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Law consortium could cut PFI bid costs by 30%

LAW FIRM Fenwick Elliott this week claimed it could cut the legal costs of putting together private finance initiative (PFI) deals by 30%.

It has developed a plan to use low cost regional law firms to supplement its London based inhouse project finance expertise to lower overall PFI legal costs.

The firm is forming a consortium with Manchester based Turner Parkinson, Nottingham based Freith Cartwright, Tunbridge Wells based Cripps Harries Hall, Marlow based Moorcrofts and Projects Partnership in London.

The consortium plans to target PFI contractors and public sector clients.

'We reckon we can shave a third or possibly more off the legal costs of putting together a PFI deal, ' said Fenwick Elliott partner Julian Critchlow.

Critchlow said the regional firms would provide the consortium with knowledge of local planning issues while his firm would bring in its experience of putting together concession agreements.

The move is partly in response to contractors' complaints about the high cost of bidding for PFI deals. But Critchlow said it was also responding to pressure from the Treasury, which wants advisors on PFI deals to come from the areas where projects are located.

INFOPLUS

NCE is sponsoring a private finance initiative conference on 14 May. For more information go to www. pfifinance.co.uk

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