Thames Tideway Tunnel inspector joins Pinsent Masons to boost planning team

International law firm Pinsent Masons has boosted its team of Nationally Significant Infrastructure consenting and property specialists by hiring a further four leading legal and planning practitioners.  

The new hires are led by Jan Bessell (pictured) as strategic planning adviser. She was formerly a lead examining inspector at the Planning Inspectorate, having been a partner and head of planning at law firm Dickinson Dees (now Bond Dickinson).

Bessell was the lead examining inspector involved in the Thames Tideway Tunnel major Development Consent Order (DCO) application, the UK’s largest nationally significant infrastructure project to date. She has considerable experience of major offshore wind farms, National Grid applications and other major DCO schemes. She also has particular expertise in manufacturing, universities and brownfield development.

The other hires include:

Senior associate, Richard Turnbull from CMS, where he specialised in energy and infrastructure property.

Associate Tom Edwards from DLA Piper, where he specialised in energy and infrastructure planning. He also has commercial and residential development expertise.

Associate Emma O’Gorman, from Squire Paton Boggs, where she specialised in energy and infrastructure planning and also has commercial and residential experience.

The new staff add to Pinsent Masons’ DCO team of over 40 specialists, who are part of the firm’s 90 strong planning and environment and energy and infrastructure team in the UK.

Jan Bessell said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Planning Inspectorate and before then at the Infrastructure Planning Commission. I have had the privilege of examining some of the UK’s highest profile nationally significant infrastructure projects alongside a number of first class and experienced colleagues. I look forward to working with Pinsent Masons’ clients of DCO promoters, host authorities and those affected by such projects to add further expertise in this arena, alongside my other areas of planning expertise.”

Jennifer Ballantyne, head of energy and infrastructure property and consenting at Pinsent Masons, said: “These are important hires for the firm. We are absolutely committed to being the number one legal team in the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project arena..”

Robbie Owen, head of infrastructure planning and government affairs at Pinsent Masons, said:  "Government and private sector sponsored major infrastructure schemes are core to our practice, now including commercial and business projects proceeding down the national infrastructure consenting route. Investing in four further experienced team members underlines our commitment to this area,.”

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