Our dedicated Utilities Team provides strategic advice and cost-effective legal solutions to leading UK utility companies seeking sufficient land rights within the electric, gas, fibre, heat, water and electric vehicle (EV) sectors.
The utilities sector has become a highly competitive, unique and complex market with extensive regulatory challenges. Utility providers face increasing regulation and competitive pressure.
Our lawyers understand this challenging market, the political and regulatory background and the specialist nature of the work involved, helping to deliver sound commercial advice to meet our client’s objectives and statutory obligations.
Our experience and client base
The Utilities Team successfully manages over 1,000 land rights instructions each year, consisting of leasehold and freehold acquisitions, deeds of easement and deeds of variation for new and existing substations, gas governors, fibre cabinets, pumping stations, heat pumps and EV charging points, as well as the pipes, wires and cables connected to each. This infrastructure supports new build housing developments for national house builders, complex central London sites, large scale commercial gateway sites, Key Infrastructure Projects and individual installations. The Utilities Team also advise on the management of existing networks, including consent for works, the impact of restrictive covenants, enforcement proceedings, insurance and the removal, modification and discharge of utility assets.
Our lawyers understand the pressure on Distribution Network Operators (DNO’s) and Independent Distribution Network Operators (IDNO’s) to deliver connections on time and collaborate with our clients to ensure their objectives are achieved. Our team is solution-focused, aiming to deliver pragmatic advice to ensure that the strategic requirements of our clients are accomplished. Our “can-do” approach applies to every level of our work. We go above and beyond to deliver the highest quality legal advice and seek to add value beyond the delivery of legal services. This includes successfully negotiating incorporated rights arrangements with all DNO’s allowing Birketts to act on their behalf to reduce transaction times, remove the need for tripartite documents and streamline transactions for connections into the DNO networks. Communication is the key to our service. Our team works closely with all parties to keep them informed of progress and avoid delays by providing regular bespoke updates. Our specialist Utilities Team has an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the key issues and requirements facing the electricity, telecommunications, gas, heat and water sectors.
In addition to utility companies, the Utilities Team work closely with landowners who are considering granting rights over their land to DNO’s and IDNO’s. The network of contacts our lawyers have within the utilities sector allows them to progress transactions quickly and keep all parties up to date.
EV and heat
Birketts is excited by the move towards Net Zero and the UK obligation to reduce its emissions to Net Zero by 2050. EV’s and heat pumps play a significant role in achieving this. It has been estimated the UK needs an additional 25,000 EV charging points by 2030 to match EV demand. Our Utilities Team are working with their vast client base of developers, house builders, landowners and commercial occupiers on incorporating EV charging points to fulfil planning obligations, attract tenants, benefit customers and employees, boost environmental credentials or pave the way for modern businesses with fleets of EV’s. The Utilities Team have also been instructed on a number of heat pump networks and are keeping abreast of the commercial and legal heat sector to support their clients in this growing area.
- Land Rights for utility companies
- Incorporated Rights process
- Commercial property transactions involving electric gas fibre water heat and EV
- Gas transporters
- Water incumbents
- Gas Governors
- Fibre cabinets
- Water pumping stations
- Early access licences
- s.104 agreements
- Leases and licences for EV Charging
East of England Energy Group
Thank you so very much for the tireless hard work you continue to give us, the extra mile you are always prepared to give and all with such a positive that doesn’t falter – even when we are at our most demanding! We are always very appreciative of what you do for us and we are grateful to have such a wonderful team representing us.
Sue Standing, Legal Manager [BUUK Infrastructure]