UK Legal Team Completes Complex International Solar Energy Deal
Barton Legal recently completed the sale and purchase of a 1.3MWh UK solar project on behalf of a German developer and contractor.
The award winning Leeds-based law firm handled both the purchase and sale of the energy project sited near Derby. It dealt with the land acquisition and investigations of title, in conjunction with the drafting and negotiating of the EPC and maintenance contracts.
The initial purchase involved a full investigation as to title, access routes, a review of the intended solar design and putting in place an EPC contract in order to satisfy funding requirements and obligations relating to the onward sale.
Due to the number of foreign parties involved in the deals there were significant complications as to the scope and extent of duties and obligations that the respective parties could agree to, as governed by their previous trading history, and as constrained by the project itself. The negotiation of all the documents, starting with the term sheet and culminating in the sale and purchase agreement (SPA) and EPC, were therefore extensive.
As part of the EPC there were a large number of schedules, including employer’s requirements, various technical specifications, guarantees and component warranties, as well as testing and take over procedures. A high level of understanding was required to ensure that what the project managers and engineers sought to achieve was accurately reflected in the wording of the documents. The involvement of funders added the obligation to provide Direct Agreements, and to ensure all documents were to a high international banking transactional standard.
Commenting on the project, director Bill Barton said: “We were instructed by our client because of our prior experience in solar projects in the UK and in energy projects abroad, and because we are able to provide a proactive and hands-on service. Time was of the essence and the control of issues, and therefore costs, were paramount.
“As can be imagined with any project in the UK, there were issues with permits, way leaves and substation location and access, but thankfully there was a good level of cooperation between the parties, and their legal teams.
“There are a number of very significant alternative fuel production facilities being built around the world and it’s fantastic to be involved, providing niche advice, in pre contract and construction phases."
Barton Legal was formed in 2007 and has assisted with some of Europe and Africa’s largest renewable energy projects. In recognition of its commercial property, construction and engineering legal expertise, the company was recently crowned Niche Law Firm at a leading regional awards ceremony.
The specialist law firm is currently preparing framework contracts for a client developing solar power plants in Chile and Argentina in addition to representing an Israeli hedge fund investing in UK solar and wind farm projects.