16. Energy & Infrastructure Team of the Year-Article-201612071349

(L-R): Awards host David Mitchell; Burges Salmon’s Euan Bremner, Nathan Curtis, Benjamin Sainsbury, Daniel Ballard and Holly Yeo; awards judge Lesley Wan

Finalists: Addleshaw Goddard, Burges Salmon, Herbert Smith Freehills (highly commended), Hogan Lovells, Mayer Brown, Norton Rose Fulbright, Pinsent Masons, Simmons & Simmons

Burges Salmon triumphed in this category for its work on a unique off-balance sheet community-funding project to place solar panels on Marks & Spencer (M&S) stores.

The judges were impressed by the firm’s work on the project, with one describing it as “an innovative project bringing a number of uncommon aspects into play, requiring agile and innovative legal support”.

The project, dubbed ‘M&S Energy Society’ is a collaboration between M&S and renewable energy company Energy4All.

The work saw Burges Salmon advise on off-balance sheet community funding for the installation of solar panels on M&S stores, where any returns in excess of 5% per annum would benefit the store’s local community.

Lord Bourne, former parliamentary under secretary of state for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, said: “This new initiative from M&S is an excellent example of private enterprise working with its customers to produce clean, green energy and support local community groups. I would urge other companies to follow suit.”

The Burges Salmon team was led by energy partner Nick Churchward and included lawyers from the firm’s energy, corporate, construction and real estate teams.

M&S said the Burges Salmon team had “dealt with the project’s complexities and had excellent transaction management skills”. The retailer added: “They were pragmatic, innovative and responsive; a great team to work with.”