"Work has been led by Penny Rinta-Suksi. In her approach, she brings exactly what I would look for in a commercial lawyer: understanding of the overall commercial objectives comes first and the provision of advice is in line with that. Combined with knowledge of the industry and so very able to advise on standard positions, reasonable project variants (i.e. challenge where my view may not get me what I am looking to achieve)."
Penny is a commercial lawyer and an OxLEP non executive director. She leads Blake Morgan’s Local Government England team with over 19 years’ experience in advising private sector clients, funders, public sector and third sector on major projects and commercial contracts.
Main areas of practice
Penny’s experience ranges from structuring and implementing complex major procurement projects to commercial contracts, warranties, guarantee and performance arrangements. Penny has a specialty in helping clients to achieve effective corporate and contractual ‘partnering’, finding the right solution to achieve their commercial objective. Penny works with her team to implement the solution, dealing with all commercial issues including finance, security, IP and IT, construction, procurement, employment, pensions and property. Penny has an overview of the entire transaction at any one time and coordinates the team to input efficiently, at the right times and within the available budget.
She has strong experience in the leisure, culture and housing sectors and sound working knowledge of education, health, financial, manufacturing, telecoms, waste, utilities and energy markets. Penny leads on combined housing, leisure, utilities, energy and civic infrastructure projects, working on innovative regeneration models to include joint venture vehicles and private sector partnering and contracting.
Leisure and Culture
- Supporting a number of local authorities on provision of relief and contract variations in light of COVID-19.
- Critical friend to a District Council prior to award of contract to its preferred bidder.
- Advising a City Council on competitive dialogue procurement for a leisure operator on a new Passivhaus leisure centre – first in the country.
- Advising a Borough Council on its leisure design build operate and maintain (DBOM) project being procured using Competitive Dialogue.
- Supported a London Borough Council on a contract variation to lock in £1m service savings. Reappointed to secure build of new leisure centre and vary the existing operational contract for the incumbent operator to run such centre.
- Lead advisor to a University on its new build halls projects with private company using institutional investment.
- Advisor to a telecoms consortium on it bid to jointly supply services and equipment in the UK.
- Lead advisor to a University on sports campus joint venture with local authority.
Housing and Regeneration
- Private sector housing trust – lead advisor on a £billion housing zone project, advising on the negotiating and drafting of the grant agreement, funding agreement and council infrastructure agreement (and related heads of terms).
- Major housing company – supporting on a defence and counterclaim of a housing PFI contract running through a Special Purpose Vehicle contracting with a major London Borough.
- Advised a global corporate group on the migration of its IT systems to a cloud-computing provider based outside of the EEA.
- Advised a global corporate group on the cross-border procurement of website design and software development services.
- Advised a University on the complex outsourcing of its obligations owed to the MOD and Capita for an Application and Training Modules, to a down-stream IT company.
- Complex framework agreement for a small cloud solutions IT company on a contractual framework which referenced the ‘build up’ of a service solution with additional services being called off as that service solution was formulated.
- Trademark licence review and re-draft, acting for the licensee, ensuring license had licensee-friendly terms and plenty of allowances and flexibility for our client.
Private Sector Partnering and Contracting
Penny has significant experience in the negotiation and drafting of complex partnering and contracting arrangements, for example:
- Joint venture agreement with major local contractor in relation to a contract the parties won (tendering jointly) to a large water company.
- Refinancing of 5 solar energy sites, worth £20 million – acted for the Lenders, a significant international bank.
- Heads of Terms and Conditional Consent Agreement between a significant Oxford operator and a wind turbine company.
- Terms of Business for serviced apartments for a business with both a consumer and a corporate target audience.
- Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 04/20: Recovery and Transition from COVID-19
- COVID-19 – supplier relief under a new Procurement Policy Note
- “Review your contracts to get ahead of Brexit” – Construction News – 2020
- Health and social care and joint commissioning – Contributing author to Lexis Nexis’ 2016
- “A Contintental shift – is this your Pangaea?” 2015
- “Second Chances” – Inside Housing November 2013
- “The return of PFI” – Inside Housing May 2013
- “By the Book” – Local Government Lawyer 2010
- “Local authorities build on recession” – Housing Landscape 2009
- “Housing PFI credits are not the only jewels in the crown” – Housing Landscape 2009
- Social Housing
- Commercial Contracts
- Local Authority (Including Leisure)
- Commercial IT Contracts
- IT Outsourcing
Penny joined Blake Morgan in October 2013. Prior to that she worked within Bevan Brittan’s local government outsourcing team and headed up their leisure, culture and housing regeneration teams. She gained a 2:1 LLB in Business Law at the London Metropolitan University and after completing her Law Society Finals at Guildford College of Law, and training contract at Amery Parkes, qualified as a solicitor in 1995.
'First-class practitioner' Penny Rinta-Suksi leads the regional team, and is particularly notable for her work on leisure projects and housing partnerships.
"Ollie, Penny and the Blake Morgan team have provided invaluable support to our franchise business. Their specialist knowledge in the franchise sector is both timely and commercially pragmatic. They are quick to respond as we progress a number of transactions to allow our business to meet its objectives with relative ease. They work well with our other franchise advisors and I can recommend them to other franchisors looking for specialist advice."
"Penny Rinta-Suksi understands the commercial trade-off of the legal positions and advises accordingly."
"She has strong experience in the leisure, housing, education and health sectors.”
Penny Rinta-Suksi has notable expertise in the leisure sector.”
What I particularly valued was Penny’s deep knowledge of all matters contractual and the speed with which Penny and her team were able to respond to our questions.”
"It was one of the more painless contract experiences I've had. I was really impressed with how [Penny] kept pushing it on!"
Insights by Penny
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