Regulatory and public law has a huge impact on businesses, as well as on governmental and public bodies. Norton Rose Group has a wealth of experience giving realistic, practical advice on a vast range of regulatory and public law matters to both public and private sector clients. This document introduces you to our capacities and gives you the contact details of those who can help.
At a time of ever more complex regulation, companies need to know their obligations
– and avoid the pitfalls of non-compliance
– and also protect their rights.
Whether in sector regulation of utilities, transport, media and telecoms, or planning laws, or environmental and health & safety law and regulation, or public procurement, or EU state aid rules, or financial services regulation – or indeed any other encounter with government (at EU, national or local level) – Norton Rose Group has the experience and expertise to help your company through the regulatory web.
We aim to ensure that regulation becomes a hurdle to be cleared, not a block to progress – and that sometimes it can be a means of advancing the rights of your business and creating new opportunities.
Governmental and regulatory bodies
As far as governmental and regulatory bodies are concerned, the need to observe public and administrative law requirements is becoming increasingly important as, in a litigious culture, the prospects of legal challenge loom large – from rights of appeal, judicial review, human rights forums and the European Courts. We have a track record in assisting governmental and public bodies, in the UK and across Europe, to avoid the pitfalls and, where necessary, to enable them to defend their positions. We believe strongly that while it is good to succeed in judicial review cases (and we do), it is better still to help our clients avoid having to be in court, by ensuring that decisions and procedures are compliant.
Compliance with public law obligations does not necessarily mean constraining policy choices – it is perfectly possible for governmental and regulatory bodies to achieve their policy objectives so long as regulatory decisions are properly reasoned, consistent with statutory duties and made in compliance with fair and open procedures.
How we can help
In this document we want to tell you about some of the clients we have helped – in both the private and public sectors – and about the range of our expertise.
A particular feature of Norton Rose Group, when compared with other leading international legal practices, is that we have a real understanding of the role of public bodies, with members of our team having worked both for – and within – governmental and regulatory agencies. We believe that this gives us a sensitivity to the mix of legal, economic, political and public relations issues which government, public sector bodies and regulators face – and the broader policy context in which they operate – to the benefit of regulators, the businesses they regulate and those that wish to invest or participate in public sector projects.
As one of the leading legal practices in project finance, we have experience of public sector, PFI and PPP projects in the United Kingdom and internationally. We specialise in energy and transport – two of our five key strengths – and have recently focused on urban regeneration. Our experience covers all the major sectors, including prisons, road, rail, defence, waste, energy, schools and infrastructure projects. We understand and are sensitive to the regulatory framework that public bodies have to work within to achieve successful public sector projects.
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Advising regulatory and governmental bodies
Ofgem (Office of Gas and Electricity Markets in the UK)
Since being appointed to the legal panel in 2005, we have acted for the UK energy regulator on the application of judicial review principles to decisions in the gas sector; modifications of the gas industry network code; gas licence modifications; and aspects of the gas transmission price review.
ORR (Office of Rail Regulation in the UK)
We have been legal adviser to the ORR since 2002, and were reappointed to its legal panel following a competitive tender in 2006. Our work for the ORR has included:
- drafting modifications of the licences of Network Rail and other industry players
- successfully defending the ORR in two major judicial review challenges in the High Court
- drafting relevant provisions in UK rail industry codes (network code and stations code)
- the five-yearly "access charges reviews" (price determinations) determining levels of payments to Network Rail, in 2003 and 2008
- drafting internal procedures and guidance for handling requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.
UK Government’s Department for Transport
We have been appointed as adviser on the rolling stock procurement project for the West Coast Main Line (the Pendolino Lengthening and Fleet Expansion Project).
The Crown Estate
We are one of two legal practices appointed to the newly formed Energy Panel of The Crown Estate following a competitive tender. We will be advising offshore wind farm projects.
Ofwat (UK water regulator)
In 2009 we were appointed by the UK water regulator, Ofwat, to advise it in connection with Thames Water's £2 billion Tideway Tunnel Project, 30 kilometres of tunnel beneath London, designed to prevent the overflow of sewers into the Thames after heavy rainfall.
Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority (JCRA)
Advising on drafting of new competition legislation for Jersey.
UK Governments’s Department of Health
Advising on major outsourcing contracts, involving commercial, public procurement and competition law advice.
Advising on a range of legal issues, including public procurement and urban regeneration projects.
Hull City Council
Advising on the public law and regulatory aspects of proposals for the future of Hull telecoms company, Kingston Communications (for historic reasons, Hull has always had its own telephone network, separate from that of British Telecom).
Cyprus Electricity Reform project
We led a multi-disciplinary team advising the Attorney General’s Office on the legislative changes required to ensure compliance with the European Union Directives on the internal market in electricity.
Greek Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE)
Following market opening, advising the Authority on the preparation of Authorisation Regulations (to govern the authorisations required by market participants) and the preparation of a consumer supply code for eligible consumers.
Croatian Ministry of Economy
We led a multidisciplinary team advising on the restructuring of the 100 per cent state-owned electricity monopoly HEP including separation of non-core businesses from electricity generation, transmission and distribution and creation of separate affiliated companies.
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Babergh District Council
Judicial review proceedings in the High Court to challenge a grant of planning permission for an industrial development in breach of EU directive and statutory requirements.
Buxton Mineral Water
Advising on potential judicial review of decisions made in connection with the proposed redevelopment of Buxton Crescent in Buxton as a hotel and spa facility.
Workspace Group plc
Advising in connection with the judicial review of a decision to grant planning permission for redeveloping a site in the London Borough of Hackney for mixed uses.
Bombardier Transportation (UK) Limited
Advising on public law issues (including potential judicial review) arising from the administration of Metronet, the company responsible for the overhaul of the London underground network.
ORR (Office of Rail Regulation)
Successfully defending the ORR in two judicial review challenges: the London and Continental Station Properties/Midlands Mainline case; and the 2006 challenge by GNER to the ORR’s decision to grant open access rights to competing operators on the East Coast Mainline.
Office of the Italian State Prosecutor
Acting on a threatened judicial review by Silvio Berlusconi against the UK Government. Successfully defeating an attempt to deter the UK Government from transmitting evidence to Italy for use in criminal proceedings and subsequently assisting to defeat an application to judicially review this decision.
London Gateway Port (P&O Ports)
Acting on risk management issues concerning proposed £1.5 billion port at Shellhaven, including a full range of public law considerations such as judicial review.
Inspectors appointed by the Government of Bermuda
Advising on public law issues to minimise the risk of judicial review in relation to their multi-jurisdictional investigation into the affairs of a network of companies with substantial assets acquired from Russian telecoms privatisation.
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Associated British Ports
Advising generally on planning and public law issues on major infrastructure projects in relation to the ports of Southampton, Ipswich, Grimsby and Immingham, in particular:
- advising ABP at a public inquiry into the proposed designation of part of its land within the proposed New Forest National Park
- advising ABP at a public inquiry into the proposed designation by the former Countryside Agency of parts of its land for open public access
- advising ABP at a 12 month public inquiry into its proposals for the construction of the Dibden container terminal at the Port of Southampton.
Renewable Energy Systems Limited
Advising on the consents required for the construction of a wind farm at Mynedd Clogau in mid-Wales, including undertaking the advocacy at a public inquiry.
Acting for English Heritage at the public inquiry into the “Shard of Glass” tower at London Bridge.
Advising English Partnerships on all planning issues in relation to a major mixed use development in the centre of Ashford, Kent comprising residential and retail, business, hotel and leisure and education uses.
London Development Agency
Advising the LDA on the acquisition of land by way of compulsory purchase for the 2012 Olympic Games.
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Advising on first contested appeal against Environment Agency decision designating remediation of special site under the contaminated land regime (decision called in by the Secretary of State).
Associated British Ports
Successfully advising ABP on a High Court challenge by a commercial competitor to a decision by the Secretary of State for Transport to authorise the expansion of the Port of Immingham; the challenge involved complex issues regarding the UK’s implementation of EU environmental directives.
South Hook LNG Terminal Company
Successfully defending in the High Court and Court of Appeal challenges brought by local objectors to the consent granted to South Hook LNG Terminal Company Ltd for the construction of a LNG terminal at Milford Haven in Wales.
Advising on judicial review proceedings against the Environment Agency over the interpretation of the term “waste” in EU law.
Advising the European Commission on a project to provide technical support for an enabling policy framework for carbon dioxide capture and geological storage.
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Financial services regulation
We offer top-rate financial services advice and have worked with numerous clients in relation to their MiFID and other projects. Our team includes experience of working within the Financial Services Authority.
Advising various banks and investment firms on their MiFID implementation including Société Générale, Bank of Ireland and Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander.
Advising on its MiFID implementation and a number of other issues arising from its acquisition of the business of BNY Securities Limited.
Advising on the regulatory aspects and documentation relating to its acquisition of Lloyds TSB Registrars and the creation of the Equiniti group.
JP Morgan Cazenove
Advising on the regulation of multilateral trading facilities operated by the firm.
Fortis Bank Global Clearing
Advising in relation to the documentation and regulatory issues relating to its involvement in Chi-X.
Providing financial services regulatory advice on its commodity derivative trading operations in the UK and co-ordinating international advice on these issues, including analysis of trading structures under the current regulatory regime and also in the light of MiFID.
Climate Change Capital
Advising on the establishment of a managed account and a private equity fund, to invest in carbon credits.
Advising on the regulatory position of Drax, the UK’s largest coal fired power station, in relation to the regulatory status of various derivative products and the effect of MiFID on its trading business.
Old Mutual Asset Managers
Acting on the outsourcing of its back office to Royal Bank of Canada.
A full review of Chinese walls procedures in the investment banking arm of HSBC focussing on providing a commercial approach to managing conflicts issues whilst recognising the legal and regulatory requirements for separation of functions and limitations on the flow of information.
Acting on the acquisition of a service provider by EuronextLIFFE which provides market infrastructure type services, including novel regulatory issues relating to the authorisation status of the entity, the treatment of the relevant commodity derivatives and the nature of the entity's activities from a financial services regulatory perspective.
Reviewing the regulatory capital treatment of a number of innovative asset finance transactions in the light of the current capital rules and changes brought about by Basel II and the Capital Requirements Directive.
Advising on regulatory issues arising from Scottish Power’s commodity derivatives trading and have seconded team members to their regulatory team. This has involved cutting edge work on the implications of MiFID on the structure of the business.
Islamic Bank of Britain
Helping develop its Islamic retail finance products; Norton Rose works closely with a number of major institutions including AXA supporting internal client resource centres on specialist areas such as financial promotion and consumer credit.
Advising on Chinese walls procedures in London and various related regulatory issues.
AXA Sun Life plc
Major financial promotion review of pensions “A” day documentation.
Bank of Ireland
Advising on various financial services regulatory issues, including preparation of new terms of business (investment business) and terms and conditions (banking and forex business), the high level impact of MiFID, and internal audit review of systems and controls.
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We have been a leading firm in the energy sector since the early 1990s. Our practice encompasses advising on market reform, renewables projects, energy trading, development of interconnectors and other infrastructure as well as climate change issues and emissions trading.
Advising BritNed (a consortium of National Grid and TenneT, its Dutch counterpart) on the development of an approximately 1,000MW DC subsea electricity cable interconnector.
Advising AES on the $1.9 billion financing and acquisition of Drax Power (at 3,960MW, the largest coal-fired power station in Western Europe) and subsequently advising Drax Power on its financial restructuring and its IPO.
New Electricity Trading Arrangements
Advising Drax Power and other market players on NETA, including expert determinations.
Acting for one of the bidders for Viridian Group, including full regulatory due diligence on the statutory and licence regimes in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Eastern Electricity and 24Seven
Advising TXU in connection with the sale of its 100 per cent in the Eastern Electricity distribution company and its 50 per cent interest in 24Seven Utility Services to the London Electricity group (controlled by Electricité de France), including obtaining European Commission competition clearance.
Mark Hill Wind Power
Advising a wind power operator on a request for determination to Ofgem as regards charges for connection to the transmission network.
Renewable Energy Systems
Advising RES on the €225 million refinancing of its Astraeus portfolio of operational wind farms and development projects, including wind farms in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and continuing to act on the introduction of new wind farms into the portfolio.
EirGrid, Republic of Ireland
Advising on issues relating to North/South interconnection.
Wind Energy (Services) Limited
Advising on the reform of industry codes, agreements and licences, including the Connection and Use of System Code, to encourage further renewable plant in Great Britain by changing the current queuing system for connecting to the grid.
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Advising on regulation of the gas sector, including transmission price modifications and licence enforcement and pricing implications arising out of gas capacity auction issues.
Acting for the consortium led by CKI and United Utilities on its acquisition of the North England Gas Distribution Network in the NGT Transco disposal auction.
UK/Continent gas Interconnector
Advising Abbey National Treasury Services on a tax lease and acting for the European Investment Bank on the financing of this gas pipeline project.
Acting for the developer of the BBL gas interconnector.
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We have acted for WaSCs and WoCs in England and Wales – advising them on the application of the comparator principle (especially in merger control), ring-fencing issues and price reviews (where we acted on the first successful challenge of an Ofwat price determination at the Competition Commission).
Mid Kent Water
- at the Competition Commission, successfully defending MKW from a hostile bid by two French water conglomerates – on the basis of comparator competition
- acting for MKW in one of two appeals to the Competition Commission against Ofwat’s price determination for 2000-05 and the modification of its licence – the first successful challenge of its kind against a regulatory price cap
- advising on a range of regulatory issues, including the public procurement rules, the Water Act 2003 competition regime and obligations under the Water Industry Act 1991.
Acting for the Bream/WestLB consortium bid for AWG (Anglian Water), including advising on regulatory and merger control issues.
South East Water
Advising on cross-border supply issues.
Advising on a variety of competition, regulatory and public procurement issues.
Advising on a number of issues including amendments to the Bill which came the Water Act 2003 and review of Ofwat’s price determination.
Acting for Kelda on the merger of Yorkshire Environmental Global Waste Management and Waste Recycling Group plc.
Acting for CKI on its purchase of Cambridge Water.
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UK public service broadcasters
Advising BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4 on internet TV ventures.
The Hallmark Channel in Europe
Advising on a range of matters, including the rules for TV advertising in 20 countries across Europe, and all UK and EU law aspects of the sale of the channel’s European operation.
Advising on regulatory aspects of the formation of Britain’s free-to-air digital TV platform.
BBC transmission network
Acting for Crown Castle, the successful bidder on the privatisation of the BBC’s broadcast transmission business – in acquiring the business, and subsequently advising it as new operator of the business on various regulatory matters (including following its takeover by National Grid).
Advising BNP Paribas as lead arranger and agent for the £110 million senior loan facilities as part of the £166 million acquisition of BBC Broadcast Limited by Creative Broadcast Services Limited, a vehicle backed by Macquarie Capital Alliance Group.
Jetix Europe NV
Assisting in connection with the Canal +/TPS merger.
Assisting in connection with the Canal +/TPS merger.
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Advising on the establishment of FibreSpeed, a high-speed broadband fibre optic network for Wales, sponsored by the Welsh Assembly Government.
Advising Romania’s leading telecoms company on compliance with regulatory and competition law, in view of Romania’s accession to the EU.
Advising on regulatory issues in Vodafone's successful acquisition of the private-sector stake in Ghana Telecom.
Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat)
Specialist regulatory due diligence on a series of international M&A transactions and mobile licence auctions.
Advising SITA SC, a telecommunications company providing services to a closed user group, with respect to issues relating to its compliance with Greek telecommunications legislation.
Analysing the telecoms regulatory framework of several countries in the MENA zone and West Africa in relation to potential acquisitions and investments.
Advising on regulatory rules for mobile telephony in various countries.
Advising on competition (antitrust) and regulatory aspects of Swisscom's bid to acquire Czech Telecom.
Advising on regulatory and competition clearances for the acquisition of the UK mobile operator.
Obtaining UK competition (antitrust) clearance for the merger between the number one internet service providers of Britain and France.
Advising the leading Czech mobile operator on regulatory and EU law issues.
Obtaining regulatory clearances for installation of on-board mobile telephony on passenger vessels.
Advising a range of clients on regulatory issues relating to GSM licence auctions across a range of jurisdictions in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
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Advising on a variety of procurement law issues relating to the London Gateway project and the establishment of a Harbour Authority.
UK Government’s Department of Health
Advising on all procurement aspects relating to the establishment of a joint venture with a private sector partner including a framework agreement for the supply of shared financial services to National Health Service Trusts.
Bouygues – Cyprus airports
Advising on procurement law matters arising from the granting of a concession by the Cyprus Government for the construction and operation of two international airports.
Advising on the undertaking of a competitive award procedure for the procurement of motorway tolling services.
Strabag and Hochtief
Advising a consortium including on procurement law issues that have arisen in the course of a procurement exercise for the granting of a concession by the Greek Government for the construction, maintenance and operation of a national highway.
Abertis/TBI – Luton Airport
Advising on procurement issues in relation to London Luton Airport.
Rochdale Borough Council
Advising ABN Amro on issues arising in the course of a procurement exercise undertaken by the Council for the design and construction of a new primary school.
Bouygues – Mid Essex Hospital
Advising on issues arising in the course of a procurement exercise undertaken by Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust with regard to a PFI contract for the centralisation and modernisation of acute services within Mid Essex.
Advising a consortium led by on procurement law issues arising in the context of the granting of a concession by the Greek Government for the construction and operation of an undersea tunnel.
Advising on a variety of procurement law issues.
Advising the Royal Bank of Scotland on procurement law issues raised in the context of the award of a contract by the Scottish Executive for the operation of passenger and vehicle ferry services.
Neptune Orient Lines
Advising on procurement law issues arising within the context of a procurement exercise for the award of a contract by the Port of Rotterdam for the construction and operation of a container terminal.
Advising on public procurement rules within the context of a challenge to its status as preferred bidder in a public procurement exercise relating to helicopter search and rescue service.
BritNed Development Ltd
Advising a joint venture between National Grid International Ltd and NLink International BV on the undertaking of a competitive exercise for the procurement of works relating to the establishment of an electricity interconnector between the UK and the Netherlands.
Advising on procurement law issues arising from the award of a concession by the Greek Government for the construction and operation of a certain motorways.
Ealing Primary Care Trust
Advising on a variety of procurement law issues relating to a contract that it had previously awarded.
Advising a UK energy management company on procurement law aspects of combined heat and power contracts with local authorities and universities.
Advising on the amendment of a framework agreement and the implications of new procurement regulations.
Advising on a wide range of public procurement law issues, including on the rules relating to framework agreements.
Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Limited and United Utilities plc
Advising a consortium led by the Hong Kong based infrastructure company Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Limited and United Utilities plc on a range of procurement issues within the context of the acquisition of one of the UK gas distribution networks recently sold by National Grid Transco.
Tube Lines consortium
Advising the lenders on compliance with procurement obligations in the London Underground PPP (which involved the renewal, operation and maintenance of certain parts of the London Underground infrastructure).
Advising on the procurement implications of contracts awarded by the National Trust for the restoration of Hardwick Hall in the light of grants awarded by English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Advising in relation to procurement issues for South West Trains.
Federal Republic of Germany
Advising the Federal Republic of Germany and lenders on procurement issues with regard to eight toll road privatisation projects.
Consortium of German municipalities
Advising a consortium of German municipalities on the applicability of procurement provisions on a PPP/PFI project for the acquisition of rolling stock.
Advising on the application of procurement rules to a proposed up-grade of power plants in Italy.
Advising on procurement issues relating to the construction of railway link between Stockholm and Arlanda airport.
New airport in Berlin
Advising a bidding consortium member on issues concerning the bidding process for the construction of the new airport in Berlin.
Rotterdam tunnel project
Acting for a consortium in summary proceedings relating to a disqualification in a procurement process for a Rotterdam tunnel project.
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EU state aid rules
Advising Olivant, one of the private-sector bidders which was in talks with the Government to rescue Northern Rock, on EU state aid issues in the rescue plan.
Advising on state aid issues in relation to renewable energy.
Belfast International Airport
Advising on challenging the grant of state aid to another airport.
Advising on compliance with the state aid rules in its dealings with current and potential airport partners, including in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Switzerland.
Advising the banking syndicate lending to Tube Lines, one of the consortia involved in the London Underground Public Private Partnership (PPP), on state aid issues arising from the PPP process, and in particular providing comfort that the European Commission’s state aid clearance was robust and invulnerable to a successful appeal by Transport for London.
Royal Bank of Scotland
Advising lessor of ferry services to Northlink in Scotland, on a state aid issue concerning possible new aid following the UK Government’s grant of initial aid authorised by the European Commission.
Advising a municipal transport company, on the extent to which its outsourcing of activities was compliant with EU state aid law.
Providing advice to a traffic company on state aid issues related to the establishment of a rolling stock company for a regional railway.
German Federal Ministry of Traffic
Providing an opinion to the on issues arising from the liberalisation of public transport in Germany.
Representing an international logistics provider during state aid investigations by the European Commission.
Advising KB, a subsidiary of Société Générale in the Czech Republic, on the notification of restructuring aid granted to KB.
UK Government’s Department of Health
Advising on state aid issues in relation to the establishment of a PPP joint venture for the supply of financial services to the NHS (National Health Service).
German Ministry of Transport, Construction and Housing
Advising on the largest PPP projects undertaken so far in Germany. The projects involve the granting of concessions for the construction, financing, operation and maintenance of several stretches of motorway, which are to be widened. Advising on all state aid and public procurement aspects of the negotiated procedure including the drafting of guidelines, invitation to tender documents and contracts. Advising the Ministry throughout the entire tendering procedure until contracts are finally awarded.
German Land Brandenburg
Advising during several state aid proceedings before the European Commission in relation to SMEs.
German Land Thüringen
Advising during a state aid proceeding before the European Commission in relation to agricultural products.
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Public sector/PPP projects
ASWR Strategic Service Project
Advising the senior lenders in relation to the provision of £200 million funding for the supply of a world-wide strategic sea transport service to the Ministry of Defence including advice in relation to procurement and State Aid issues.
Ashford, Peterborough and Addiewell Prisons
Advising the senior lenders on the financing of the design, construction, operation and maintenance of each these prison projects including planning, judicial review and procurement issues.
Advising the arranging groups supporting Tube Lines Group in relation to the operation and maintenance of certain parts of the London Underground and advising European Investment Bank in the £1.8 billion refinancing of the same project, including statutory powers and vires issues.
Kings Waterfront Arena, Liverpool
Advising the project company on leasing facilities in connection with the development of an exhibition centre and arena at Kings Waterfront for Liverpool City Council, including vires and public sector accounting and capital control issues.
Islington Council’s PFI Social Housing Schemes 1 and 2
Advising the project company and the lenders in relation to these very substantial housing PFI transactions including vires issues.
Waste to Energy Project
Acting for the lead arranger of approximately £73 million of project finance facilities for Mercia Waste Management Limited on a PFI integrated waste management project incorporating a waste to energy power station. This project was one of the first “pathfinder” projects supported by the 4Ps.
Advising the consortia, the lenders or the authority in relation to BSF pathfinder projects including Bristol, Bradford, Lancashire, Sheffield, Newcastle, Lewisham and Solihull.
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