Pinsents and Bond Dickinson win Water Plus panel appointments

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Bond Dickinson, Pinsent Masons and Shepherd and Wedderburn have won spots on Water-Plus’s new legal panel.

Water Plus is a joint venture between FTSE 100 companies Severn Trent and United Utilities.

The panel appointments will run for two years. The process was led by head of legal and company secretary Kristin Garrett.

The water company is based in Stoke-on-Trent and provides water and sewage business services to businesses in the UK. It launched last year when new competition rules were announced for the water sector, which will introduce competition into the water market in England from April 2017.

Bond Dickinson will provide advice across commercial, competition, regulatory and commercial disputes. Energy and client relationship partner Ian Newcombe said: “The new competition rules coming into force in April 2017 will impact all UK businesses looking to switch providers and will come with a number of legal challenges as well as opportunities.”

Separately, Severn Trent has a sole adviser relationship with Eversheds, which was renewed for a five-year term in April 2015.

Eversheds was first appointed to the role in 2010 and reappointed for a three-year term in 2012.

It handles debt recovery, employment, general quality regulation, property and combined competition/commercial economic regulation work for the utility.

Fellow utility Thames Water is currently reviewing its sole provider relationship with Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP).

The relationship dates back to 2010, when the utility company signed a deal to transfer the bulk of its legal team to BLP’s Managed Legal Services division. At the time, the deal was understood to be worth around £5m a year.