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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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United Kingdom > South West > Transport > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings




Index of tables

  1. Rail
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Burges Salmon LLP's team covers all aspects of rail-related work, including health and safety, franchising and infrastructure matters. Its experience includes the devolution of rail franchising powers, consumer protection and third party retailing arrangements and tunnel access. The firm's client base includes many of the leading operators in the country, and also public bodies and international operators. Brioney Thomas, who is the head of the rail division, has a particular interest in regulatory and commercial issues.

Practice head(s):Brioney Thomas

Other key lawyers:Chris Simms

Key Clients

FirstGroup (TOC owner group) and its TOCs (Great Western Railway, South Western Railway, First TransPennine Express and Hull Trains)

Abellio Transport Holdings (TOC owner group) and its TOCs (Merseyrail, Greater Anglia and ScotRail)

Welsh Government / Transport for Wales

Northern Ireland Railways Company (trading as Translink)

Eurostar International Limited (trading as Eurostar)

Rail Delivery Group

Freightliner and the FOCs collectively (being Colas Rail; DB Schenker; Mendip Rail; Devon & Cornwall Railways; Direct Rail Services; Freightliner Group Ltd; and GB Railfreight)

Work highlights

  • Acted for Abellio East Anglia Limited on securing private investment in the Norwich Crown Point Depot to fund upgrade works for new rolling stock.
  • Advising GWR on a dispute concerning the £146 million refurbishment of the sleeper trains for services from Paddington-Penzance
  • Continue to advise Abellio Group, including Abellio East Anglia, on operational property matters.
  • Advised First Trenitalia West Coast Trains Limited on its bid for the West Coast Partnership
  • Advising Transport for Wales on its procurement of the next Wales and Border Rail Service and Metro on behalf of the Welsh Government.

Osborne Clarke advises both national and multinational clients on purchases and procurement, innovative developments, planning law for infrastructure development, regulatory changes and working arrangements. The team regularly advises international clients on cross-border rail issues, and is involved in design work at the forefront of rail sector technology. Practice head Lara Burch is experienced in franchising, infrastructure and rolling stock work. Recent hire Edward Barratt joined from Burges Salmon LLP.

Practice head(s):Lara Burch

Other key lawyers:Catherine Wolfenden


'A growing team with much potential'

'Responsive, professional, friendly'

'Very knowledgeable, clearly up to speed in latest regulations and legislation relevant to the rail industry'

Key Clients

Transport for London

Arriva (and its affiliated train operating companies)

Eversholt Rail Group

Rail Delivery Group

Eurostar International

Department for Transport

Office of Rail and Road


Hack Partners Limited

Riccardo Rail

Knorr Bremse Rail

Cross London Trains

Work highlights

  • Representing Siemens Mobility Limited in procurement challenge by competitors over award of contract for £1.5bn-plus worth of new trains for the Piccadilly, Bakerloo and Central lines.
  • Acted for Eversholt Rail Group on its collaboration with Alstom for the development of a new hydrogen powered train.
  • Advised Gazeley on the development of a proposed new seven million sq ft Strategic Rail Freight Interchange in Northamptonshire at a cost of £700m.
  • Advised Rail Delivery Group on the design and implementation of fares and ticketing simplifications, initially on a trial basis.
  • Osborne Clarke is Eurostar’s sole adviser for all IP matters and also advises on a broad spread of day-to-day legal issues.


Index of tables

  1. Shipping
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Jo Pummery - Bartons

Rising stars

  1. 1

Ashfords LLP, which undertakes the full range of shipping and marine regulatory work, regularly acts for clients in the fishing industry, shipowners, and port and harbour authorities. It also generates work from national and international banks. Specialisms of the practice include high-value demurrage and delay claims, ship sale and purchase disputes, cargo claims and marine licensing. Other work includes vessel refinancings and purchases. Charles Hattersley leads the team.

Practice head(s):Charles Hattersley

Other key lawyers:Lara Moore; Ieuan Jones

Key Clients

Rowse Fishing Limited

Castle Air Limited

Roger B Klyne

Metmar Denizcilik Sanayi Ve Ticarat Limited

Littlehampton Harbour Board

Exe Shipping Limited

Royal National Lifeboat Institution (R.N.L.I)

Derek Meredith / Laura D Fishing Limited

Offshore Marine Management Limited

Sea Bunkering Limited

Shoreham Port Authority


Fowey Harbour Authority

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council (Weymouth Harbour)

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended Laura D Fishing Limited against 48 counts of allegedly operating illegal fishing gear.
  • Advising the owners of the Bugaled Breizh fishing vessel in all aspects of UK proceedings as part of the overall investigation.
  • Advising Castle Air Limited on a number of high-value sale and purchase agreements for helicopter purchases relating to yacht use.
  • Defending R&E Fish Limited against Marine Management Organisation charges.
  • Assisting Royal National Lifeboat Institution its marine licensing requirements for all existing infrastructure in the UK.

Marine specialists Bartons primarily acts for marine insurers in cases involving fishing trawlers, passenger vessels and yachts. It fields a marine advocacy team, which both defends and prosecutes cases; a key figure in the group is recently promoted associate Tristan Harwood, who is a qualified barrister and PACE-qualified representative. The team also works with a number of governing bodies and authorities on strategic planning and legal frameworks, reviewing policies and providing legal consultation. Team head Jo Pummery is highly experienced in injury and fatality claims, negligence claims, and marine insurance disputes, particularly in relation to racing yachts.

Practice head(s):Jo Pummery

Other key lawyers:Lee Hassall; Tristan Harwood; Cory Cuff


'Full of praise for Jo Pummery, she's a star'

'Jo Pummery is very experienced'

Key Clients

Sompo Canopius Marine

British Marine Ltd

Shipowners Protection Ltd

Sunderland Marine Insurance Company Ltd

Pantaenius UK Ltd

RSA Insurance – Marine Claims

Beazley Group

Loadstar Marine

Rib Eye Ltd

British Marine Federation

Arc Legal Assistance Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising Sompo Canpoius Marine regarding coverage issues in relation to a claim against an insured company which has gone out of business.
  • Assisted Ribeye Limited with drafting contractual terms for sale of superyacht tenders (business to business) and also new and second-hand vessels to consumers.
  • Representing Barry Wheldon in claims against two contractors through their respective insurers for the failure of contractors' lifting gear causing total loss of the vessel.
  • Acted for the British Marine Federation in drafting standard terms and conditions for passenger boat operators for publishing on their website for member use.
  • Defending Edwin Butter against a claim of alleged breach of sale contract.

BLM in Bristol predominantly focuses on marine insurance work, with a larger focus on so-called 'wet' shipping matters; this area is split relatively equally between injury and non-injury work. Team head Gemma Pearce, who is dual-qualified as a solicitor and as a barrister, has 18 years of experience of the sector. The work includes matters involving charter parties, bills of lading, the supply and carriage of goods, cargo, and passenger and crew claims. Policy coverage disputes are another area of strength.

Practice head(s):Gemma Pearce

Other key lawyers:Stephen Favali; Alice Walsh; Amy Frogson

Dorade Law focuses exclusively on the yachting arena, and all team members have experience of working in the marine industry, including experienced commercial yachtmaster Gus Lewis. Nick Horton advises superyacht clients on both a strategic level. and on contract negotiations for the building and re-fitting of private vessels. The firm has expanded its offering in port and harbour law with the hire of consultant Andrew Hignett from Keystone Law. Another pillar of the work involves advising ultra-high net worth individuals on aircraft and helicopter transactions.

Practice head(s):Gus Lewis; Nick Horton

Other key lawyers:Andrew Hignett


'Nick Horton is the go-to guy for yachting matters'

'Gus Lewis really knows his stuff'

'Very active in transactional matters'

Key Clients

Pendennis Shipyard Limited

Royal Yachting Association

ICOMIA - Superyacht Refit Group

T Nielsen & Co. - Gloucester Dry Docks

Work highlights

  • Assisted Pendennis Shipyard with negotiating a number of yacht refit contracts and two further build contracts.
  • Assisting the International Committee of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) with a superyacht refit contract review.

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