Responding to COVID-19: insight, support and guidance

Introduction to PFI Exit Strategies

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Event summary

During this one day event you will learn the contractual, financial and operational challenges to look out for and the expertise that you will need to deploy to deliver successful PFI exit strategies. Our legal, financial and PFI management experts will share with you their considerable knowledge and experience of this sector.


18 November 2021
Starts: 10:00
Ends: 16:30

Standard price

£375.00 excl VAT

Network Member Price

£325.00 excl VAT

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About this event

In 2020 the National Audit Office (NAO) published a report on managing Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contracts, which warned that assets could be returned to councils in a worse condition as contracts begin to expire from 2025.

Recognising the need to build capacity and capabilities in this area, CIPFA is running this introductory webinar. It will introduce the practical, financial and operational challenges and the expertise needed to deliver successful PFI exit strategies, and provide you with an essential roadmap for the successful handover of PFI assets in a fair and equitable way which ensures continuity of service delivery.

You may also be interested in our Certified PPP (P3/PFI) Practitioner (complex contracting) Foundation Level course, accredited by APMG.

Who should attend?

Anyone managing PFI projects due to complete their term within the next five years and those who will be involved in the planning, negotiation and organization of the exit from the PFI. Directors, heads of service and senior managers in highways, health, education, police, fire and rescue, property, asset management, finance and legal services will find this webinar essential to inform their PFI exit strategies.

How will I benefit from attending?

You will gain an:

  • appreciation of the wider strategic framework for the transition from PFI and some of the features of best practice in planning and managing the transition
  • understanding of the alternative service delivery options to be considered in the transition from PFI
  • understanding of the contractual, financial and operational considerations in exit strategies
  • awareness of the expertise that will need to be developed or acquired to ensure successful, value-for-money, exit from PFI and transition to new arrangements for the management of the assets


  • Asset management
  • / Education finance and academies
  • / Financial management
  • / Health and social care
  • / Housing
  • / Property

Download programme schedule

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Speaker - Mark Poppy, BA (Hons), MBA

Mark Poppy

Mark has an MBA and is an alumni of the Ashridge Business School Advanced Leadership Programme. He has worked at a senior level in both the public and private sector as well as a government backed advisory company. He has extensive experience of public-private partnerships and the commercialisation of public services. He manages CIPFA’s property training programmes and within the team on wider property issues throughout the UK.

Speaker - Judith Hopper, Partner, Bevan Brittan

Judith is a commercial litigation partner with over 15 years of experience in commercial litigation and contentious construction, including work on a number of reported cases. Her clients come from a variety of sectors and services and include local authorities, central government bodies, healthcare bodies, financial institutions, private companies and shareholders. Judith advises on a wide range of litigation matters, including commercial and contractual disputes, private finance initiative/projects disputes, professional negligence claims, construction disputes, corporate and breach of warranty claims, shareholder dispute and breach of confidentiality claims.

She delivers straightforward and cost-effective legal advice, and regularly deals with all forms of dispute resolution, including court proceedings, adjudication, expert determination, negotiation and mediation. Her aim is to understand her client's business and strategic aims and to implement them in the most effective and practical way.

Speaker - Colin McConaghy, Partner, Bevan Brittan

Colin is a commercial projects lawyer specialising in complex public and private partnerships, energy and outsourcing transactions. He advises on a wide range of commercial contracting arrangements, including ICT outsourcing, back office services outsourcing, energy projects (including energy performance contracting) and facilities management. His experience covers a wide range of complex partnership/private finance initiative sectors, including education, health, leisure, badged services and waste. I have particular experience in structuring and advising on complex contractual arrangements.

He advises on all stages of projects from inception and scoping, negotiation, close and post close. Colin has significant experience in advising on post-close operational matters and has implemented many contract variations (including both high value complex and simple variations). His client base is broad and includes private sector companies, bidding consortia, joint ventures, special purpose vehicles, project sponsors, funders and local authorities.

Speaker - Patrick O Connell OBE, MCIPS, CIWFM, Associate, Peopletoo Ltd

Patrick has had extensive experience in the public sector, in particular, with the Estates function of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Latterly, Patrick has managed a client’s capital work programme, and worked with a leading LLP on a large PFI contractual dispute.

As Head of Estates for DWP his role included strategically managing the DWP’s contract for estate services through a single contractor under the PRIME PFI contract, corporate and operations estate change management ensuring the day-to-day issues and larger business projects had the right estate infrastructure to meet their needs at reduced cost where possible, performance management and contract performance, estates strategy including reducing the size of DWP’s corporate centre estate footprint by delivering an estates rationalisation programme that delivered significant savings and ensured it met sustainability and climate change targets thereby reducing the department’s carbon footprint, and developing and delivering strategic solutions that support the delivery of SR10 estate target of £119m, SR13 of £51m and contractual savings of £55m in 2013/14.

Speaker - Gregor Bitlock, Manager, National Audit Office

Gregor Bitlock

Gregor has over 20 years of experience in the public and private sectors and specialises in corporate finance. He focuses on strategic decisions like acquisitions, disposals, valuations, and financing decisions involving capital structure, raising finance or risk management.

In his current role at the National Audit Office, he has managed numerous reports and, in particular, the forward-looking study 'Managing PFI assets and services as contracts end'. The report focussed on potential problems to come as contracts expire and aims to share these risks as well as best practice. It received strong media attention, resulting in a parliamentary hearing in 2021.