Conor is a partner in Matheson's Projects and Infrastructure Group and Energy, Natural Resources and Utilities Group.
Conor advises on large-scale infrastructure, energy and construction projects, with specialised experience in contract negotiation, risk allocation, development structuring, financing, transactional matters (including due diligence and transaction document negotiation), corporate law matters and operational advice (including regulatory issues and operational problem solving).
Conor’s primary focus is on infrastructure development and transactional projects (greenfield and brownfield), particularly concessions, PPPs, debt-financed and similar private sector-led development structures. Conor works with clients such as infrastructure funders, sponsors, contractors and operational teams. Conor is ranked as a leading practitioner in the IFLR100, Legal 500 and Chambers international legal directories in the project development, project finance, PPP and transport practice areas.
Recent matters on which Conor has led and advised include:
- Asterion on its acquisition of 80% of the National Broadband Plan project, a €3 billion State intervention to deliver high speed broadband (primarily by FTTH) to all underserved homes and business in Ireland;
- Sponsors, lenders, contractors and FM providers on almost every Irish PPP, including:
- Higher Education PPP – Bundle One (which reached FC on 20 December 2022);
- Community Nursing Units PPP;
- DIT Grangegorman PPP;
- Primary Care Centres PPP;
- N25 New Ross Bypass PPP, N25 Waterford Bypass PPP, M7/M8 Motorway PPP, M1 Motorway PPP and M3/M4 Motorway PPP;
- Schools PPP Bundles 1 and 3;
- Greystones Harbour and Marina PPP;
- Convention Centre PPP;
- Social Housing PPP Bundle 2; and
- PPP-like Irish infrastructure projects including the National Broadband Plan (Conor advised the SPV / concessionaire on its winning bid), the Dublin Airport fuel concession (Conor advises the concessionaire) and the Metropolitan Area Networks concession (Conor advises the concessionaire);
- Projects in the nascent Irish offshore wind sector including (1) a multinational offshore wind farm developer on its entry into the Irish market and the development of Irish project contracts; (2) a newly established Irish infrastructure fund vehicle on the development and partner-seeking process for its six offshore wind farms; and (3) a major established Irish utility on the development of its two offshore wind farms.
- GLIL Infrastructure on its acquisition of the 453MW Rathcool Portfolio of 11 Irish onshore wind farms in the largest ever Irish onshore wind farm acquisition transaction by enterprise value (including detailed project contract due diligence and transaction document mitigations);
- Highfield Solar and Ib Vogt on their sale of two Irish solar farms with a combined generating capacity of over 280MWp and their future pipeline of projects;
- AMP Capital on the sale of the Convention Centre Dublin PPP and Speed Fibre Group (including the holder of the Irish Metropolitan Area Network telecoms concession);
- EirGrid on its partnership arrangements with French transmission system operator RTE for the development and operation of the Celtic Interconnector between Ireland and France;
- Macquarie Asset Management on its potential investment in an Irish FTTH roll-out and a separate data centre campus opportunity and on its successful bid for and acquisition of Beauparc Utilities, Ireland’s largest recycling and processing led waste-to-resource business;
- The Department of Communications, Environment and Climate Change on all aspects of the decommissioning of the Kinsale Head and Seven Heads offshore gas fields;
- Drogheda Port Company and Bremore Ireland Port on a joint venture with a private sector partner for the development of a new deepwater multi-model port north of Dublin;
- A multinational developer and contractor on Ireland’s first large-scale battery energy storage system (BESS) (one of the largest such installations in Europe); and
- Exolum Aviation on all legal aspects of its services concession to design, build and operate fuel storage and distribution infrastructure at Dublin Airport, from concession negotiation through construction and operations (including in relation to COVID-19 disruption at Dublin Airport).
Projects and PPP: Chambers Europe 2023
"Conor Blennerhassett and Garret Farrelly have a hands-on approach and are very knowledgeable in the field.’"
Legal 500 2022
Conor Blennerhassett is ranked as a ‘Rising Star’ in Legal 500 2022 (Projects and PPP and Transport): “Easy to talk to, straightforward, straight talking friendly people. At the same time well able to pull on the jersey and fight for the team when the need arises. Conor Blennerhassett [was] particularly helpful.”
Legal 500 2022
"Conor Blennerhassett was extremely efficient and responsive, given our strict deadlines and timing for response assistance. We also found his expertise to be reliable and concise, considering the budgetary concerns and constrictions we had. I would highlight the firm’s greatest strength to be their thoroughness and quality of their work product combined with their responsive and strong client relationship, which we developed over the course of our project."
Conor Blennerhassett is ranked as a ‘Rising Star’ in IFLR1000 2022 (Projects and PPP and Transport).
“Conor Blennerhassett was a true professional.”
Chambers Europe 2019
“Conor Blennerhassett went above and beyond to provide exceptional, timely and thorough legal services.”
Chambers Europe 2019
“Excellent and proactive.”
"He was exceptional in providing concise and thorough legal services. His strengths included establishing a strong client relationship. He was positioned as a trusted advisor on a major project because of his strong commercial understanding of the particular project. He was highly responsive and very friendly and easy to work with regardless of our time zone differences."
“I can strongly recommend Garret Farrelly and Conor Blennerhassett. I would rate both highly.”
Chambers Europe 2018
University College Dublin, Bachelor of Business & Law (European) (Hons), 2011
Admitted as a Solicitor, Law Society of Ireland, 2016