Understanding your challenges


Managing the complexity and uncertainty involved in transformational projects is enormously challenging. Those leading these huge programmes need highly experienced lawyers to help them avoid hard-coding in failure at the outset. Throughout the lifecycle of the project, you also need multi-disciplinary legal advisers who can help deliver:

  • stakeholder engagement;
  • change management;
  • reputation management; and
  • dispute preparation and avoidance.
Thinking right-to-left

We believe a key attribute in those involved in major projects is the ability to think 'right-to-left'. In other words, starting by deciding what success looks like and then developing a pragmatic, legally-sound approach to delivering it. Unlike most legal advisors, our lawyers don't focus on documenting arrangements, reviewing contracts and assigning blame. Our focus is on establishing what a successful outcome would be and how we can help negotiate and deliver it.

We also ensure we deliver our advice in an easy-to-understand that enables everyone involved in the programme to quickly appreciate the solution we recommending. Our goal is to create highly visual, one page diagrams that represent the overall programme and create an 'I-get-it' moment within 45 seconds. By doing this, we aim to ensure programme managers can immediately use our advice to explain key points to their Board or to the front line.

Proven international experience

We know this approach works because it is based on our unrivalled experience. Our Bird & Bird Transformational Projects Group is an international team spread across our offices in Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Europe that has successfully structured, managed and negotiated some of the world’s most highly challenged projects. We have also handled ‘in-flight’ resets of contracts worth many €billions.

Because we have successfully negotiated and contract-managed entire projects from beginning to end, we have unique insights into the project lifecycle. Team members have worked on numerous major programmes at every stage, from tendering, evaluation, contract award, design, development and deployment, as well as on critical re-sets and exits.

This means we can help you understand how your projects should be:

  • resourced to deliver success;
  • structured so as to design out common causes of project failure;
  • designed to align customer and supplier interests with those of the project; and
  • contract managed using proven methods and tools.
Unique recognition from the University of Oxford and the UK Government

As a result of our leading reputation, members of our Group were asked to participate in training the UK Government’s most senior civil servants on managing major projects – the only lawyers invited to be involved in this far-sighted Cabinet Office initiative. Our team has also developed close links with Saïd Business School, part of the University of Oxford, and worked with its academics to develop the legal and commercial modules for an MSc in Major Programme Management. Our team now contains a number of Associate Fellows of Saïd Business School.

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