Trusted Partner
Climate Change, Energy, Resources & Utilities Law

Investment in the UK energy sector   

The COVID-19 pandemic had a profound impact on the levels of inward investment across Europe with the consequential market volatility and uncertainty resulting in foreign direct investment in Europe falling by 13% in 2020. However the UK has fared better than most, and it remains an attractive destination with the country ranking second in Europe for inbound foreign investment.

The UK energy sector is proving to be an attractive focus for that investment, and this looks set to continue despite the recent impact of the Ukraine crisis which looks set to drive enduring change across Europe.  The sector is seeing impressive growth, particularly in renewables, with much of it coming from overseas. We are seeing as a result a rise in enquiries from outside the UK from both corporations and funds (sovereign, institutional, private equity and family office) as well as entrepreneurs.

Areas of focus

Shakespeare Martineau is a full service law firm with a base in London, and a network of offices across the UK. We have a particular reputation for our work advising energy companies and utilities, both UK based and global, and much of that work involves supporting businesses investing in UK clean energy and other critical infrastructure projects.

The support we provide ranges from setting up legal entities and joint ventures, through to acquiring property, hiring staff and resolving immigration issues, supporting on supply chain contracting, protecting intellectual property, as well as accessing the London capital markets.

We are particularly skilled in:

  • UK energy law and policy, including regulatory frameworks
  • Energy and utility infrastructure:-
    • planning and consents
    • construction contracts
    • commercial contracts including operation and maintenance (O&M) and power purchase (PPA) agreements
  • Industry codes and agreements
  • Wholesale energy trading and markets
  • Emissions trading and offsetting, and broader environmental compliance
  • E-mobility/sustainable transport including battery/hydrogen production and charge point leasing
  • UK tax including VAT

Doing business in the UK can be an exciting but complex proposition, so getting the right legal advisors is key.

Case Study 1

We have been supporting an EU based global utility which has established an electric vehicle charge point leasing business in the UK. Our work has involved advising on the emerging UK regulatory framework and adapting their contracting model to a UK environment, as well providing contract negotiation support to their local sales team.

Case Study 2

We have supported a variety of renewable energy developers from around the world in establishing operational clean energy projects in the UK, notably solar PV and batteries. Our support has included help in identifying sites, securing options and leases, finding development partners and putting in place contractual documentation, as well as assisting in accessing the GB capacity and balancing services markets to secure long term project revenues.

Case Study 3

We supported a European investment fund in its acquisition of a UK energy utility, where our work involved undertaking extensive due diligence on the target, covering UK regulatory compliance and consents through to a red flag review of commercial contracts and property leases. Typically, we support these M&A transactions from our London office but using lawyers from across our regional office network to provide access to lower cost specialist legal input. For further advice and assistance please contact:

For further advice and assistance please contact:

Shakespeare Martineau
No 1
1 Colmore Square
B4 6AA
Tel: + 44 (0)7771 954 798
Contact: Andrew Whitehead

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