testimonials

    We have been very happy with the level of service that we have received and feel that the firm offers straightforward advice at competitive rates.

    Chambers & Partners 2015
    Publications

    New survey reveals over a third of supply chain professionals do not monitor for modern slavery convictions

    Survey of 100 senior UK supply chain professionals also reveals an industry bracing for a rise in insolvencies, increasing fuel costs and pressure for…

    Insights

    Diesel engine emissions - what you need to know

    Partner Jim Byard looks at the murky issue of diesel engine emissions, the risks of exposure and offers advice to businesses.

    Jim Byard
    Jim Byard Partner

    Insights

    Brexit in a page - what you need to know.

    Brexit expert Jacqui Bickerton summarises all you need to know about the discussions in Parliament this week.

    Jacqui Bickerton
    Jacqui Bickerton Principal Associate

    Insights

    Utility customer engagement – the value in getting it right

    Water companies need to think far more strategically about engaging with their customers, ensuring all staff understand the changing demands and…

    Tracy Lake
    Tracy Lake Partner

    News

    New Partner brings energy to Weightmans

    Tracy Lake joins the firm with a wealth of in house experience in response to growing demand in the utilities sector.

    Tracy Lake
    Tracy Lake Partner

    News

    Weightmans strengthens national construction team with two expert hires

    Daniel Barchet and Richard Vaughan join the firm during time of exceptional growth

    Karl Jackson
    Karl Jackson Partner

    News

    LEGAL COMMENT: British Airways cyber attack

    British Airways has announced a 'sophisticated and malicious' cyber attack, where for 16 days hackers were able to retrieve customer data from both…

    Ed Lewis
    Ed Lewis Partner

    News

    LEGAL COMMENT: Court of Appeal rules against Serious Fraud Office in landmark legal privilege case

    In a case watched closely by both the legal and corporate industries, mining group ENRC has won a legal victory against the Serious Fraud Office..

    Mark Surguy
    Mark Surguy Partner

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