Neil trained with pre-merger firm Dickinson Dees and qualified into the commercial team. Within 18 months he had specialised in projects and the public sector. He has worked in that area since, primarily focussing on EU procurement, PPP/PFI projects, education and commercial contracts.

Neil spent three months on secondment to an associated office in Brussels office in 2001 where he become involved in various aspects of procurement law (including the application of the procurement rules to major PFI/PPP projects) and monitoring the reform, application and implementation of European legislation and development of case law. This which continues to be of interest in light of the recent reforms to the EU procurement directives and UK procurement regulations.

Neil’s mix of skills and experience mean he is able to provide specialist procurement as well as contractual advice on his projects from pre-procurement through to contract negotiation and implementation. 

Other professional memberships include the Procurement Law Association and the Procurement Law Academic Network. Neil has also regularly delivered both general and bespoke client training programmes on PPP and procurement and spoken at external events (such has RICS and CIPS Regional Training Events).

    Experience
    Examples of experience include advising:
    • A wide range of UK local authorities, NHS bodies, utilities (transport (rail/bus), post and energy) and other entities covered by the EU procurement rules (including registered housing providers and regional purchasing consortia) on all aspects on procurement law compliance
    • First Fire and Rescue Service (a joint venture consortium between Babcock Land and Falck Fire Services UK) on its bid to the Ministry of Defence for its first generation outsourcing of its UK and worldwide defence fire and rescue services
    • Durham University on its procurement for two new colleges and associated accommodation under a design, build, finance and operate model
    • London Fire Brigade on its Property PFI project for the development of 9 new stations across London. This project incorporated elements of HMTs new PF2 guidance and was one of the last round of DCLG sponsored projects to complete
    • Education Funding Agency: seconded to the Education Funding Agency for 12 months in 2014/15 working primarily on the Free Schools programme as part of the London regional team. This role was a hybrid of in-house lawyer and client as it also involved instructing and managing external legal and technical advisers in the client role
    • Newcastle City Council on the transfer of its leisure estate to a third party leisure operator on the basis of a concession arrangement
    • Northumbria University on its two procurements for the outsourcing of its FM services for its academic buildings, administrative estate and student accommodation
    • Building Schools for the Future: lead role in advising the following on their respective BSF projects: St Helens Council (£100m and which involved re-scoping mid-procurement following the BSF programme being ended); the London Borough of Newham (£130m); and South Tyneside and Gateshead Councils on their joint project (£150m)
    • North West Fire and Rescue Authorities (comprising Merseyside FRS, Lancashire Combined Fire Authority and Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service) on their joint project for the development of 16 new community fire stations across Merseyside, Lancashire and Cumbria.