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What are public-private partnerships?

Public-private partnerships (P3s) are collaborative agreements between government entities and private-sector businesses. These partnerships aim to leverage the expertise and resources of both sectors to achieve public goals more efficiently and effectively. In Florida, public-private sector partnerships often intersect with real estate law, business law, and government relations.

A notable example of a public-private sector partnership in Florida is the Miami Intermodal Center (MIC). This transportation hub, developed through a collaboration between the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and private companies, combines various modes of transportation, including buses, rental cars, and Metrorail. The MIC exemplifies how public-private partnerships can enhance public infrastructure and stimulate economic development in the state.

Need help facilitating opportunities in the public sector? Schedule your consultation today with a top public-private partnership attorney.

Which Florida laws, rules, and regulations apply to public-private partnerships?

Florida Statutes Section 255.065 and Section 334.30 establish the framework for public-private partnerships for public and transportation facilities, respectively. These statutes outline the procedures for soliciting, receiving, and evaluating proposals for P3s and the criteria for selecting private entities.

Additionally, agencies like the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) guide public-private partnerships, including this reference guide. Moreover, local governments like Miami-Dade County often provide more specific guidelines for P3s.

Understanding and adhering to these state and local laws, rules, and regulations is crucial for successfully implementing public-private partnerships in Florida.

How does negotiating and drafting property transactions connect to public-private partnerships?

Property transactions, such as sale agreements, lease agreements, purchase agreements, and easement agreements, are essential to the formation and success of public-private partnerships in Florida. These transactions facilitate the acquisition and use of land or property needed for the project. In addition, properly drafted property acquisition documents help ensure that P3s comply with relevant laws and regulations while protecting the interests of all parties involved.

This collaboration allows for shared risks, responsibilities, and rewards and can often lead to more efficient and effective service delivery. Let’s explore each of the most common agreements in P3s:

  • Purchase Agreements: In a P3, a purchase agreement is available in various scenarios. For example, a government entity might use a purchase agreement to acquire goods or services from a private sector entity for a public infrastructure project. Alternatively, the government entity could purchase an existing infrastructure asset from the private sector entity, intending to incorporate it into the public sector. In either case, the purchase agreement sets out the terms of the transaction, including the purchase price, the description of what’s being purchased, and the obligations of both parties.
  • Sale Agreements: A sale agreement in a P3 context might involve the government entity selling an asset to a private sector entity. These sales could be part of a privatization strategy, where the government sells public assets to the private sector. The private sector entity could then be responsible for operating and maintaining the asset while providing a public service. This type of agreement would detail the sale price, the asset in the sale, and any terms or conditions.
  • Lease Agreements: In a P3, a lease agreement might apply when the government entity wants to retain ownership of an asset but wants a private entity to operate and maintain it. Lease agreements are common in scenarios where the government doesn’t have the expertise or resources to manage the asset effectively. The lease agreement would outline the lease terms, including the lease’s length, the lease payments, the responsibilities of the lessee (private entity), and any other conditions.
  • Easement Agreements: An easement agreement in a P3 context might apply when a private entity needs access to a piece of public land or infrastructure for a specific purpose. For example, this agreement might be necessary if a private company is installing telecommunications cables under public roads. The easement agreement would give the private entity the right to use the public asset, while the public entity retains ownership. Further, it would outline the extent of the easement, any restrictions, and the responsibilities of the private entity.

Each of these agreements plays a different role in a public-private partnership, but they all involve some transaction between the public and private sectors. They allow the parties to clearly set out their expectations and responsibilities, thereby facilitating a successful partnership.

When a set of facts is appropriate for facilitating a partnership with the public sector, there are many paths a client may take. We are value-based attorneys at Jimerson Birr, which means we look at each action with our clients from the point of view of costs and benefits while reducing liability. Then, based on our client’s objectives, we chart a path to seek appropriate remedies.

To determine whether your unique situation may necessitate litigation or another form of specialized public sector advocacy, please contact our office to set up your initial consultation.

How can counsel facilitate negotiating and drafting documents facilitating property acquisitions for P3s?

Counsel should consider the following to protect their clients:

  • Due diligence: Conduct thorough due diligence on the property, including reviewing title, zoning, environmental, and land use restrictions.
  • Obstacle identification: Identify and address any potential legal or regulatory hurdles related to the P3 project.
  • Effective negotiation: Negotiate favorable terms and conditions in property acquisition documents that align with the business’s strategic objectives.
  • Legal compliance: Ensure compliance with applicable Florida and federal laws and regulations governing P3s.
  • Straightforward transactions: Draft clear and concise property acquisition documents that protect the business’s interests and minimize future disputes.

Companies pursuing P3s benefit in the following ways:

  • Risk mitigation: Reduced risk of legal disputes and regulatory non-compliance.
  • Favorable terms: Increased likelihood of securing favorable terms and conditions in property acquisition documents.
  • Reputational interests: Enhanced reputation as a reliable and responsible partner in P3 projects.

Please contact our office to set up your initial consultation to see what forms of legal protection and advocacy may be available for your unique situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are some common types of public-private partnerships in Florida?

Common types of P3s in Florida include infrastructure projects, such as transportation and public construction projects, as well as real estate development and land use projects.

  1. Can a public-private partnership be terminated early?

Yes, P3s can be terminated early under certain circumstances, such as material breach, insolvency, or mutual agreement by the parties. However, termination provisions should be clearly outlined in the P3 contract.

  1. What role do local governments play in public-private partnerships in Florida?

Local governments play a crucial role in P3s by collaborating with private sector partners, providing necessary approvals and permits, and ensuring that projects align with local development goals and regulations.

Have more questions about how your business can access new opportunities in the public sector?

Crucially, this overview of negotiating and drafting documents facilitating property acquisitions for P3s does not begin to cover all the laws implicated by this issue or the factors that may compel the application of such laws. Every case is unique, and the laws can produce different outcomes depending on the individual circumstances.

Jimerson Birr attorneys guide our clients to help make informed decisions while ensuring their rights are respected and protected. Our lawyers are highly trained and experienced in the nuances of the law, so they can accurately interpret statutes and case law and holistically prepare individuals or companies for their legal endeavors. Through this intense personal investment and advocacy, our lawyers will help resolve the issue’s complicated legal problems efficiently and effectively.

Having a Jimerson Birr attorney on your side means securing a team of seasoned, multi-dimensional, cross-functional legal professionals. Whether it is a transaction, an operational issue, a regulatory challenge, or a contested legal predicament that may require court intervention, we remain tireless advocates at every step. Being a value-added law firm means putting the client at the forefront of everything we do. We use our experience to help our clients navigate even the most complex problems and come out the other side triumphant.

If you want to understand your case, the merits of your claim or defense, potential monetary awards, or the amount of exposure you face, you should speak with a qualified Jimerson Birr lawyer. Our experienced team of attorneys is here to help. Call Jimerson Birr at (904) 389-0050 or use the contact form to schedule a consultation.

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