Melanie originally trained as a barrister, and worked in industry for Shell and then in publishing for Sweet and Maxwell before qualifying as a solicitor in 1992.
She is listed as a leading individual in Chambers’ Guide to the Legal Profession, is detailed as “highly commended” in the Legal 500 and is listed in the International Directory of Best Lawyers.
Melanie heads a team of specialist lawyers which has won the prestigious PFI Law Firm of the Year award in 2016, 2014 and 2013. Her team is also ranked top tier nationally in the PFI, Education, Healthcare and Local Government, was promoted to number 1 for PFI and projects in the North by the Legal 500 and recently won Corporate/Commercial Team of the Year in the 2016 Northern Law Awards.
Melanie has particular expertise in advising on EU Procurement, complex contracting, PFI/PPP and outsourcing efficiencies as well as travel and tourism.
She was a member of the legal board of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, a Non Executive Director of Darlington PCT, is on the Board of two charities, one healthcare the other a youth orchestra. She is also a Board Member of the DLA.
Melanie has spoken at many local, national and international events on all of her specialist subjects.
Melanie has completed a significant number of PFI schemes/ PPP outsourcings and advised on many conventional tender exercises particularly for the public sector.
Her knowledge/ experience have seen her involved in some of the largest, most innovative public sector development schemes in the country including:
- ARC Arts Centre, Stockton
- Carlisle Infirmary – refinancing and efficiency review
- City of Sunderland College – IT outsourcing and new campus
- Cleveland Police PFI
- Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust – 2 PFI projects including PFI rationalisation and disputes
- Cornwall NHS – £800m strategic outsourcing over 10 years
- County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust – 3 PFI schemes, security outsourcing, patientline agreement; energy contract
- County Durham PCT – Stanley Health Centre PFI
- Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust – Acquisition
- Cumbria Police PFI and PFI refinancing
- Derwentside College – relocation and new campus
- Derwentside District Council – Sports Village
- Eden Borough Council – Blue collar and leisure management outsourcing
- Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust – Acquisition and advice on oncology centre
- Hartlepool Borough Council – BSF
- Hartlepool Borough Council – ICT outsourcing
- Gateshead Schools PFI
- Lanchester Road Hospital, Durham – PFI
- Life Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne
- Maltby Joint Service Centre PFI including housing
- Newcastle Airport – waste disposal contract
- Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – Acquisition
- Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – PFI scheme
- Newcastle University – department for sustainable environment
- Newcastle University – oncology
- NHS London – whole NHS efficiency review
- NHS Business Services Authority – ICT outsourcing, procurement and contracting
- North East London Mental Health Trust – Acquisition
- North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust – New Hospital, PFI, Combined Heat & Power Plant PFI,
- North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust – combined heat and power plant PFI
- North Tyneside Schools PFI (acting for Bidder)
- North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue PFI
- Northumbria Healthcare –residences PFI scheme; crèche facilities
- Nottingham BSF
- Rothbury Hospital PFI
- Sedgefield Community Hospital PFI
- South Tyneside Gateshead Schools BSF (acting initially for Gateshead Council and then for a bidder)
- Stockton Riverside College – relocation and new campus and housing
- South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – Acquisition
- Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust – outsourcing of pharmacy services, West Park Hospital PFI, West park Hospital PFI Buy Back; Roseberry Park Hospital PFI
- Telford & Wrekin Council – BSF
- TWDC – various projects including the LIFE Centre
- University of Durham ICT PFI
- University of Northumbria – two residences PFI schemes, Coach Lane Campus
- West Moreland Hospital
- Workington PFI
- York Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – Acquisition
Melanie assists in managing/ running operational PFI schemes some of which are detailed above.
Guidance includes contractual disputes, refinancing, corporate structures, variations, insurance, benchmarking, market testing.
Melanie was involved in all NHS pathfinder schemes in the last 6 years, including the first and only PFI buy back in the UK.
More recently, Melanie has been involved in successfully resolving a number of PFI disputes.