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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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Index of tables

  1. Rail
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers:

Next generation lawyers:

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Allen & Overy LLP’s β€˜highly-rated’ team is renowned for its experience in complex and high-value transactions in the rail sector, particularly relating to light and heavy rail infrastructure, concessions and rolling stock, and leverages the firm’s international footprint to handle international rail projects. Governments, sponsors, manufacturers and financiers are key clients. In an illustration of its expertise acting for government on rail-related matters, the team has been advising the DfT and Network Rail on the Shaw Report into the future shape and financing of Network Rail. Other highlights included advising funders to Alpha Trains on the acquisition of a fleet of passenger trains from SocGen, and on the financing of the acquisition of two operating rail companies from within the wider group. The team acted fof Vale on the re-negotiation of Mitsui’s $1bn investment in the Nacala rail and port project in Mozambique and Malawi. Bombardier, Cheung Kong Infrastructure (CKI), Etihad Rail, Eversholt, HS1 and Qatar Rail are also clients. Jonathan Bevan heads the team, which features a number of key individuals includimg Mario Jacovides, who is global head of the structured and asset finance group, Tim Conduit, global infrastructure head David Lee, Conrad Andersen and Richard Evans.

Ashurst is praised for its β€˜vast experience’ in complex UK and global rail deals, advising on rolling stock, franchising, projects, infrastructure and light rail mandates. The team is continuing to advise TfL and DLR on the Docklands Light Railway New Rolling Stock project, and is also advising London Underground Limited on the procurement of rolling stock as part of part of the Β£10bn New Tube for London (NTfL) London Underground upgrade project. The team also advised Hitachi Rail on its contract with Network Rail for the first Traffic Management System to supply Network Rail with a traffic management solution framework to support the roll-out of a full digital railway, and is advising City of Edinburgh Council on the Β£145m extension of the Edinburgh tram system from York Place to Newhaven. National Express, London Midland, Keolis, Abellio and Mitsui are also clients. Key individuals include Mark Elsey, who is global co-head of transport, Terence van Poortvliet, a noted rail, transport and intrastructure specialist, and β€˜rail expert’ Naomi Horton. Senior associates Stuart Cottis and Jonathan Turner are also recommended.

Burges Salmon LLP has β€˜unrivalled industry knowledge and experience’ in franchising, procurement, regulatory, and major infrastructure project matters, and clients single out the firm’s β€˜exceptional knowledge of rolling stock’. Highlights included advising FirstGroup on its procurement of rolling stock and mobilisation for the new TransPennine Express franchise, and advising Rail for London (a TfL company) on the acquisition of Willesden C Sidings (at the Wembley European Freight Operating Centre) from DB Schenker (now BD Cargo International) in addition to preparing and consulting on the suite of leasing and access documents to lease the new depot to the concessionaire operating London Overground rail services. It also advised Merseyrail Electrics 2002 on the procurement by Merseytravel of a new fleet of 52 four-car electric units manufactured by Stadler Bussnang, for operation on the Merseyrail Electrics network. Rail head Brioney Thomas is β€˜committed, pragmatic and always looking for the most appropriate solutions for clients’. Head of rail health and safety Ann Metherall, rail infrastructure head Philip Beer and rail franchising head Simon Coppen are other key practitioners. Also recommended are Keith Beattie, recently promoted partner and β€˜very skilled advocate’ Ian Tucker, and Chris Jackson, who heads the transport team.

The β€˜fantastic’ department at Clifford Chance LLP handles a range of high-profile rail projects for investors, operators and suppliers. The team advised Rock Rail East Anglia on the procurement and Β£620m senior financing of rolling stock from Stadler Bussnang to be leased to Abellio, as the successful franchisee on the East Anglia rail franchise. It also advised EQT Infrastructure II, through an indirectly owned company within the Hector Rail group, on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of GB Railfreight from Groupe Eurotunnel. TfL, RBS, Network Rail, SMBC, CDPQ, Hermes Infrastructure and Lombard are also clients. Paul Carrington specialises in financing and leasing and heads the rail practice, which includes Michael Pearson, who advises on UK and international rail projects, and Ranbir Hunjan, who handles leasing and banking matters. Consultant Gavin Teague and senior associate Dominic Watts are also recommended. Nelson Jung recently re-joined the firm from the UK's Competition and Markets Authority.

Dentons’ β€˜strong rail practice’ is β€˜very pro-active and commercial’ and has β€˜vast experience in the sector’. It handles a wide range of rail-related matters, including passenger and freight, infrastructure development and operation, light rail and trams, franchises and concessions, operations, regulation, rolling stock procurement and maintenance, finance, technology and disputes. Highlights included advising MTR Corporation on its joint venture with First Group and subsequent joint bid for the South Western Trains rail franchise; acting for the same client on all aspects of its bid for the new Wales and Borders franchise; and advising Mitsui on its investment in a 40% stake in the Abellio Greater Anglia franchise. Network Rail Infrastructure, London Overground Rail Operations Limited, Deutsche Bahn Group, Virgin Trains and London Overground are also clients. Team head Matthew Hanslip Ward is an β€˜expert in the UK rail market and in franchising’. He is assisted by Christopher McGee-Osborne, who has β€˜longstanding experience in the rail sector’, and head of real estate in London Virginia Glastonbury, who advises on rail infrastructure projects. Managing associate Martin Watt specialises in rolling stock. The team was recently joined by David Moore from Clyde & Co LLP.

The β€˜responsive and client-focused’ team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP has a β€˜very strong understanding of the market, with good experience working for contracting authorities’; it is β€˜always willing to listen and come up with creative solutions to commercial issues’. The team, which has specialist commercial and regulatory lawyers with experience in mandates across the rail industry, is advising the DfT and HS2 Ltd on phase 1 of the HS2 project. It also advised Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) on its procurement of a new operational and maintenance contractor for the Manchester Metrolink light rail system, and is assisting the DfT with the competitive re-lettings of the East Midlands rail franchise and the Trans Pennine Express. Anne Harris, who is a β€˜true expert in the sector’, and Mark Brunton head the team, which includes the β€˜astute’ Stephen Collings and Agnes Koko, who is noted for her β€˜in-depth expertise’. Monica Peto is now a consultant.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s multi-disciplinary rail group is noted for its β€˜in-depth knowledge of rail matters’. The team continues to advise HS2 Ltd on the core contractor procurements for phase 1 of the project, and is advising the DfT and London and Continental Railways (LCR) on the sale of their interests in the King's Cross Central Partnership (the entity that owns and is developing King's Cross Central) to AustralianSuper. It is also advising Stagecoach South West on its bid for the new South Western franchise and is advising HS1 Ltd, the owner of High Speed 1, on a range of commercial, operational and regulatory matters. Global head of infrastructure Patrick Mitchell has β€˜vast experience in the rail sector’ and heads the rail team, which includes Adrian Clough, competition, regulation and trade partner Tim Briggs, and of counsel John Williams.

Linklaters LLP advises governments, regulators, sponsors, lenders and financiers on complex deals in the rail industry, covering financing, construction, enhancement, franchising, rolling stock and policy matters. It is advising the lenders (African Development Bank, International Finance Corporation and others) on the proposed financing of Vale’s development project of a 912km rail line leading from its mine in the Tete province in Mozambique, through Malawi to Nacala. It is also advising Borealis Infrastructure and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (OTPP) on the sale of HS1. Other highlights included advising on the Shaw Report into the future financing of Network Rail. Siemens, Innisfree and Deutsche Bahn are also clients. Fiona Hobbs heads the team, which includes the β€˜brilliant’ Charlotte Morgan, Stuart Rowson, Ian Andrews and Bruce White.

The β€˜strong’ cross-practice team at Norton Rose Fulbright handles a range of matters in the rail sector including franchising and concessions, rolling stock, construction, projects and infrastructure, environmental law, health and safety, IP, technology, dispute resolution and competition. Highlights for the team included advising JLIF Limited Partnership on its acquisition of a 20% equity stake in Rail Investments (Great Western). Leveraging the firm’s international footprint, the team advised Commonwealth Bank of Australia on a Β£900m rail financing in partnership with Angel Trains. It has also been appointed to advise the City of Ottawa on the Stage 2 Light Rail Transit Project. DfT, Eversholt Rail Group and International Finance Corporation are also clients. Donald Warnock specialises in rail infrastructure projects and Andrew Buisson advises on major rail infrastructure transactions. Of counsel Louise Auty is an asset finance lawyer with extensive rail experience. Tom Johnson heads the team.

Stephenson Harwood acts for manufacturers, operating companies, public sector procurers, rolling stock owners, infrastructure managers and financiers, both in the UK and internationally, on a range of rail matters, and is particularly noted for its franchising, rolling stock, projects and financing expertise. Highlights included advising Arriva Rail London on the mobilisation of the new London Overground Concession and advising Abellio on its bid for the new East Anglia Franchise. It is also advising Rail for London (RfL) and London Underground Limited (LUL) on the preparation of a standard form manufacturing and supply agreement, as well as maintenance and spares supply arrangements to assist in multiple tenders, and is acting for TfL on regulatory and access aspects of Crossrail. The β€˜commercial and thorough’ Graeme McLellan, who is an asset finance expert with particular focus on rolling stock, heads the β€˜experienced team’, which includes the β€˜exceptional’ Tammy Samuel, who handles franchising, rolling stock, projects and infrastructure matters; Suzanne Tarplee, who advises on franchising, rolling stock and rail regulation; and the β€˜highly regarded’ Lisa Marks. Also recommended are Graeme Barton, who was promoted to partner in 2016 and handles infrastructure and construction projects, and senior associate Darren Fodey.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP’s cross-practice department acts for financiers, operating lessors and other investors in rail assets such as rolling stock and real estate. It is also experienced in competition law and sectoral regulation, as well as planning, IT, technology and disputes in the sector. It continues to advise Land Securities on the Ebbsfleet and Eastern Quarry development, as part of the government's Thames Gateway initiative, and advised Angel Trains on the Β£900m procurement, leasing and financing of 665 new Bombardier Aventra electric multiple-unit passenger vehicles as part of Abellio’s winning East Anglia rail franchise bid. Beacon Rail instructed the team on the EU and national merger control and regulatory aspects of multiple proposed acquisitions of competitor rolling stock leasing businesses and portfolios. Russell Clifford heads the asset finance and rail industry group, which include Jamie Wiseman-Clarke, who specialises in rail finance mandates, and James Marshall, who provides competition law advice.

Bond Dickinson LLP is a β€˜close-knit, stable team which very much knows what it is doing’; it β€˜provides sensible, pragmatic and easy-to-understand advice quickly’. It is experienced across rolling stock procurement and contracts, rail franchise bids, IT contracts, and also handles light rail mandates. Department head David Rewcastle provides a β€˜well-rounded service’ and regularly leads on rail franchise bids and rolling stock procurements. Paul Coleman is β€˜exceptional’ and specialises in rolling stock and infrastructure, and β€˜pragmatic operator’ Kevin Bell handles franchising mandates. Managing associates Will Bonas and David Millard, who was recently promoted, are also recommended.

CMS’s team focuses on rail infrastructure projects, rolling stock procurement and funding, and depot financing transactions. It also has expertise in the light rail sector. It advised the lenders to Rock Rail East Anglia (a consortium of Rock Rail, SL Capital, GMPF and LPFA) on the funding for the procurement of 378 new intercity and bi-mode Stadler built rolling stock units to be leased to Abellio East Anglia. Tramlink Nottingham, Eurostar International, FirstGroup, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport and Edinburgh Trams are also clients. Bill Carr handles rolling stock procurement and maintenance agreements, and Edinburgh-based Eleanor Lane specialises in major transport and infrastructure projects. Consultant Jonathan Beckitt is also recommended. Carr and Lane head the team.

DLA Piper’s β€˜strong’ department advises on regulatory matters, rolling stock procurements, rail franchise tenders and wider infrastructure projects, as well as operational matters. The team is advising HS2 Ltd on the planning and real estate aspects of HS2, particularly in relation to complex acquisitions and site assembly, as well advising on mechanisms for multiple compensation claims. It also advised the DfT on several matters including the East Anglia rail franchise, and on operational matters relating to the Thameslink Rolling Stock Project. Merseytravel is instructing the team on high-value investments in fleet and depot improvements. Agility Trains, Hitachi Rail Europe and Serco are also clients. London-based UK projects head Colin Wilson, UK rail head Robert Smith in Leeds, and Edinburgh-based Sharon Fitzgerald, who handles infrastructure projects, are highly regarded.

Hogan Lovells International LLP has β€˜excellent sector knowledge’ and is praised for its β€˜excellent response times’. The team handles a variety of rail sector projects, with expertise in franchising, rolling stock, and major infrastructure projects. Highlights included advising Alstom on the acquisition of GE’s Intelligent Transportation Solutions business, and is advising the Hellenic Republic on the restructuring of the Greek railway. It is also advising the lenders in connection with the Nottingham Express Transit Phase 2 PFI project. The β€˜experienced’ Andrew Briggs and Simon Gwynne, who has a β€˜confident and authoritative manner’, head the team. They are assisted by Adrian Walker, who is global co-head of infrastructure, energy, resources and projects, counsel Charles Ford, and Andrew Gallagher, who specialises in infrastructure finance, project finance, PPP transactions and infrastructure acquisitions.

Osborne Clarke LLP’s β€˜well-connected’ team is noted for its β€˜excellent client care’ and β€˜ability to understand the suite of (policy as well as legal) issues that are live in the industry’. It has rail franchising, concessions and rolling stock expertise, and also handles a range of broader corporate and commercial matters, including providing public law advice and advice on procurement challenges. Highlights included advising Eversholt Rail Group on the finance, acquisition and leasing of a new fleet built by Spanish train manufacturer CAF, acting for Stadler Rail Valencia on the modification of an existing fleet of Class 68 locomotives, and advising XC Trains on the renewal of its operation of the CrossCountry passenger rail franchise. Team head Lara Burch is β€˜up to speed with policy issues in the sector and is able to link the legal advice to these issues’. Other key figures include Clive Smith, who handles asset finance matters in the rail and rolling stock arena, corporate partner Simon Smith, and disputes partner Charlie Wedin. Also recommended are associate director Jeremy Godley, who has β€˜in-depth rail expertise’, and senior associate Craig McCarthy, who stands out for his experience handling domestic and EU procurement regulation maters.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s team attracts praise for its β€˜quick responses and clear advice’ as well as for its β€˜strong track record in infrastructure projects in the rail sector’. The team is advising the EPC contractor on a $1.7bn railway project in Ethiopia and is acting for the Greater London Authority and TfL on the HS2, Phase 1 Parliamentary Bill concerning the protection of various transport assets and statutory functions around London. It is also continuing to advise TfL and LUL on the planning and authorisation of the Β£1bn extension of the London Underground’s Northern Line. Jon Hart heads the team which includes the β€˜dynamic’ Robbie Owen who is an infrastructure planning expert, Anne-Marie Friel, who handles projects, and Francis Tyrrell, who has a β€˜wealth of knowledge’.

Simmons & Simmons is β€˜very experienced in high-profile rail infrastructure projects’, provides β€˜a high standard of advice’, and has β€˜exceptional industry knowledge, particularly in understanding the practical delivery problems of large, complex construction or engineering projects’. It is advising TfL on the procurement of up to six different facilities management contracts, and is advising the DfT in relation to Network Rail’s operations and financing needs. The team is also advising Momentum Infrastructure, a JV of three leading contractors bidding for enabling and civil works on HS2. Team head Juliet Reingold has β€˜exceptional experience’ of UK and international rail projects and β€˜highly innovative’ construction partner Rob Horne has β€˜extensive knowledge of rail and transport infrastructure projects’. Navneet Juty left the firm in 2016.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP fields an β€˜exceptional team’ with expertise spannning the planning, promotion and statutory authorisation of major rail projects; advising on compulsory purchase, property issues, consultations, and environmental impact assessments; and handling planning and statutory procedures. Team head Paul Irving assists with drafting legislation relating to railways, and is praised for his β€˜experience, knowledge and capacity to deliver’. Other key figures include Hazel Anderson, who specialises in infrastructure planning work, including the authorisation of railways; the β€˜brilliant’ Alison Gorlov; Simon Livesey; and senior associate Jane Wakeham, who focuses on the authorisation of railway schemes and the promotion of infrastructure projects. Brian Greenwood recently joined Clyde & Co LLP.

The β€˜very able’ team at Addleshaw Goddard has wide-ranging rail expertise spanning franchising, infrastructure and rolling stock transactions in the sector. The team is advising the DfT on the West Coast Partnership, which will combine the current InterCity West Coast services with the development and introduction of HS2 services, and also advised the DfT on the West Midlands Direct Award and franchise competition. Other highlight included advising Keolis UK and Amey Rail on its successful bid for the Β£500m contract to operate and maintain the Manchester Metrolink tram network. It also advised Hitachi Rail Europe on the completion of its sale of 19 five-car Hitachi AT300 bi-mode trains to First TransPennine Express, and on the connected transaction for a further five units for Hull Trains Company. Department head Paul Hirst has a β€˜fantastic reputation’ and Jacqui Langley-White is also recommended.

Noted for its β€˜specialist sector knowledge’ Bircham Dyson Bell focuses on the development and promotion of rail schemes across the UK and is noted for its infrastructure planning expertise. It is advising TfL on Crossrail 2, on the proposed extension of the London Overground network to Barking Riverside. The team is also advising the same client on the land acquisition relating to the Northern Line extension, and assisted TfGM with the implementation of the new extension to the Manchester Metrolink tram system. Angus Walker heads the team, which includes Ian Cameron, who is β€˜good on strategy and procedure’, Mark Challis, who is β€˜an excellent strategist, with a thorough approach and wide experience in urban railway projects’, and Nick Evans, who has β€˜good knowledge of procedure, deals with the detail and gives sound advice’. Sarah Clark and Tom Henderson are also recommended.

The β€˜commercially aware’ team at Shoosmiths LLP is β€˜very knowledgeable, particularly on rolling stock matters’ and has β€˜good understanding of franchising and the link between rolling stock leases and franchising obligations’. It is also noted for its experience in rail infrastructure projects. It is advising Stagecoach Group on the establishment of two framework agreements, and is advising Centro (now Transport for West Midlands) on the Wolverhampton Interchange Project. In another highlight, the team advised Porterbrook Leasing Company Limited (PLCL) on transfer tof leases for the various Porterbrook-owned rolling stock fleets and associated heavy maintenance agreements, as well as the leases for the ticket barriers installed at numerous stations, from Abellio Greater Anglia to Abellio East Anglia. Department head Chris McClure is β€˜very approachable and knowledgeable’; he is supported by the β€˜enthusiastic’ Martin Fleetwood, who has a β€˜deep knowledge of the structure of the UK rail industry’, Ursula Gould, who advises on concessions for the construction and operation of light rail schemes and transport interchange projects, and Joanne McGuinness, who handles real estate matters in the sector.

White & Case LLP is commended for its β€˜excellent customer service’ and its β€˜prompt responses’. It advises on rail infrastructure procurement and project development, the supply of rolling stock, concessions and franchising, regulatory matters and dispute resolution. International rail projects are a key strength of the team; highlights included advising Vale on the development and financing of the $4.4bn Nacala Corridor Project, a project to transport coal from Vale’s mine in Moatize to a new coal port in Nacala, Mozambique. In another highlight, Alpha Trains instructed the team on the purchase and financing of several fleets. Jason Kerr heads the team, which includes Phillip Capper, who β€˜provides clear and well-reasoned advice’ and is an β€˜excellent lawyer with strengths in contract obligations interpretation and dispute resolution’. Also recommended are Ellis Baker, who heads the construction and engineering practice, Louise Mor, who advises on international asset finance and leasing transactions, and Caroline Miller Smith, who advises on concession and project finance matters.

Fieldfisher is active across the rail sector and handles a range of franchising, rolling stock manufacturing, leasing, ticketing, procurement, state aid and technology infrastructure mandates. It alsao advised the DfT on Wi-Fi roll-out deals for Chiltern Railways and Arriva Trains Wales, and continues to work on deals for the South Eastern and Thameslink franchises. It also advised the DfT on the negotiation of a new Direct Award Franchise agreement between the DfT and XC Trains, and acted for Engage Solutions Group on its SaaS subscription agreement with London and South Eastern Railway for an employee engagement and communication mobile app. Trainline, Global Travel Ventures and GoAhead Group are also clients. John Worthy and John Cassels are key figures in the team.

Hollingworth Bissell has a β€˜fantastic reputation’ and advises a range of rail industry clients. Sara Hollingworth and Helen Bissell are the key contacts.

K&L Gates LLP advises on major rail projects and has particular expertise in light rail metro and mass transit systems. It advises on performance regimes, reliability and maintainability of rolling stock, and also has experience in advising on complex signalling procurements. TfL, Tube Lines, Qatar Rail, Rail for London and Crossrail Ltd are clients. Department head Matthew Smith advises on UK and international transport, rail and infrastructure projects, as well as handling disputes in the sector.

Kennedys handles a range of contentious instructions in the rail industry. Health and safety regulatory matters are a mainstay of the practice, as are public inquiries, criminal investigations and prosecutions in the rail sector. The team also advises several major train operators on employment matters, and continues to act for Virgin Trains on employment and industrial relations work. Team head Richard Crockford β€˜has huge tactical knowledge and is extremely determined to fight his client’s corner’; he has longstanding experience in handling health and safety matters. Matthew Leake and Fiona Morgan handle employment mandates in the rail sector.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP’s rail team has β€˜good industry knowledge’ and is lauded for its β€˜flexible’ approach. It handles a range of transactional matters in the sector; highlights included advising BBSFF EU Rail Lessor (a subsidiary of Global Investments), BOSSAF Rail and Everest Babcock & Brown Opportunities Fund on the sale of Ascendos Investments to Beacon Rail Leasing. Nigel Taylor advises on rail franchising, projects and corporate transactions, and global transport head Rex Rosales is experienced in asset finance.

Gowling WLG’s rail practice advises on new station developments, station upgrades, as well as overstation and over-track developments. It also advises on Network Rail interface agreements on behalf of developers and London Underground, and acts for freight operators and users. It is advising Barnet Council on the closure of existing rail freight facilities, the delivery of a new rail freight facility and new railway station as part of a regeneration scheme. It is also acting for Crossrail Ltd on an over-site development at Liverpool Street. Key figures include non-contentious construction specialist Richard Green, who advises on new station developments; consultant Michael Whitehouse, who is experienced in UK rail projects; and of counsel Michael Hallowell, who is experienced in real estate. Giles Clifford heads the team.

Lee Bolton Monier-Williams handles rail-related property work. Consultant Keith Wallace is a notable figure.

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