Leading infrastructure partner sets up new venture

Mark Swindell, a senior partner of DLA Piper, has resigned from the international law firm in order to establish a new business providing “structured solutions” for large-scale infrastructure projects

Mark Swindell, a leading player in DLA Piper’s global infrastructure practice, has established his new business, Rock Infrastructure Limited, which will officially launch on 3rd May 2011. Swindell described Rock as “filling the vacuum between governments, private sector suppliers and institutional money for structuring deals in this changing, post-PFI market”.

He added: “Rock will be doing deals in different sectors and countries. These will require an ability to innovate, drive and lead new structured solutions from first principles. They will align the interests of parties with different stakeholders, responsibilities and risk expectations.”

Rock will get involved on the largest PPP deals, both in the UK and internationally. He is currently in the process of hiring others partners for the business with investment bank and infrastructure equity backgrounds.
Rock Infrastructure, which is an independent developer and a co-sponsor, will invest equity in projects using development capital as well as, potentially, investment from institutional lenders, including pension funds.
Swindell, who spent 18 years at DLA, established the firm’s Commercial & Projects group in 1998. Seven years later he was appointed as the firm’s joint global head of Commercial, following the merger of the firm’s Commercial and Projects practices. In this position he made a significant contribution to the establishment of DLA’s PPP businesses in North America, Africa, the Middle East, Central Europe and Asia. The department also closed over 200 PFI projects during his time in charge.

Swindell established and led DLA’s PPP roundtable and produced the European PPP Report, the last edition of which was published in December jointly with the EIB. He is known for advising on the first defence, social infrastructure and waste PFI projects in the UK. In addition, he advised on one of the first economic PPP infrastructure projects in California for Balfour Beatty, Mitsui and Citibank.

Key deals he advised on included British Rail privatisation, Birmingham Highways, Edinburgh Tram, Mersey Gateway Bridge, London 2012 Olympics and the Agility Trains consortium on the GBP7bn Intercity Express Programme.
Prior to DLA, Swindell spent 10 years working at Clifford Chance.