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Expertise

Matheson has one of the largest and most experienced Projects and Infrastructure practices in Ireland, spanning projects in transport (roads, bridges, airports, ports and rail), telecoms, social infrastructure, electricity generation, storage, distribution and transmission, fuel transportation, mining, waste, water, sewage, defence and large-scale leisure facilities.

Matheson’s multi-disciplinary Projects and Infrastructure Group is consistently mandated by domestic and international sponsors, contractors, authorities, lenders and infrastructure funds, as well as the leading project development groups of the largest international law firms to advise on the most complex and challenging infrastructure projects in the Irish market.

Our core team of over 30 dedicated Projects and Infrastructure lawyers can draw upon decades of project development expertise to provide commercially focused legal assistance with:

  • Procurement and Bid Structuring
  • Permitting and Regulation
  • Contract Drafting and Negotiation
  • Risk Allocation and Mitigation
  • Financing and Lender Engagement
  • Planning and Environmental Matters
  • Tax Structuring
  • Corporate Structuring
  • Construction Activities
  • Disputes and Claims (Before, During and After Construction)

Our Team

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Experience Highlights
Transport

Our Projects and Infrastructure specialists have advised on the majority of major privately delivered transport infrastructure in Ireland over the past two decades.  The team is well positioned to bring its experience to the new wave of investment in public transport (especially rail), strategic ports, airports and major arterial roads to deliver Ireland’s balanced sustainability and economic objectives.  Our colleagues are already advising upon some of the major Project Ireland 2040 transport infrastructure projects which reflect the Irish Government’s new 2:1 spending ratio between public transport and roads infrastructure. 

Experience Highlights

  • Advising the largest Chinese rolling stock manufacturer on its bid for the DART Expansion, the most significant single heavy rail rolling stock procurement ever undertaken in Ireland.
  • Advising Drogheda Port Company on its joint venture with a private sector partner for the development of a new deepwater multi-model port north of Dublin to act as a competitive counterbalance to Dublin Port.
  • Advising Iridium and its affiliate Dragados on all of their PPP infrastructure developments (both under construction and operational) in Ireland (including the N25 Waterford Bypass PPP, N25 New Ross Bypass PPP, M11 Gorey to Enniscorthy PPP and M7 / M8 PPP) and upcoming National Development Plan projects.
  • Advising a multinational fuel company on its stake in a motorway service areas PPP.
  • Advising CLH Aviación 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).
  • Advising a leading manufacturer of railway rolling stock on its bid for the overhaul and re-power of all Irish Rail Class 201 locomotives.
  • Advised Go-Ahead Group plc on its successful tender to operate orbital bus routes in Dublin.  This project was the first private sector bus route tender to be brought to market by Ireland’s National Transport Authority. 
Social Infrastructure

The private sector plays a vital role in financing, building and operating critical social infrastructure across Ireland, including social housing, nursing homes, primary care centres and education facilities.  Our Projects and Infrastructure team has the depth of experience to advise private sector stakeholders on bespoke legal solutions to the key risks that typically arise on social infrastructure developments.

Experience Highlights

  • Advising a construction joint venture on its bid for the €150 million Community Nursing Units PPP.
  • Advised an Asian financial institution on its potential participation in the Social Housing Bundle 2 PPP project, including in relation to complex financial participation matters.
  • Advising a member of the Eriugena consortium on the financing and construction of the DIT Grangegorman East and Central Quads PPP project.
  • Advising the FM provider to the successful bidder for the Primary Care Centres PPP, Ireland’s first primary healthcare PPP.
  • Advising lenders and sponsors on Schools Bundle PPPs 1, 2, 4 and 5 (including on-going operational advice).
  • Advising a lender on the Charlemont Street Housing PPP.
Digital and Telecoms

Digital infrastructure and telecommunications remains a resilient and high growth practice area for our Projects and Infrastructure colleagues, who have most recently advised on fibre rollouts, tower portfolio developments and acquisitions, data centres (including data centre power procurement) and wholesale high capacity telecoms operations. See Telecommunications and Data Centres for more details.

Experience Highlights

  • Advising the John Laing, SSE and e|net consortium (later Granahan McCourt) on all legal aspects of its successful bid for the National Broadband Plan.
  • Advising a multinational telecoms tower owner and operator on its bid for an extensive portfolio of eir towers (with associated services agreements).
  • Advising a number of the world’s largest technology companies on the development and construction of their Irish data centres.
  • Advising a number of investors and lenders in relation to data centre investments.
  • Advising e|net on its provision of infrastructure services and access for the National Broadband Plan and its provision of wholesale telecommunications services to its retail service provider customers pursuant to its Metropolitan Area Networks concession with the Irish Government (including advising upon its original successful bid for that concession).
  • Advising a North American data centre developer and operator together with its Irish development partner on the permitting, development, potential financing and operation of a speculative data centre complex in Dublin.
  • Advised American multinational company Equinix, who specializes in internet connection and related services, on the expansion of its existing portfolio of data centres in Dublin.
  • Advised a number of large multinational technology companies and renewable energy developers in relation to the drafting and negotiation of corporate power purchase agreements (including the first to be announced in the Irish market) and on renewable energy procurement strategies, trading structures and agreements.
PPP

The Irish PPP market remains particularly active and the Irish authorities strongly support the use of PPP structures for the delivery of critical infrastructure across all sectors, particularly transport and social infrastructure (housing, healthcare and education).  Our Projects and Infrastructure team has advised on the vast majority of significant PPP transactions since the model was first used in Ireland almost twenty years ago, allowing them to add significant value for clients by identifying and mitigating key legal risks (as well as suggesting legal mitigations for commercial risks) for these complex long term multi-party projects.

Experience Highlights

  • Advising a construction joint venture on its bid for the €150 million Community Nursing Units PPP.
  • Advising Iridium and its affiliate Dragados on all of their PPP infrastructure developments (both under construction and operational) in Ireland (including the N25 Waterford Bypass PPP, N25 New Ross Bypass PPP, M11 Gorey to Enniscorthy PPP and M7 / M8 PPP) and upcoming National Development Plan projects.
  • Advised an East Asian financial institution on its potential participation in the Social Housing Bundle 2 PPP project, including in relation to complex financial participation matters.
  • Advising a multinational fuel company on its stake in a motorway service areas PPP.
  • Advising a member of the Eriugena consortium on the financing and construction of the DIT Grangegorman East and Central Quads PPP project.
  • Advising the sponsor in relation to all aspects of the Greystones Harbour PPP project, including the development of a new harbour and marina coupled with commercial and residential development.
  • Advising lenders and sponsors on Schools Bundle PPPs 1, 2, 4 and 5 (including on-going operational advice).
  • Advising a lender on the Charlemont Street Housing and Mixed Use Development PPP.
Large-Scale Mixed Use

Ireland currently suffers from a significant shortage of housing and certain types of commercial space, which the private sector is playing its part to address by way of sustainable, integrated and amenity-rich mixed use developments.  Our Projects and Infrastructure team brings together expertise in construction, procurement, real estate, infrastructure, disputes and finance disciplines to help clients bring all aspects of large-scale mixed use developments to fruition.

Experience Highlights

  • Advising Hines on all legal aspects of its development of a new town at Cherrywood in Dublin (to include transport and utility infrastructure, residential, commercial and retail elements) as well as Hines’ other mixed use high density developments in Dublin.
  • Advising Ballymore-Oxley on all legal aspects of their development of Dublin Landings and Connolly Quarter (both high density urban core residential, commercial and retail).
  • Advising the sponsor in relation to all aspects of the Greystones Harbour PPP project, including the development of a new harbour and marina coupled with commercial and residential development.
  • Advising a lender on the Charlemont Street Housing and Mixed Use Development PPP.
Climate Action and Sustainability

Matheson’s Projects and Infrastructure specialists have played a major part in Ireland’s recent surge in projects with climate action and sustainability objectives.  The Irish Government’s Climate Action Plan and Project 2040 infrastructure plans prioritise investment and policy support in projects with long term environmental benefits. Our team helps the private sector to play its part.  Some selected recent experience highlights are below (see Energy, Natural Resources and Utilities for more detailed information).

Experience Highlights

  • Advising a large international conglomerate and its local Irish partner on the development of a 200MW Battery Energy Storage System project in the mid-west region of Ireland (this is the one of the largest projects of its kind in Europe and will be required to facilitate a higher share of renewable electricity generation on Ireland’s grid).
  • Advising the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment on the drafting of the RESS Terms & Conditions (providing a unique legal adviser insight into the fundamental design and operation of RESS, Ireland’s renewable electricity subsidy scheme).
  • Advising a number of developers and financial investors in relation to offshore wind development projects in Ireland.
  • An investor in relation to a proposed 500MW electricity interconnector between Ireland and Wales.
  • Advised Statkraft on its acquisition of a large battery energy storage project.
  • Advised RES on the sale of the 50MW Gorman Energy Storage Station in County Meath, Ireland to Scottish Power Renewables (UK) Limited.
  • Advising various companies on energy efficiency obligations under Irish and EU law (including negotiating and drafting EPC and related contracts).
  • Advising developers on the development, construction, financing and M&A of their wind farm assets.
  • Advising ING Bank, Hamburg Commercial Bank, Rabobank, Aviva Investors and other domestic and international lenders / investors on their due diligence and financing of over 1GW of onshore wind farms.
  • Advised a number of large multinational technology companies and renewable energy developers in relation to the drafting and negotiation of corporate power purchase agreements (including the first to be announced in the Irish market) and on renewable energy procurement strategies, trading structures and agreements.
Accolades

"Matheson have an incredible range and depth of expertise in their team and they always provide comprehensive, coherent and considered legal advice and have never been afraid to provide commercial and practical guidance whenever requested. We continue to view Matheson as a trusted adviser on all legal and business matters. Some of their key strengths are the quality of their advice and their in-depth knowledge of our business and the issues they know are important to us"
Projects and PPP: The European Legal 500

Matheson has "consistent good quality and delivery on time" and a "closeness to the client and understanding of commercial needs."
Chambers Europe 2022

“Attention to detail and constantly strive / provide advice and guidance in an effort to get the best position possible for our company. Good approach and develop working relationships with our Client and their legal representatives.”
IFLR1000 2021

“Matheson was very thorough and knowledgeable about the leasing market in Ireland.”
IFLR1000 2021

“Availability, understanding of Sponsors concerns, good quality work.”

IFLR1000 2021

"Professional, reliable, knowledgeable and forward looking".
IFLR1000 2020

"Matheson's work has been really excellent - they are professional, very responsive and provide very high quality service".
IFLR1000 2020

"The firms greatest strength is their thoroughness and the quality of their work product combined with their responsive and strong client relationships."
IFLR1000 2020

“I have worked closely with both the construction and real estate teams over the last year and have always been impressed with the professional approach taken, the attention to detail and the speed at which documents are turned around.”
Projects and PPP: European Legal 500 2020

Matheson's performance has been "exceptional".
Chambers Europe 2019

Matheson has a "level of professionalism gives us confidence".
Chambers Europe 2019

"Matheson is highly professional and provides local expertise in distinct areas of law pertaining to the rail industry."
IFLR1000 2019

"The firms greatest strength is their thoroughness and the quality of their work product combined with their responsive and strong client relationships."
IFLR1000 2019

Matheson impresses with its "breadth of expertise" that takes in "experience of international project finance and complex M&A transactions".
European Legal 500 2018

"They are very commercial".
Chambers Europe 2018

Matheson has "a very professional team".
European Legal 500 2017

"Commercially they are very strong."  
Chambers Europe 2017