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Legal


New guide aims to keep major projects on track


Law firm Pinsent Masons has launched a guide to help joint venture partners plan and deliver mega infrastructure projects such as the HS2 railway. Infrastructure sector specialists


at Pinsent claim that the guide – ‘Joint Ventures: Delivering Global Mega Infrastructure Projects’ – will help JVs deliver more consistently, efficiently and sustainably than ever before. Research shows that eight per


cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) is spent on global mega projects, which are increasingly being delivered by JVs. Vincent Connor, head of Pinsent


Masons’ Hong Kong office, said: "The stability of the world's economy relies on enhanced infrastructure, which is increasingly being delivered by JVs. “However, JVs in the


infrastructure sector are more often than not formed due to the capacity to deliver projects, rather than the best capability to do so. “The capability of businesses to


deliver these projects is increasingly under pressure due to their increased scale, complexity and the integration of technology.


“Often, there is less


consideration of the inherent conflicts within JVs or the opportunities arising from getting the JV better structured, more efficiently engaged and better incentivised." Pinsent says that global mega


infrastructure projects are ‘consistently costing more and taking longer to deliver than initially approved’, and the new guide will give JV partners a better chance of making a success of these projects by advising on how to structure things properly. There is also a section devoted


to what to do if things go terminally wrong. Mr Connor said: “Common


factors for disputes include poor leadership, data ownership, and a lack of common identity and willingness to embrace new culture. “These are areas where


thoughtful, well-advised and long- term planning can bring greater outcomes for JVs and project owners alike.” The guide has been developed


following extensive engagement with stakeholders across the firm’s global infrastructure network.


Charities in spotlight


The general public expects very high standards from charities in the way gifts in wills are handled, according to Thursfields Solicitors. The Midlands law firm was commenting in the


wake of a scathing report from the Charity Commission which warned charities to take public expectations more seriously. The report, based on a review of


hundreds of complaints the regulator handled last year, concluded that charities should be ‘distinct’ from other organisations in their ‘attitude, behaviour, motivations and methods’. It added that ‘every complaint about charities matters’, and urged charities to ‘listen and learn’ when they receive complaints. Katherine Ellis (pictured), a senior associate solicitor and third


sector expert at Thursfields, said: “This report underlines the great expectations that the general public has towards charities. “People expect charities to clearly state how they intend to further


their mission, to show how they manage their resources responsibly, and to reflect their purposes in their values and culture. “These demands for high standards apply particularly where gifts in


wills are concerned, and they come on top of all the legal obligations and duties placed upon charities which specify how they must manage and utilise such bequests. Often it can feel difficult to achieve a balance between the two, with charities trying to follow and fulfil their legal obligations while also managing the expectations and relationships they have with supporters and the public at large.”


April 2020 CHAMBERLINK 77


Sector Focus


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