CMS secures Northern Lighthouse Board appointment

CMS secures Northern Lighthouse Board appointment

Eleanor Lane

CMS has been appointed to advise the Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB) on the procurement of a new vessel to replace the NLV Pole Star.

The Oban-based 52.5m vessel, used for buoy-laying and other core NLB operations, was built in 2000 by Ferguson Shipbuilders in Port Glasgow.

CMS, appointed following a competitive tender process, will be responsible for advising NLB on all aspects of procurement for the replacement vessel.

This includes advising on procurement strategy, preparation of documents, support on shipyard selection, contract negotiations and support through vessel construction and delivery. The brief also involves regular liaison with the UK Department for Transport (DfT) NLB’s sponsor department. The work is expected to continue until at least 2025.

The CMS team will be led by partners Eleanor Lane and Ailsa Ritchie from the Glasgow shipping projects team and London-based partner Graeme Young, a procurement law and regulation specialist, with support from across the firm on all legal aspects of the project.

Ms Lane said: “We’re delighted to be appointed by NLB to advise on all legal aspects of the procurement for the NLV Pole Star replacement vessel. This is a significant and multi-layered project which will engage colleagues from across the firm, utilising the expertise of a number of CMS’s specialist teams. We are well-structured to successfully manage this brief and looking forward to supporting our client and working closely with sponsor Department, the DfT.”

Mike Bullock, NLB’s chief executive said: ”We are delighted to be working with CMS on this crucially important project. Because of age and the obsolete equipment fitted to our existing vessel NLV Pole Star, it is becoming increasingly challenging to maintain operational availability.

“The replacement project offers the opportunity for a more capable vessel better suited to the task and importantly one which is environmentally friendly. The project is complex and must meet exacting standards for public procurement as well as technical standards and value for money, therefore CMS’s advice and assurance will be essential to ensure the successful delivery of the new vessel.”

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