Law firm DLA Piper has developed a series of recommendations to support a smooth PFI/PPP handback and expiry process - with delegates at the UK partnerships Hub conference given a sneak peek.
Among the proposals contained in the firm’s upcoming Project Autumn publication - a wide reaching, industry-led study looking to resolve key issues with expiry - is the potential creation of “expiry and handback resolution council” in order to increase transparency and prevent repeat disputes.
DLA Piper partner Alison Fagan told delegates that the council would be “akin to a Supreme Court”, publishing decisions in order to share judgements and precedents to “prevent disputes and allow people to move on to other issues”.
Fagan added that the “complex matters are not well suited to being solved” through the current adjudication system, which does not provide an “open body of jurisprudence about how contracts and issues are being resolved.
“We need to know what the decisions are so we don’t keep having the same fights,” she added.
Fagan noted that all parties would have to agree on implementing such an idea, including agreeing that redacted versions of decisions could be distributed once given.
Iain Harris, Invesis’s head of concession in the UK, said that the “aspirational” idea makes “perfect sense and would certainly streamline processes”, but noted the “difficult” task of getting buy-in from all parties.
Among some of the other recommendations outlined by DLA Piper were the creation of a cross industry PPP Net Zero body; changing the role of lenders during expiry to increase engagement or handover responsibility; and resolving issues surrounding personal well being and codifying behavioural standards.
All 10 recommendations are due to be published in full later this month.