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Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner has outstanding experience in the water and utilities industry. We are proud to have an extensive client list including utility and water companies, investors, governments and regulators across the world.  

Our water team brings together lawyers across several jurisdictions, combining to form a deep and valuable knowledge of all aspects of the industries. Skill sets within the team include banking, competition, construction, corporate environment finance, economic, and sector regulation, litigation and dispute resolution, outsourcing, projects, property and economic, environmental, quality of service and safety regulation.  

We also provide assistance with general support areas that are non-specific to the water industry, for example human resources, tax, IT and commercial contracts.  

The legal team has worked for major water and sewerage companies, water-only companies, investors in the sector, manufacturers and construction and research companies. We have also assisted governments and international utility companies. In the U.S., we have represented regulated water companies, as well commercial customers, in federal and state regulatory proceedings. 

Our global team has represented clients on projects involving the full range of water and sewerage project development stages, from pre-planning and site selection to securing construction powers, finance and post-construction settlements. In the U.S., we have represented clients in rate regulation as well as licensing, environmental protection, pipeline safety and industry-specific rulemaking and policy proceedings. Our litigators have considerable experience with representation of clients involved in administrative hearings before regulatory agencies and with judicial review of regulatory commission orders and decisions.  We also regularly advise clients on pre-merger utility regulatory approvals and obtain such approvals for them, as well as counsel clients with respect to post-merger regulatory compliance.       

We can help with overseeing the environmental assessment processes that underpin all modern, large-scale water and sewerage projects, at every stage of development from inception to completion In combination, we have advised on water matters in numerous countries throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia. 

Our lawyers work across borders to ensure we have full knowledge of developments in the water industry, including regulatory trends and market pressures. This enables us to help clients manage risks and identify opportunities in this area.

  • Advised on the £4.8bn Thames Tideway Tunnel, one of the largest ever European infrastructure projects. 
  • Advised on sector and regulatory reform in jurisdictions including US, UK, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Philippines. 
  • Charles Zielinski, Of Counsel at BCLP, served as Chairman of the New York Public Service Commission, a major state commission that comprehensively regulates public utilities, including investor-owned water companies, that provide retail service in New York.  He also chaired New York’s power plant siting board and an Ad Hoc Committee on the U. S. National Energy Act for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.  
  • Our team includes a former chief economist at the U.K. water regulator, as well as a former secondee to the U.K. a Competition and Markets Authority, who was responsible for helping to develop policy and guidance for competition enforcement in the water and other utility sectors in the U.K. 

Representative Experience

  • The UK's largest water and wastewater company on a number of matters including:
    • all regulatory, procurement and broader strategic matters, advising on the PR14 Price Review and regulatory compliance.
    • tax aspects of refinancing of over £1.3bn of senior debt through the issuance of four bond issues under its securitisation programme.
    • on the disposal of a UK water company, the largest and most significant “retail exit” deal by any water company.
    • on all competition, regulatory and market reform issues, including Ofwat, government and wider stakeholder engagement.
  • An asset management company on disposal of a regional water company to a fund management company for £665.4m.
  • On the £4.8bn Thames Tideway Tunnel, one of the largest European infrastructure projects.
  • A specialist infrastructure fund, on a number of matters including its contested £78.5 million takeover offer for a listed water company.
  • A waste and recycling business on the procurement of a waste water treatment plant in the UK for the treatment of paper pulp residue discharges from an adjacent paper pulp plant.
  • A consortium of developers in connection with their bid submission for the approximately US$2 billion development and financing of a 900-MW, 880 thousand cubic meter power and water desalination facility in Saudi Arabia.
  • A UK university on the procurement of its potable and non-potable water supply at the £1 billion development.
  • Representation of a group of large industrial customers in numerous electric utility rate proceedings before the Missouri Public Service Commission.
  • Representation of major investor-owned electric utility providing service in New York City in transmission line certification proceedings and renewable energy policy proceedings before the New York Public Service Commission.
  • Representation of a major New York Public Authority with respect to state safety regulations applicable to a pipeline constructed within a right-of-way on its property.
  • Representation of investor-owned electric utilities in litigation involving electric power wheeling rates in the U.S.
  • Representation of renewable power project developers involved in interconnection disputes, as well as statutorily mandated rate requirements with respect to investor-owned electric utilities.