Shepherd and Wedderburn advises Open Water on competitive water market



Liz McRobb

Shepherd and Wedderburn has advised Open Water on its recommendations made to a regulator as part of the creation of a competitive water sector in England.

From April 2017, all business customers and public sector, charitable and not-for-profit organisations in England will be able to choose their water and sewerage supplier.

With Shepherd and Wedderburn’s advice, Open Water has produced the codes and processes that will be recommended to Ofwat as necessary to set up a resilient, safe and competitive water sector.

Leading the firm’s regulatory team in drawing up the codes, partner Liz McRobb said:  “Over the past 12 months, Open Water has consulted with more than 40 companies, developed many new proposals and worked with Defra and Ofwat to implement the government’s policy objectives, and also with many others to ensure that health and safety and the safety of drinking water should never be compromised.

“That work is ongoing and we feel privileged to be part of the team that has developed the proposals to the current level of detail.

“Earlier this month, Open Water uploaded 112 documents, running to 3,400 pages and dealt with some 1,500 items raised via consultation responses. Most importantly however, working with the Open Water team we have been available to companies and spent time in extensive workshops – establishing a broad consensus around what the most effective rules of the game for this market will be.