Simmons, Bakers and Bird & Bird turn up the heat on £12bn smart meter contract

Simmons & Simmons, Baker & McKenzie and Bird & Bird have landed roles on the UK Government’s £12bn programme to install ‘smart’ utility meters across Britain by the start of 2020.

Simmons is advising Telefonica’s UK arm which has been granted a £1.5bn contract by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to provide smart meters for central and southern UK.

Bakers client, communications company Arqiva, won a £625m contract for the north and Scotland.

The companies will provide communications networks that will connect the meters to a data centre, so that readings can be collected remotely as well as in real time.

Simmons information, communications and technology (ICT) partner James Cotter led the firm’s team advising longstanding client Telefonica UK, which also fielded employment partner Philip Bartlett, asset finance partner Christopher Boresjo and tax partner Darren Oswick.

The team worked alongside Telefonica UK legal counsel for new business Steve Mortimer, who was the lead lawyer on the transaction.

Bird & Bird represented DECC with a team comprising commercial partners Ronald Hendrikx and Ian Edwards, while Bakers’ team was led by IT commercial partner Duncan Reid-Thomas.

Cotter said: “Not only has the transaction been a key strategic priority for Telef