Skip to content
Freeths - Law firm
Freeths supports Liverpool City Region

Freeths supports Liverpool City Region Combined Authority on vital digital infrastructure project

Freeths supports Liverpool City Region Combined Authority on vital digital infrastructure project

A national team at Freeths LLP have supported the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) in an ambitious digital regeneration project worth £30m.

The project will create a new full fibre backhaul network comprising 212km of ultra-fast broadband across all 6 districts comprising the Liverpool City Region.  The project will result in the design, construction, implementation, maintenance, operation and commercialisation of a major digital network offering dedicated full fibre connectivity throughout the Liverpool City Region optimised in terms of community requirements. The procurement sought a private sector partner, or consortium, to be responsible for the design, construction, implementation, operation, maintenance and commercialisation of the network, and led to the creation of a new joint venture between LCRCA, ITS and NGE Concessions.

The Freeths team, led by Head of Commercial, Iain Bowler – also including Public Sector Partner, Stephen Pearson from Nottingham, Perveen Akhtar, Construction Partner, Birmingham and Kate Hillier from the Banking team, Nottingham – supported LCRCA on this project from its inception to completion. This included advice on procurement structure including the design and implementation of a highly successful competitive dialogue process – praised by all of the private sector bidders for the highly collaborative and constructive effect it had on the procurement process – working hand in glove with the LCRCA project team and the other advisors KPMG and C J Founds & Associates, to run an entirely virtual competitive dialogue process from start to finish during the Covid pandemic.

These teams worked in parallel to achieve a fantastic solution which should vastly improve digital connectivity in the region and provide a platform for economic regeneration, raising digital connectivity in the Liverpool City Region to the highest standard in the UK and lifting parts of the Liverpool City Region out of digital poverty.

The project is unique in its nature and complexity. LCRCA wanted to give the market free reign over how it wished to construct the joint venture, so as not to stifle or limit market led solutions to this unique project.  LCRCA’s public sector asset reuse strategy was also a key part of the project, and Freeths supported LCRCA on the State aid treatment of the project. By working closely in conjunction with financial and technical advisers and the Combined Authority we were able to deliver an acceptable solution.

Freeths partner, Iain Bowler, Head of Commercial said, “We had a very close relationship with LCRCA’s project, finance, commercial and legal teams throughout.  We maintained a small, clever team which was on hand for the client 24/7, when required.   We worked hand in glove with the client’s in-house teams and  the other external advisers as part of a seamless overall project team. The approach has been a genuine collaboration where the internal and external advisers have all pulled together to make the project equal more than the sum of its parts and we are delighted to have been part of the success of this regionally highly significant project.

Client service

‘Doing the right thing’ is at the heart of Freeths. Find out more about our excellent client service and the strong set of values that guide the way we work.

Our values


Talk to us

Freeths are a leading national law firm with 13 offices across the UK. If you have a query about our services or just want to find out more, why not give us a call?

Contact: 03301 001 014

Choose an office:

Portfolio close
People CV Email

Remove All

Click here to email this list of people to a colleague.