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Tom bainbridge

founding partner

M: +44 (0)7454 779 892

His knowledge, understanding and willingness to explore new ideas are very impressive.”
— Chambers UK

Tom has worked as a lawyer in the environmental and clean energy space for over 19 years.  He has worked on numerous clean energy projects in the UK and overseas.  These include a number of ground-breaking deals such as the first utility-scale wind farm in the Middle East, the world's first carbon-financed biomass re-fuelling of a coal fired power station in Hungary, on a pioneering carbon capture and storage project in the UK.  He has advised on solar, wind, hydro and biomass projects and a broad range of other commercial and regulatory matters in the clean energy sector.

Tom has worked on numerous decentralised energy and district heating projects and related instructions over many years. These include some of the largest district heating schemes in the UK, as well as drafting guidance for the UK Government and pioneering solutions to a number of industry challenges, including supplier of last resort, and chairing the expert Committee of the Heat Trust.

examples of tom’s recent experience include:

  • BEIS – leading the legal input into the consortium appointed to manage the UK Government’s £320m Heat Network Investment Programme, devising policies and procedures for assessment of funding applications, drafting guidance on DH project structuring, contracts, regulatory issues and optimising electricity revenues;

  • Green energy strategy – advising a number of large property companies on their green energy purchasing strategies, including behind-the-meter renewable energy generation, storage and electric vehicles, green corporate PPAs;

  • Open Utility – providing regulatory input into a study for distribution network operator, Western Power Distribution, into private/virtual private wire models and a local balancing alternative;

  • Biomass – advising a project developer seeking to gain accreditation under the Renewable Heat Incentive, in light of changing views of the regulator, faced with a novel technology and fuelling approach;

  • Lee Valley Heat Network – advising the London Borough of Enfield on the structuring, set-up, governance, funding and contracting of potentially the largest new DH scheme in the UK. This included innovation in a number of areas, including state aid compliant lending and on-lending arrangements, governance and supplier of last resort and structuring connection and supply agreements and supply chain contracting;

  • Greenwich Peninsula – advising on structuring, funding, connections and supply agreements for one of London’s largest DH schemes, which is now serving commercial properties and a planned c.10,000 residential customers on the Greenwich Peninsula. This included creating a novel solution to governance and addressing supplier of last resort;

  • Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Trust – acting as special counsel to the Trust helping them develop and implement their energy strategy workstreams, concluding negotiations on an energy performance contract due to deliver the Trust guaranteed energy savings in excess of £1m per year, using a combination of CHP, solar and energy efficiency measures and aligning with their participation in a City-wide district heating scheme; 

  • Jordan Wind Project Company – leading the legal input on the development of the first utility scale windfarm in Jordan, helping to create grid connection and power purchase arrangements that catalysed a boom in renewables development in the country

  • Shamsuna Power Company – leading the legal input on the development of the first project-financed utility scale solar farm to operate in Jordan, concluding an integrated solar DBOM, grid connection and power purchase agreements that were then used as the basis of the Egyptian solar programme;

  • MultiFuel Energy Limited – negotiating power purchase arrangements on behalf of a number of energy-from-waste plants, including

  • Greater London Authority – supporting the GLA at all stages of implementation of its novel application for a junior electricity supply licence (‘licence lite’), including developing the suite of industry documents to enable the scheme to operate.

previous work history

Prior to co-founding Lux Nova Partners, Tom was a partner at Temple Bright LLP, head of the energy team at Nabarro LLP (now CMS) and prior to that worked at Hammonds (now Squire Patton Boggs), CMS Cameron McKenna and Mills & Reeve.

academic qualifications

  • Post-graduate Diploma in Legal Practice – Commendation (College of Law, London)

  • BSc(Hons) Environmental Science with Law – 2:1 (University of Hertfordshire)

industry roles

Member of Committee of the Heat Trust (sat as first Chair, 2015-17), Board Member of the UK Emissions Trading Group, Consultant to the UK Environmental Law Association’s Climate Change & Energy Working Party (sat as its Chair, 2005-15), member of the Association for Decentralised Energy. Tom has successfully lobbied Government for change in law, worked with Government Departments developing legislation and given evidence before Parliamentary Select Committees and the National Audit Office on various pieces of energy and environment policy.

Industry Awards

Association for Decentralised Energy’s Consultancy Project of the Year 2016 and Research and Consultancy Project of the Year 2018. Business Green Leaders Award. Recommended Individual, Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners.