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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘strong’ department is regularly instructed on complex rail sector transactions and in is noted for its infrastructure, concessions and rolling stock expertise. Department head Jonathan Bevan and Tim Conduit advised the lenders on Angel Trains Group’s £835m of new funding to refinance the procurement of 665 Bombardier Aventra vehicles that will be leased to Abellio Greater Anglia franchise from 2019. Bevan also advised lenders Crédit Agricole Corporate Investment Bank and ING Bank on Beacon Rail Leasing’s acquisition of a fleet of Bombardier Class 220 and Class 221 Voyager diesel-electric multiple units from subsidiaries of Lloyds Bank and RBS. Head of global infrastructure David Lee and Sara Pickersgill advised InfraRed, Equitix and the National Pension Service of Korea on its £3bn acquisition of 100% of the High Speed 1 group from pension funds OMERS infrastructure and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP). Pickersgill also advised JPM Infra its acquisition of Beacon Rail Lux Holdings (Beacon), the holding company of the Beacon Rail group, from Pamplona Capital Management. Global head of structured and asset finance Mario Jacovides, Conrad Andersen and Richard Evans are also key figures.

Ashurst has ‘outstanding knowledge of the industry’, ‘strong business acumen’ and is praised for its ‘personable and professional’ approach. It handles high-profile rail deals both in the UK and internationally. Global co-head of transport Mark Elsey advises Crossrail Ltd on a number of key areas including depot construction and access property rights, overstation developments and management of the contract with Bombardier to build 66 new state-of-the-art trains. Terence Van Poortvliet advised National Express Group on the £72.6m acquisition of National Express' subsidiary, c2c, by new entrant Trenitalia UK; and advised the funders to Deutsche Asset Management and Infracapital on the funding of the new rolling stock for the West Midlands procurements.  Naomi Horton is ‘one of the best rolling stock specialists in the market’ and advised Virgin, Stagecoach and WCTL in relation to its successful bid for and subsequent Direct Award of the extension of the West Coast franchise with DfT; and advised the joint venture of Keolis and Amey on its bid to the Welsh Government to appoint an Operator and Development Partner (ODP) to undertake the operation of the Wales and Borders franchise, and the design and management and operation of the South Wales Metro. Recently promoted partner Jonathan Turner is a ‘rising star, incredibly intelligent and fast to the key points’. Senior associate Stuart Cottis is also noted.

Burges Salmon LLP’s ‘outstanding’ rail department is active across regulatory, franchising and procurement work, in addition to major infrastructure and rolling stock projects. The ‘pragmatic and knowledgeable’  Brioney Thomas heads the rail practice and advised Abellio on its successful bid for the West Midlands rail franchise as part of West Midlands Trains, a JV that includes JRE and Mitsui. Thomas also advised West Midlands Trains on its successful bid for the West Midlands franchise. Thomas acted alongside rail infrastructure head Philip Beer for Transport for Wales and the Welsh government on the award of new rail franchise for Wales and the Borders. Head of rail franchising Simon Coppen advised FirstGroup on First MTR South Western Trains’ successful bid for the South Western franchise; he also advised on the procurement of a fleet of new trains to support First MTR South Western Trains’ successful bid for the South West passenger rail franchise, and is advising First Rail Holdings on its West Coast franchise bid submission. Other key figures include rail health and safety head Ann Metherall, Keith Beattie, Ian Tucker, Rachael Ruane  and transport head Chris Jackson. Legal director Chris Simms joined in 2017 from Abellio UK. Legal director Edward Barratt was recently promoted.

Clifford Chance LLP’s multi-disciplinary practice is noted for its ‘deep’ experience in rail sector mandates. It regularly handles high-profile rail projects and acts for rail infrastructure bodies, rail sector financiers, manufacturers and rail operators; TfL, Network Rail, Rock Rail, RBS, SMBC, CDPQ and Hermes Infrastructure are clients. Infrastructure partner Michael Pearson; EU and UK competition law specialist Nelson Jung; consultant Gavin Teague; Ranbir Hunjan, who specialises in asset finance, leasing and banking; corporate partner Amy Mahon; antitrust practice head Alex Nourry; and senior associate Dominic Watts are key figures. Paul Carrington heads the rail group.

Dentons has ‘great industry knowledge’ and provides ‘very practical advice’ across infrastructure development and operation light rail and trams, franchises and concessions, operations, regulation, competition, rolling stock procurement and maintenance, finance, technology, environment, safety and disputes across the rail sector; it is ‘always fully up to speed with industry changes’. Rail head Matthew Hanslip Ward is advising MTR on its joint venture bid for the West Coast Partnership (WCP) with Guangshen Railway Corporation; advised MTR on its bid for the new Wales and Borders franchise; is advising Alstom on a proposed joint venture arrangement with Stagecoach Group in relation to Stagecoach's bid for the South Eastern franchise; and continued to advise MTR on the £1.4bn concession to operate Crossrail. Christopher McGee-Osborne is advising Virgin and Stagecoach on issues relating to the East Coast Main Line passenger rail franchise. David Moore advised the Rail Delivery Group on its review of the current franchise agreement template and proposed amendments from various industry stakeholders and advised it on developments to the rail industry alliancing framework agreement. Real estate head Virginia Glastonbury, counsel Martin Watt and senior associate Jonathan Smith, who ‘impresses with his response times’ and is ‘always right in the detail of the issue’, are also recommended.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s multi-disciplinary rail team is active on the procurement, leasing and financing of rolling stock, rail regulation, rail and infrastructure projects, concession and franchise agreements, procurement and competition law. It is also particularly noted for its parliamentary infrastructure consenting and implementation expertise. DfT is a key client. Rail head Mark Brunton, Birmingham-based Anne Harris, Stephen Collings, Agnes Koko, parliamentary agent Monica Peto, planning partner James O’Connor and senior parliamentary clerk Darren White are stand-out members of the department.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s ‘highly responsive’ team is experienced across a range of high-profile rail projects. Franchising, rolling stock, real estate and rail-related disputes are key areas of expertise. The team continues to advise HS2 Ltd on the core elements of Phase 1 of the project, which includes the procurement of the construction of the high-speed railway infrastructure and the procurement of rolling stock. It is also instructed by Stagecoach and Virgin Trains to advise their respective franchise operators in connection with the smart ticketing on national rail (STNR) project. Adrian Clough is ‘valued for his fantastic experience in the sector’ and for his ‘ability to get to the heart of things quickly’. Other key figures include competition and regulatory specialist Tim Briggs; disputes partner David Nitek; of counsel John Williams, who ‘knows everything there is to know about rail franchising’; and senior associate Tom Marshall. Global infrastructure head Patrick Mitchell leads the team.

Linklaters LLP handles a range of rail sector corporate, finance, real estate and regulatory matters for sponsors, lenders, rolling stock companies and government clients. Headline work includes advising the lenders on the $2.73bn project financing of the $4bn construction of the Nacala Corridor Rail and Port project in Mozambique and Malawi; and advising the lenders to the bidders on the £3bn acquisition of HS1 for a joint venture managed by InfraRed Capital Partners.  Fiona Hobbs and Charlotte Morgan lead the team, while Stuart Rowson, Ian Andrews, consultant partner Bruce White, and Jessamy Gallagher are also noted.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s 'knowledgeable' multi-disciplinary team is active across a range of rail sector mandates including franchising and concessions, rolling stock, projects and infrastructure, planning, finance, environmental law, health and safety; IP, technology, competition, tax, dispute resolution, regulation, real estate and construction. It advised The Go-Ahead Group on the successful issuance of a seven year £250m guaranteed bond; and advised Eversholt on its bid to finance new rolling stock for Arriva in connection with its bid to operate the Wales and Borders franchise. Internationally, the London team is assisting colleagues in Canada in advising the City of Ottawa on the Stage 2 Light Rail Transit Project. The ‘experienced’ Tom Johnson leads the team, which includes Donald Warnock, who is experienced in infrastructure projects; the ‘brilliant’ Andrew Buisson; of counsel Louise Auty, who handles rail sector finance matters; and senior associate Andrew Williams.

Stephenson Harwood’s ‘experienced’ department is active across franchising, rolling stock and infrastructure mandates and is noted for its experience in high-profile rail projects. The team continues to advise Abellio East Anglia Franchise on the implementation of its franchise agreement commitments and related strategic issues; is advising CAF on the manufacture and supply of rolling stock to the Caledonian Sleeper Franchise, the Northern Rail franchise, the TransPennine Express franchise and the West Midlands franchise; and advises TfL and Rail for London (Infrastructure) on a range of matters relating to Crossrail. The team also advised Lloyds Bank and RBS on the sale of a fleet of passenger train rolling stock to Beacon Rail Leasing. Trenitalia c2c, Corelink Rail Infrastructure and Arriva UK Trains are also clients. Global head of rail Graeme McLellan is noted for his asset finance expertise, and the ‘exceptional’ Tammy Samuel is experienced in franchising and concessions work. Other key figures include Suzanne Tarplee, who is active across franchising, rolling stock and rail regulation; asset finance specialist Lisa Marks; projects partner Graeme Barton; senior associate Darren Fodey; and disputes partners Paul Thwaite and Ron Nobbs.

Addleshaw Goddard’s ‘strong’ rail team is experienced across a range of franchising, rolling stock and infrastructure matters. It is advising the DfT on a range of matters including;the new rail franchise which will combine the current InterCity West Coast services with the development and introduction of High Speed 2 services;  and on the West Midlands franchise competition. It also advised London Luton Airport Ltd on the development of a mass passenger transit system between Luton Airport Parkway railway station and the airport terminal, advised CAF on manufacturing, supply and maintenance support for the provision for a fleet of new-build diesel multiple units ordered by Abellio, in connection with its successful tender to run the West Midlands franchise, and advised Arriva Trains Wales in relation to the leasing of a fleet of Class 769 units from Porterbrook. Rolling stock specialist Clive Smith recently joined from Osborne Clarke LLP and Manchester-based projects partner Ursula Gould recently joined the team from Shoosmiths LLP. Jacqui Langley-White is also recommended, as are legal director Sara Gilmore, who is based in Leeds, and managing associate William Smith. Leeds-based Paul Hirst leads the transport team.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP is praised for its ‘thoughtful and practical’ advice, which is ‘informed by industry expertise’. It is particularly noted for its experience in rolling stock financing and leasing, and is also active across competition, real estate, infrastructure projects and disputes in the rail sector. The team advised Beacon Rail on its acquisition, from Pamplona Capital Management (PCM), by a fund managed by JP Morgan Asset Management; advised Beacon Rail on the whole business refinancing of the Beacon Rail group; and advised Angel Trains on the re-leasing of fleets of trains operated under various franchises. The team also advises TfL on the series of property partnerships to develop land around stations. Jamie Wiseman-Clarke regularly handles rail-related transactions; James Marshall is ‘pro-active and engaged with an unassumingly effective style’ and is experienced in competition law; associate director Euan McIntosh handles finance matters; and Jason Chamberlain, who recently joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, is noted for his experience in railway infrastructure projects and has ‘an excellent eye for detail’. Russell Clifford heads the asset finance and rail industry group.

CMS is noted for its expertise in UK and international infrastructure projects and is particularly experienced across rolling stock funding and procurement, planning and disputes. It is also noted for its light rail expertise. The team advised the funder groups on the £1bn financing of the manufacture and leasing of the new rolling stock for the South Western Railways inner suburban franchise; and continues to advise Tramlink Nottingham on issues arising from the construction and operation of the Nottingham Tram NET Phase 2 project. Key figures include Bill Carr, who handles rolling stock procurement and maintenance arrangements; Glasgow-based Eleanor Lane, who specialises in transport and infrastructure projects; and consultant Jonathan Beckitt, who is experienced in major rail projects. Robert Gray, Andrew Ivison and Jonathan Dames handle project finance transactions. Planning partner Stephen McNaught is also noted.

DLA Piper acts for private and public sector clients on a range of matters including rolling stock procurements, franchising, operational matters and infrastructure projects. The team continues to advise HS2 Ltd on the planning and real estate aspects of HS2; is advising Merseytravel on the legal and commercial aspects of a multimillion pound investment in fleet and depot improvements; and is advising Abellio East Anglia on property issues relating to its station and franchise portfolio. It is also advising the DfT on a range of matters including the East Anglia rail franchise, the Thameslink Rolling Stock Project and Crossrail. Agility Trains, Hitachi Rail Europe and ABC Electrification are also clients. Colin Wilson and Robert Smith head the team, which includes Sharon Fitzgerald, legal director Parwana Zahib-Majed, and senior associates Carla Hancock and Rachel Crosier.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s multidisciplinary department has ‘great rail sector experience’ and advises on a range of UK and international rail projects. Headline work includes advising the Hellenic Republic on the restructuring of its railway sector; advising the lenders on on-going matters in connection with the Nottingham Express Transit Phase 2 PFI Project; and advising the DfT on its Intercity Express Programme (IEP). Andrew Briggs handles PPP and infrastructure projects; counsel Charles Ford is ‘first-rate’; Nick Roberts is experienced in the development of new stations and depots; Andrew Gallagher acts for lenders, sponsors and borrowers on rail projects; and Simon Gwynne, who is noted for UK rolling stock and rail depot matters, heads the team.

The ‘highly-regarded’ team at Osborne Clarke LLP is based across its London and Bristol offices and is experienced across rail franchising, concessions and rolling stock, and is also noted for its experience in procurement challenges, as well as railway pensions advice. It acted for Cross Country Trains on the direct award of the Cross Country rail franchise and the subsequent implementation; is advising the Rail Delivery Group to design and implement fares and ticketing simplifications; and is advising Eurostar on employment matters. Eversholt Rail Group, Ricardo Rail and Arriva are also clients. Marc Shrimpling handles competition, procurement and state aid issues; commercial disputes partner Charlie Wedin; corporate partner Simon Smith; Alistair Curzon; associate director Jeremy Godley; and senior associate Craig McCarthy are key members of the team, which is led by Lara Burch. Senior associate Keir Pimblett recently joined from Dentons. Clive Smith has joined Addleshaw Goddard .

The ‘first-rate’ team at Pinsent Masons LLP is noted for its experience in infrastructure projects and it regularly handles rail projects in the UK and overseas. PPP and PFI specialist Jon Hart; Robbie Owen , who heads the infrastructure planning and government affairs team; Anne-Marie Friel and Francis Tyrrell are key figures.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP ‘excels’ across the promotion, planning and statutory authorisation of complex rail projects. Its expertise includes compulsory purchase, real estate, planning and environmental issues. Among the team; Hazel Anderson specialises in infrastructure planning; Alison Gorlov has ‘extensive experience’; Simon Livesey is experienced in property matters; senior associate Jane Wakeham regularly advises on authorisation of railway schemes; and senior associate Alex Dillistone is also recommended. Paul Irving leads the department.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP  is a ‘very knowledgeable and experienced team which responds quickly’ and is praised for its ‘pro-active and reactive’ relationship with its clients. It is experienced in the procurement of rolling stock and rolling stock contracts, rail franchising and IT matters, and is also noted for its light rail expertise. Notable work includes advising Govia on its bids for the South Eastern franchise, and for the West Midlands franchise, which included advising on rolling stock procurement. Advising Abellio on the new rolling stock aspects of its bid for the Wales and Borders franchise, and advising Arriva on the new rolling stock aspects of its bid for the Wales and Borders franchise were also key highlights, as was advising Transdev in relation to its bid to operate and maintain the Luas light rail system in Dublin. Transport, logistics and infrastructure head David Rewcastle’s ‘ability to know all aspects of rail arrangements is staggering’; rolling stock and infrastructure expert Paul Coleman has ‘very good business and commercial sense’ and franchising specialist Kevin Bell’s ‘attention to detail, personal commitment and positive approach to relationship management makes dealings easy productive and relevant’. Managing associates Will Bonas and David Millard is also recommended.

Bircham Dyson Bell’s team is instructed on the planning and authorisation of rail projects, and has several parliamentary agents to advise on the promotion and opposition of railway bills. It is advising TfL on the authorisation Crossrail 2, which includes matters regarding environmental assessment and public consultation; advised TfL in obtaining the necessary consents to build and operate the extension of the London Overground network to Barking Riverside; and is advising TfL on the extension to the Bakerloo Line and the Holborn station upgrade. The team is also advising Transport for Wales on its ownership and the operation of the Core Valley Lines to be converted into a light rail operation. It also advises a wide range of parties affected by HS2 Phase Two. Nick Evans advises on the authorisation of major economic infrastructure projects and Sarah Clark specialises in infrastructure planning. Tom Henderson and Mark Challis are also recommended. Angus Walker heads the team.

Simmons & Simmons is noted for its experience in advising on UK and international rail projects. Railway PPPs, M&A, freight railway projects, operation and maintenance arrangements, property arrangements, track access and railway regulation are key areas of expertise. The team is advising Momentum Infrastructure is on its bid for work on HS2. Real estate partner Matthew Hooton and projects partner Andrew Petry are key members of the team, which is led by Juliet Reingold. Rob Horne has joined Osborne Clarke LLP.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP’s rail team is ‘responsive and has a good level of knowledge’ and it handles a range of finance, restructuring, leasing, corporate, commercial, rail franchising, concessions, and regulatory matters. Nigel Taylor handles UK and international rail projects and is advising Consolidated Minerals and Metals Solutions on a memorandum of understanding for a potential pit-to-port railway upgrade or new railway in West Africa, with Jan Mellmann. Rex Rosales is global transport head and asset finance expert Louise Mor, who has significant experience in the rail sector, recently joined from White & Case LLP.

White & Case LLP regularly involved in the procurement and development of rail infrastructure projects, and is also experienced in matters such as the supply of rolling stock, concessions and franchising, M&A, regulatory matters and dispute resolution in the sector. It is regularly instructed in international projects and the team is advising the FAST Consortium on the design, development and construction of various lines of the Riyadh Metro project. It also advised Vale and Mitsui & Co on the development and financing of the Nacala Corridor Railway and Port Project. Among the multidisciplinary offering; Phillip Capper handles rail sector disputes; Ellis Baker heads the construction and engineering team; Caroline Miller Smith is experienced in concession and project finance matters; and Daniel Garton is also noted. Mark Castillo-Bernaus heads the team. Louise Mor has joined Watson Farley & Williams LLP .

Fieldfisher’s expertise spans franchising, rolling stock procurement and leasing, smart ticketing, technology, data protection, employment and pensions mandates. It is advising the DfT on the Greater Western Change Project which examines the impact of electrification programme delays and advised Go Ahead on the extension of its smart ticketing product. Technology and outsourcing partner John Worthy; John Cassels, who handles procurement regulatory, state aid and competition matters; corporate and commercial partner Nicholas Thompsell; IT expert Sam Jardine; construction partner Cecily Davis; Ranjit Dhindsa, who handles employment matters; consultant Sarah Keir; and pensions head David Gallagher; are key contacts in the cross-practice team.

Gowling WLG is regularly instructed on station developments and upgrades, overstation and over track developments, freight operator support, commercial contracts, and employment and pensions work. It continues to advise the London Borough of Barnet on the closure of existing rail freight facilities, and on the delivery of a new rail freight facility and new station, as part of the Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration scheme. It is also advising Crossrail and TfL on a proposed over-site development at Liverpool Street in London and is advising Transport for London and London Underground Limited on the redevelopment of South Kensington station. Richard Green handles non-contentious construction work and is experienced in new station developments; director Dominic Richardson specialises in transport projects; consultant Michael Whitehouse is experienced across UK and international rail projects; and of counsel Michael Hallowell is experienced in station development work. Giles Clifford heads the group.

Specialist rail firm Hollingworth Bissell is active across a range of rail sector mandates. Sara Hollingworth and Helen Bissell are the key contacts.

K&L Gates LLP is regularly instructed on major UK and international rail projects. It is particularly experienced in matters involving light rail metro and mass transit systems and it is advising MRT Corp on the construction of a third line for the Klang Valley MRT project in Malaysia. The team also advises Hitachi Rail Europe on multiple depot works contracts across the UK. Matthew Smith is joint head of the firm's global construction and engineering group.

Kennedys is the ‘pre-eminent firm for rail-related health and safety matters and rail industry commercial disputes’. It is experienced in regulatory defence work and regularly handles employment matters in the rail industry. Richard Crockford ‘combines excellent legal knowledge, with an in-depth practical knowledge of how the railway industry operates’ and heads the transport rail health and safety group which also includes senior associate Susan Cha, who is ‘industrious and experienced’. On the employment side, Matthew Leake represents Virgin Trains East Coast across a number of sensitive industrial relations issues and Fiona Morgan led advice for the outgoing franchisee of South Wrest Trains Rail franchise, Stagecoach South Western Trains on employment issues arising from the franchise change which took effect in July 2017.

Shoosmiths LLP is regularly instructed by a range of rolling stock manufacturers, leasing companies and operators on matters including rolling stock procurement, ticketing, manufacture, supply, real estate, franchising, and health and safety issues. Porterbrook Leasing Company, East Midlands Trains and South West Trains are clients. Martin Fleetwood is experienced in light rail matters, Southampton-based Joanne McGuinness handles real estate matters in the rail sector and Roy Tozer in Birmingham handles health and safety issues. Ursula Gould has joined Addleshaw Goddard and former department head Chris McClure has joined Porterbrook Leasing Company.

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