We are known for our expertise across public sector finance, covering a broad range of matters including both lending and borrowing transactions for local authorities, combined authorities, government departments and for central government and European funds managed by public sector bodies.
We advise and represent public sector clients on commercial and residential development projects, town centre and out-of- town regeneration projects, the establishment of funds for development, regeneration and job creation and on public/private partnerships. We also advise local authority clients on their own funding arrangements, and provide support through training and the development of template documentation for funding transactions.
Building on our strong corporate banking team, with a client list that includes a number of major UK banks, and by working collaboratively with you, we are able to adapt private sector funding structures and techniques into public sector finance transactions, delivering robust financial arrangements that get the results you need.
The UK Government has issued the new PPN 04/20 guidelines to public bodies inviting them to review and consider implementing appropriate exit plans for any relief measures which they have put in place to assist their "at risk" suppliers pursuant to the PPN 02/20 guidelines issued in March 2020.
Issue 8, 21 May 2020: All of the key government coronavirus news and guidance in a weekly legal update.
Issue 7, 15 May 2020: All of the key government coronavirus news and guidance in a weekly legal update.
In a move which is likely to facilitate multiple European government bail outs of airlines, sports, leisure and hospitality companies and possibly even carmakers and others under the most acute pressure from the COVID-19 crisis, the European Commission has further amended its State aid Temporary Framework to allow for recapitalisation aid and subordinated debt instruments. The new rules contain limitations on dividends and acquisitions by businesses who benefit from recapitalisation aid and include a requirement for conditions relating to climate change and the digital agenda to be reported to the European Commission. While the UK remains in the Brexit transition period (currently due to expire on 31 December 2020), these rules apply to it as well.
The UK Government on 28 March 2020 announced plans to bring forward legislation to amend the UK's insolvency laws “at the earliest opportunity” in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst the timing of the proposed changes remains uncertain (given that parliament is currently in recess until 21 April 2020) the Government hopes that the amendments will give companies a degree of extra time and space to weather the current storm.
The UK Government has stated that contracting authorities must now take measures to ensure that suppliers at risk are in a position to resume normal contract delivery once the COVID-19 outbreak is over. The Government has issued PPN 02/20 which provides guidance on how public bodies should deal with their existing contractual arrangements so as to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak.
Parliament has shut down for a month to combat the spread of coronavirus. One of its last acts, in the final session, was to pass through the Coronavirus Bill, which received Royal Assent on Wednesday night. At the same time Royal Assent was given to the very short Contingencies Funding Act 2020, which provides the Government departments with the authority to expend resources, capital and cash via the supply process.
Whilst some of the detail remains subject to further sub-ordinate legislation we have set out below a list of the key provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020 (the "Act") as they relate to local authorities.
The Scottish Parliament has agreed to establish a Scottish National Investment Bank with the Scottish Government making an initial commitment of £2 billion to the Bank to try to stimulate and transform the Scottish economy.