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Richard Bell

DWF advises Waste Disposal Authority on £3.8bn contract termination

North West law firm DWF has advised Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority on the termination, by mutual consent, of a multi-billion pound waste disposal and recycling contract.

The original 25-year deal, signed in 2009 with Viridor Laing (Greater Manchester) Limited, had an approximate value of £3.8bn and promised to deliver significant diversion from landfill, among other environmental benefits.

According to DWF, the project recently faced technical and operational challenges at a number of facilities. Those issues, paired with the need to effectively manage the continuing pressures on the public purse, led the Authority to terminate the arrangement.

Manchester-headquartered DWF helped bring the contract to a close, enabling the Authority to release private financing and also preserve important elements of the scheme, including the Thermal Power Station at Ineos Chlor, Runcorn.

The DWF team was led by commercial partner Michael Mousdale, who worked alongside commercial partner James Lupton, banking partner Paul Brown, litigation partners Jon Hainey and Chris Henshaw and corporate team senior associate Vicky Ross.

Michael Mousdale said: “The Authority has taken a very brave decision to terminate a hugely complex PFI contract and manage to both avoid dispute and achieve substantial savings, and we are proud to have assisted the Authority in achieving this outcome.

“To walk away from such a complex PFI transaction, without loss and deliver such future benefits for people in Greater Manchester, is no mean feat, and we are really pleased to see the Authority move forward in its ambition to reduce waste, deliver sustainable energy facilities and influence change in the sector.”

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