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Rail in London

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard is known for being 'right at the top of their field', advising on franchising, rolling stock, and projects and infrastructure work. Frequently advising on urban rail hubs and advising central government on significant rail projects, the team is co-lead by Paul Hirst, who focuses on complex work related to HS2, operating concessions, and franchises, and co-lead Anna Heaton, who is a key contact for land development surrounding transport hubs. Clive Smith focuses on leasing, maintenance, and contract modification for rolling stock, while recently promoted partner Sara Gilmore has advised the Department for Transport on partnership franchises. Michael Rainey was also promoted to partner in May 2020.

Practice head(s):

Paul Hirst; Anna Heaton

Other key lawyers:

Clive Smith; Sara Gilmore; Michael Rainey; Bill Gilliam; David Young

Testimonials

‘AG’s London transport team is excellent and can punch its weight with any of the other London teams. Their strength lies in excellent, tight knit teamwork, great communication within their team, and relentlessly working to get the right results for their clients.’

‘A very experienced team of lawyers who have a unique knowledge of the railway industry as a whole. The team is large and all specialisms are catered for. They are extremely collaborative and innovative, setting up a cross-industry forum for knowledge sharing. They understand extremely well the contractual and regulatory frameworks within the industry from both a practical and legal stance.’

‘Bill Gilliam has first class judgement, provides great leadership to his teams, deploys his knowledge of the law and the commercial needs of his client to great tactical effect and is a pleasure to work with. His client handling skills are excellent and he is utterly unflappable whatever the case might throw at him.’

‘They have a great team, with huge experience of public procurement litigation and have been in a number of high profile rail cases in the last year.’

‘They have a strong team led by Bill Gilliam. Their depth of experience, legal expertise and tactical abilities means that they are right at the top of their field.’

‘Bill Gilliam is highly experienced, tactically astute, extremely easy to deal with and always calm under pressure.’

Key clients

Department for Transport

VTG Rail UK Limited

Eversholt Rail

West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Rail Operations Group Limited

West Midlands Combined Authority

High Speed Two (HS2) Limited

Hitachi Rail Limited

Porterbrook

Prologis Group Companies

Greater London Authority / Transport for London

MerseyTravel

HS1 Limited

Transport for Greater Manchester

DB Cargo

Freightliner Heavy Haul Limited

CAF

SMBC

Netinera Deutschland GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advised the Department for Transport on the various agreements to bail out the train operating companies and are lead advisor on the new National Rail Contract and design of the replacement Passenger Services Contracts which will supersede the rail franchising model in the biggest industry change since privatisation.
  • Acted for HS2 in relation to a successful defence to a major challenge to its procurement of a Construction Partner for the design and delivery of Old Oak Common Station, a transport super-hub and one of the biggest brownfield regeneration projects in Europe.
  • Advised in connection with the flagship order, by Rail Operations Group, of up to 30 x Class 93 tri-mode, high speed freight Locomotives, manufactured by Stadler Rail Valencia.

Ashurst

Known for its expertise in franchising, as well as advising on emergency recovery measure agreements, the team at Ashurst deals with complex rail matters for all the major actors in rail sector, both in London across the UK. The team is also highly experienced in projects and infrastructure work. The 'sharp and focused' Terence Van Poortvliet focuses on franchising, rolling stock procurement, and infrastructure development; Mark Elsey has advised on a series of major rail projects in the UK, including HS2, East West Rail and Crossrail; Naomi Horton is an expert in commercial contracts and rail infrastructure projects and has 'unrivalled rail knowledge'. Jonathan Turner has advised TfL and DLR on rolling stock projects and franchise matters.

Practice head(s):

Terry van Poortvliet; Mark Elsey; Naomi Horton

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Turner; Jamie Illingworth

Testimonials

‘They are technically superb. Very easy to deal with and extremely responsive.  Their advice is pragmatic and when they need to make a point they do so without being patronising. They speak in simple language and don’t try to impress us with their knowledge.  We really feel they get it.’

‘Mark Elsey – technically excellent, his commercial and solutions-driven approach is a refreshing change.’

‘Ashurst has been heavily involved in the rail sector since pre-privatisation.  They act for a range of clients in the sector. As a result they have a real in-depth knowledge and understanding of all parts of the sector, the issues that impact on it, where it has been and where it is going. They have an excellent understanding of us, where we sit in the sector and where we want to be.  These attributes are what we want from our advisers.’

‘Terry van Poortvliet – sharp and focused. Has the ability to get to the nub of the issues and provide effective solutions.

‘James Illingworth – really impressive for a senior associate, very considered and always provides pragmatic advice.’

‘Naomi Horton understands the rail sector. She is proactive and delivers sound commercial advice in a user friendly way.’

‘Naomi Horton and Jonathan Turner are both excellent. Their knowledge and experience of the rail sector is exceptional. They provide practical advice and offer solutions to problems and novel situations.’

‘They understand the context, the objectives and constraints of their client very well. The team complement each other. They are great lawyers who clearly have a passion for their speciality but still great respect for the other specialties. A diverse team is a team made of individuals that think differently. I felt we definitely had that within the Ashurst team.’

Key clients

Crossrail Ltd

Transport for London

Amey Keolis Infrastructure / Seilwaith Amey Keolis Limited

Keolis Amey Operations / Gweithrediadau Keolis Amery Limited

Department for Transport

East West Rail Company

Hitachi

City of Edinburgh Council (CEC)

National Express

Women in Rail (Pro bono client)

Railway Children (Pro bono client)

Angel Trains

Agility Trains

West Coast Partnership

Abellio

Virgin Rail Group

Stagecoach

SNCF

Docklands Light Railway

HS2 Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Keolis and Amey on the rail infrastructure transfer of the Core Valley Lines (CVL) around Cardiff from Network Rail and related Infrastructure Manager obligations, including setting up the bespoke CVL regulatory regime for the UK’s newest rail Infrastructure Manager against the backdrop of the only passenger rail franchise to incorporate track and train vertical integration, and a bespoke franchise agreement with the Welsh Ministers.
  • Advised the Department for Transport on all aspects of the recent dramatic changes in UK franchising.
  • Advising HS2 Limited in relation to the procurement of nine rail systems packages for Phases One and 2A of the HS2 project including the related partnering arrangements as well as the procurement of the works packages for Birmingham Curzon Street and Birmingham Interchange stations.

Burges Salmon LLP

Operating across Bristol and London, the large and 'very knowledgeable and skilled' transport team at Burges Salmon LLP continues to advise clients including major train operators, Transport for London, Transport for Wales and Eurostar on franchising, major rolling stock procurements and rail disputes. It is also known for its work on rail infrastructure, health and safety and regulatory matters. Simon Coppen is head of franchising and 'a key thought-leader in the industry'. Head of transport Brioney Thomas has 'deep knowledge and experience' advising on franchising and procurement. Infrastructure group head and safety and risk specialist Chris Jackson advises on major public incidents and inquiries, while Ian Tucker was recently promoted to head of rail. Chris Simms deals with regulatory and commercial matters, Philip Beer deals with major rail projects, and Ann Metherall is an expert in health and safety and real estate work.

Practice head(s):

Ian Tucker; Chris Jackson; Brioney Thomas; Simon Coppen; Ann Metherall; Philip Beer; Chris Simms

Testimonials

Leadership with huge experience in the field. Nothing is too much trouble and their availability is exceptional.’

Simon Coppen is clearly a key thought leader in the industry and hugely respected by his counterparts and clients. Always available, responsive and provides considered advice with excellent commercial insight.’

Brioney Thomas is a very personable and effective lawyer, with deep knowledge and experience, which she deploys well.’

Burges Salmon have a very knowledgeable and skilled transport team, with strength and depth.’

Deep knowledge of the rail ecosystem, from privatisation onwards.’

Excellent in-depth subject matter knowledge on rail franchise and associated commercial and litigation expertise.’

Simon Coppen has an encyclopaedic knowledge but is also very pragmatic, commercial and risk focused. He is supported by an excellent and knowledgeable team who are very responsive and proactive.’

‘Chris Jackson provides highly valuable commercial litigation experience, with careful consideration for tactics and approach.’

Key clients

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

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

Welsh Government / Transport for Wales

Northern Ireland Railways Company (trading as Translink)

Eurostar International Limited (trading as Eurostar)

Rock Rail East Midlands plc

Rail Delivery Group

Transport for London

Investec

London Underground

Work highlights

  • Advised on the first-in-market acquisition by the Welsh Government and TfW, from Network Rail, of track, railway assets and other infrastructure for the South Wales Metro project – a ground-breaking project, requiring a wide range of regulatory, commercial and other advice.
  • Represented FirstGroup and its JV partner, Trenitalia, as interested party in the high profile Judicial Review launched by Stagecoach of the DfT’s decision to award the West Coast franchise to their subsidiary, First Trenitalia.
  • Advised FirstGroup and its TOC’s on the acquisition or upgrading of rolling stock to the value of c. £1.6bn, including the purchase of £350m of new rolling stock for the West Coast franchise and the delivery of £640m in upgrades to existing trains for the West Coast Franchise, among other work.

Clifford Chance LLP

Clifford Chance LLP is a key advisor to rail infrastructure bodies, financiers, manufacturers, operators and suppliers involved in major rail projects. Its expertise extends to longstanding complex franchising matters and rolling stock procurements, as well as recent Covid-19 ERMA arrangements. Rail industry head Paul Carrington focuses on financing, leasing and sales, as well as structured finance. He works alongside Ranbir Hunjan, a rail asset finance and banking specialist, and senior associate Dominic Watts, an expert in rail finance. Additionally, Michael Pearson and associate Alain Dodds are key contact regarding rolling stock procurement.

Practice head(s):

Paul Carrington

Other key lawyers:

Ranjbir Hunjan; Dominic Watts; Michael Pearson; Alain Dodds

Testimonials

‘A very experienced team.’

Key clients

LGIM

Network Rail

Rock Rail

Aviva

Hitachi

The Royal Bank of Scotland

SMBC

ING

Lombard

EQT Infrastructure

Equitix

Work highlights

  • Advised Rock Rail on the Department for Transport’s major restructuring of the UK rail franchise system and on the implications of the proposed Emergency Recovery Measures Agreement (“ERMA”) and the post-ERMA Direct Awards on the existing franchise, leasing and financing arrangements in respect of the (i) Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern rail franchise, (ii) East Anglia rail franchise, (iii) South Western rail franchise, (iv) East Midlands rail franchise and (v) West Coast Partnership rail franchise.
  • Advised Rock Rail in relation to a further major variation to their Manufacture and Supply Agreement with Bombardier Transportation for rolling stock for South Western Railway.
  • Advised as international counsel to the prospective lending group to a consortium bidding for participation in the Tel Aviv Light Rail PPP in Israel. The tender process is being run by the NTA Metropolitan Mass Transit System Ltd.(the Tel Aviv local transit authority) and will cover the new Green Line and Purple Line which are significant expansions to the existing public transportation system in Tel Aviv.

Dentons

Dentons advises clients on the full range of rail industry matters, including franchises and concessions, operations, regulation, rolling stock procurement and maintenance, while also supporting on major disputes. 2020 saw practice head Matthew Hanslip-Ward lead the firm's team on the renationalistion of the Northern franchise, as well as advising five franchises on Emergency Measures and Recovery Agreements. Christopher McGee-Osborne is a key resource regarding franchise renegotiations and renationalisations, while construction partner Mark Macaulay is an expert in the drafting of high-value infrastructure contracts. Counsel Martin Watt deals primarily in rolling stock, while senior associate Jonathan Smith specialises in franchising, concessions, and rolling stock, as well as railway law.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Hanslip-Ward

Other key lawyers:

Christopher McGee-Osborne; Mark Macaulay; Martin Watt; Jonathan Smith

Testimonials

‘Dentons have been our trusted partner in the rail business for many years. With their knowledge and expertise in the rail industry, they provide practical and commercial advice for our biddings in the UK. They are approachable, helpful and always provide high qualify legal support.’

‘They have deep legal expertise for the international practice area, an extensive international network to call upon and a strong commercial founded upon their industry knowledge and insight.’

‘Fantastic industry knowledge, not only of the law but the politics and players also.  ‘

‘Matthew Hanslip-Ward and Jonathan Smith are trusted legal advisers of our team. They are very knowledgeable in the rail industry and understand our business and our internal operation. They are always ready to walk an extra mile for us when we require support.’

‘Working with Matthew Hanslip-Ward and his team is always a pleasure. Their knowledge of the UK rail market is second to none and in combination with their ability to see issues from a commercial and practical standpoint has meant that we have partnered with the team very successfully.’

Key clients

MTR Corporation

Deutsche Bahn

Arriva (including certain of its TOCs)

Virgin

Stagecoach

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited

Alstom

Transport for London

Mitsui

Rail Delivery Group

MTR Corporation (Crossrail) Limited

GB Railfreight

DB Schenker

DB International Operations

Transdev

Work highlights

  • Concluded work on the renationalisation of the Northern franchise, the largest UK franchise, and went on to support Arriva and Deutsche Bahn in relation to the UK Government’s intervention in the rail franchise market in the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic, working on the related Emergency Measures Agreements.
  • Continued longstanding support to MTR Elizabeth Line in relation to its delivery of the Crossrail operating concession and a wide range of issues associated with what remains the UK’s biggest urban transport project.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

The 'commercially astute' team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP provides the full range of advice to rail clients, particularly regarding commercial, regulatory, and planning matters. The team, which can draw on the wider firm's global footprint, has expertise in concessions, rolling stock, and has been involved in the promotion of the bills in relation to major infrastructure projects such as HS2. Practice co-leader Mark Brunton is an expert in rail franchise agreements and rolling stock contracts, while co-leader and consultant Anne Harris is a 'standout individual', advising on major policy issues. Agnes Koko - 'one of the best minds' in the industry - and James O’Connor focus on complex rail infrastructure projects, while Stephen Collings is a parliamentary agent authorised to promote and oppose bills in Parliament. William Spickett and Andrew Bell provide 'top-rate support' to the rest of the team.

Practice head(s):

Mark Brunton; Anne Harris

Other key lawyers:

Agnes Koko; Stephen Collings; James O’Connor; William Spickett; Andrew Bell

Testimonials

There is a breadth of experience. Anne Harris’s extensive experience which is a particular strength. A further strength is that team can usually pull in other firm expertise (e.g company, insolvency, pensions) very effectively – knitting that expertise into their service to the client seamlessly.

Anne Harris is the standout individual. Her knowledge of the law is awesome but she understands the policy and commercial pressures we work within and is creative in the way she analyses issues and suggests options. Agnes Koko and William Spickett are very impressive in the rolling stock field – again with very strong legal knowledge backed by pragmatism and a standing in the industry which means counterparties listen and respect positions we take.

A strong, highly experienced team with expertise built up from many years of involvement in developing and negotiating rail contracts in the privatised GB rail market.’

Anne Harris, Mark Brunton and Agnes Koko are all stand-out experts in their field, having advised on a large number of rail-related transactions over many years, and can be relied upon to provide high-quality commercially-focused advice. Andrew Bell and Will Spickett have provided top-rate support.’

A great breadth and depth of subject matter specific knowledge across a tight knit and collaborative team. In the unlikely event one team member doesn’t know an answer, they can immediately pass you on to a colleague who does. These guys are the experts.

A commercially astute and highly experienced group, with deep subject matter knowledge in their field. Excellent clarity and grasp of complex commercial issues. Team members have a wider understanding of issues beyond just legal matters, and use it to make their legal advice more telling.’

We regularly work with the international rail and infrastructure team of Eversheds London under Agnes Koko. The practice has a global footprint which is very helpful since we are acting in many different jurisdictions. In comparison to other firms: very thorough, understanding clients commercial requirements, high responsiveness and excellent know how and analytical approach.’

Agnes Koko is one of the best minds I know in the industry and a very impressive personality. She is brilliant, very creative, highly reliable. She understands all aspects of rail in all levels of complexity with extensive international experience in the rail sector on both sides of the table. Agnes is highly structured and able to create strategies fitting her clients commercial requirements. She is very strong in negotiations and in representing her clients interests. Agnes has the ability to always proactively identify and find workable solutions to highly complex issues and is absolutely pleasant to work with.’

Key clients

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited

UK Department for Transport

Dubai Rail Transport Authority

High Speed 2 Limited

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

The 'very pragmatic' team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP advises across the entire rail sector, both in the UK and internationally. The practice first developed around projects and advising operators and has a long history of work on first-of-its-kind, complex rail projects. It currently provides expert regulatory, planning, rolling stock, and franchising advice, as well as major ongoing work with HS2. Practice leader Patrick Mitchell is a key resource regarding project development and transactions. During 2020 counsel John Williams and solicitor-advocate Nusrat Zar advised Stagecoach on its procurement challenge and judicial review. Tim Briggs is an expert regarding rail regulatory schemes, while senior associate Caroline Joyce deals primarily in asset finance. Project development specialist Tom Marshall was promoted to partner in May 2020.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Mitchell

Other key lawyers:

John Williams; Tim Briggs; Tom Marshall; Nusrat Zar; Caroline Joyce

Testimonials

Very pragmatic and commercial advice guided by industry insight and experience. Have been an invaluable resource through challenging negotiations with key stakeholders. They work well with ambiguity. Very easy to pick up the phone and talk through emerging issues to respond before escalation. Very alive to cost pressures and keep us fully informed.’

John Williams has deep industry knowledge with finger on the pulse of emerging issues. Highly technically competent but also very commercially pragmatic. Always makes himself available.’

HSF has advised on rail for many years and has a fount of knowledge in John Williams, who really understands the sector and provides user friendly and carefully considered advice.’

Key clients

Dalmore Infrastructure

DIF

East Midlands Trains Limited

HS1 Limited

High Speed Two (HS2) Limited

London North Eastern Railways

South West Trains

Stagecoach

Transport for London and London Underground

Macquarie Infrastructure Debt Investment Solutions

The Export-Import Bank of China

Linklaters LLP

The specialist rail team at Linklaters LLP is highly regarded for its expertise in construction, franchising, and rolling stock for a broad arrange of clients, including major government departments, as well as rail sponsors and financiers. Its experience ranges from all types of matters concerning heavy rail to light rail, as well as station real estate. During 2020 practice co-heads Fiona Hobbs and Charlotte Morgan advised the Department for Transport on Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements. Hobbs is a key resource regarding high-profile energy and infrastructure matters while Morgan focuses on rolling stock supply and maintenance agreements. Infrastructure partner Stuart Rowson deals with major rail financings.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Hobbs; Charlotte Morgan

Other key lawyers:

Stuart Rowson

Testimonials

‘Linklaters provides high quality input.’

Key clients

Department for Transport

British Government

Prax Group

HS1 Limited and group companies

PGGM Vermogensbeheer B.V.

Canaccord

VTG AG

Work highlights

  • Advised the Department for Transport on the Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements that have been entered into with English train operating companies.
  • Provided ongoing advice for the Department for Transport in relation to the circa £2bn additional funding package for the Crossrail project implemented in 2019 (via loans to the Greater London Authority and TfL) and the subsequent circa £1.1bn funding shortfall, time overruns, and impacts of Covid-19 on the project.
  • Advised the HS1 group for many years on mandates ranging from those relating to the Concession Agreement and commercial contracts, acquisitions and disposals, regulatory matters and corporate and finance matters.

Norton Rose Fulbright

The ‘highly experienced‘ full-service, global rail team at Norton Rose Fulbright has ‘an excellent knowledge‘ of rolling stock procurement, finance, and construction matters for both high speed and light rail. Its experience covers the full spectrum of services, and in 2020 notably advised clients on the renationalisation of the Wales and Borders rail franchise. Global head of rail team Tom Johnson and partner Simon Gwynne are ‘two industry heavyweights‘ in general rail and finance. Susanna Rogers is a key resource for antitrust, regulatory, and procurement matters, while counsel Louise Auty is considered ‘technically excellent‘ for her rail asset finance expertise.

Practice head(s):

Tom Johnson

Other key lawyers:

Simon Gwynne; Susanna Rogers; Louise Auty

Testimonials

Highly experienced team with the ability to advise on complex cross-border financial structures.’

Tom Johnson is an experienced partner and has strong commercial acumen required to close complex transactions.’

highly experienced team in the rail sector with the expertise to cover all aspects such as project work, disputes and litigation, project finance.’

Simon Gwyne is a trustworthy individual who is able to see the commercial reality of the situation and achieve the right outcome.’

Norton Rose has an excellent knowledge of the rail industry. The team is led by two industry heavyweights – Tom Johnson and Simon Gwynne – who are then supported by the technically excellent Louise Auty.’

Norton Rose has been heavily involved in the rail sector since pre-privatisation. They act for a range of clients in the sector. As a result they have a real in depth knowledge and understanding of all parts of the sector, the issues that impact on it, where it has been and where it is going. Norton Rose has also acted for us for many years so, additionally, they have an excellent understanding of us, where we sit in the sector and where we want to be. These attributes are what we want from our advisers.’

Tom Johnson is excellent. He knows what is important. He is knowledgeable, clever, commercial and pragmatic.’

For a business like ours where rail is only a smaller part of our business, we really appreciate a business like Norton Rose Fulbright where there are two senior partners who we can approach – Simon Gwynne for finance and the Tom Johnson for general matters.’

Key clients

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

The City of Ottawa

Crown Commercial Services (Rail Panel)

Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (panel)

The Department for Transport (DfT)

DVB Bank SE and DZ Bank AG

Eversholt Rail

Equitix

The Go-Ahead Group Plc

Joint venture between Ferrovial Agroman (UK) Limited and Fluor Limited (the JV)

Lagos State Government

Lloyds Banking Group plc

Lombard North Central plc

Metrolinx (Greater Toronto Transportation Authority)

Stadler Rail

Thales Ground Transportation Systems UK Limited

SMBC Leasing (UK)

Work highlights

  • Advised SMBC Leasing (UK) and Equitix on the termination of the Wales and Borders rail franchise, effectively nationalising passenger rail operations on those lines.
  • Advised Lagos State Government on the Blue Line Metro project, a cross-border project in Lagos consisting of a 27.5km railway running from East to West between Okokomaiko in western Lagos and Marina on Lagos Island.
  • Acted for Lombard North Central plc in connection with their extension of financing via a hire purchase arrangement to Colas Rail Limited.

Stephenson Harwood

The 'very strong, partner-led and experienced' team at Stephenson Harwood provides full coverage on all rail matters, including franchising and concessions, rolling stock, and procurement. It has additional expertise in employment and pensions, projects and infrastructure, and real estate. 2020 saw the team advising national commissions and departments on access to the Channel Tunnel and the impact of Covid-19. Practice co-heads Tammy Samuel and Suzanne Tarplee are both 'very credible and well respected' for their expertise in finance and rolling stock procurement; Tarplee can draw on notable experience from secondments including the National Infrastructure Commission and as general counsel for HS2. Darren Fodey is noted for advising TfL on regulatory aspects of Crossrail. Lisa Marks focuses on asset financing, Ron Nobbs is an expert in rail litigation, and Paul Thwaite deals with commercial disputes.

Practice head(s):

Tammy Samuel; Suzanne Tarplee

Other key lawyers:

Darren Fodey; Lisa Marks; Ron Nobbs; Paul Thwaite

Testimonials

The team offer a very broad range of skills, expertise and knowledge. Very professional, friendly and supportive.’

Tammy Samuel, Suzanne Tarplee and Paul Thwaite all understand how our business works. Very good knowledge of our industry and all very credible and well respected individuals in their own areas of expertise.’

An experienced team from the partners to the associates who know and understand the rail industry and apply that knowledge in a balanced, pragmatic and commercial way. First class knowledge of the rolling stock area – not only from the manufacturer perspective but also operators and financiers.’

A very strong partner-led which compares favourably to other firms in the sector. The partners have very strong experience in the sector acting for a wide range of stakeholders. Stephenson Harwood takes a proactive approach to introducing market players which can offer lead to development of new business relationships.

Availability and accessibility and responding in a timely manner particularly stand out. They will always aim to get things done even when deadlines are particularly tight. Notable individuals in this regard are Lisa Marks, Suzanne Tarplee and Tammy Samuel.’

Key clients

CAF (Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles)

Abellio Transport Holdings (including all TOCs – Abellio Greater Anglia, Abellio East Midlands, Abellio West Midlands, Merseyrail and Abellio ScotRail)

Trenitalia UK Limited (and Trenitalia c2c)

Arriva Plc

Arriva UK Trains Limited (including all TOCs – Arriva Rail London, CrossCountry, Chiltern, Grand Central)

Lombard North Central

Transport for London

London Underground Limited

National Infrastructure Commission

Centrus / Corelink

Northern Trains Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Abellio, Trenitalia and their respective operating companies on EMAs, ERMAs and associated documentation together with the latest National Rail Contracts.
  • Advised Arriva UK Trains Limited on the new form of direct award agreement following expiry of its franchise.
  • Advised Trenitalia c2c Limited on amendments to a £100m deal for new trains to reflect changes to the fleet necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP is a key resource for clients seeking advice on complex rail transactions; the firm also has notable expertise in infrastructure, concessions and rolling stock. Practice leader Jonathan Bevan focuses primarily on infrastructure matters, also covering major transactions and financing. Tim Conduit is a capital markets specialist, including the financing of PPPs. Global infrastructure co-head Sara Pickersgill is 'a trusted advisor with commercial approach.'

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Bevan

Other key lawyers:

Tim Conduit; Sara Pickersgill; Richard Evans; Tom Lindley; Lizzi Evans; Troy Edwards

Testimonials

‘A&O are able to advise on anything we need – no matter how niche the legal area. They have a commercial approach and they really understand the rail market.’

‘A great team with good availability and insight.’

‘The team has a deep and detailed knowledge of the rail market which provides great confidence to financiers. Their work is thorough and coupled with a positive approach.’

‘Jon Bevan has an excellent knowledge of the industry and seems able to solve any problem.’

‘Sara Pickersgill is a trusted advisor with commercial approach.’

‘Sara Pickersgill and her team have provided an excellent service – providing ad hoc ideas on a highly complex transaction and within the pre-determined budget.’

‘The team are familiar with all of the financiers and have excellent sector knowledge. They are able to get to the key issues quickly; they are highly competent in managing complex transactions and bringing solutions to the table.’

Key clients

3i Infrastructure

Angel Trains

Alpha Trains/Arcus

Beacon Rail

Equitix

Eversholt Rail

JP Morgan Infrastructure Investment Funds

Hitachi

EIB

CACIB

AIG

APG

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

The 'very commercial' team at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP can combine resources from its London team and international network of offices to act for rolling stock lessors in the UK, and is also highly regarded for its experience in rail planning and authorisation, as well as major rail projects and infrastructure work. Practice head Russell Clifford deals with notable procurement disputes. He also specialises in cross-border and domestic structured asset finance in the rail sector. Jamie Wiseman-Clarke  'has an eagle eye for detail' and focuses on complex cross-border tax matters related to the procurement of rolling stock, and Jason Chamberlain is particularly noted for his work 'strategic thinking' advising on complex rail matters such as advising Heathrow Airport on Crossrail.

Practice head(s):

Russell Clifford

Other key lawyers:

Jamie Wiseman-Clarke; Jason Chamberlain

Testimonials

The team at BCLP is very commercial in its approach and extremely responsive, so we know that we can always reach out to them with any sensitive and urgent queries (which we usually have a lot of), and they will always be available at short notice.’

Jamie Wiseman-Clarke has an eagle eye for detail and would not settle for anything less than perfect.’

‘Jason Chamberlain is indispensable when dealing with highly technical matters. He is one of those lawyers who likes to break down even the most complex points into easy-to-follow diagrams.’

‘Russell Clifford is strategic and knows the rail market inside out. He always provides pragmatic legal advice, which we highly appreciate.’

Jason Chamberlain is happy to get his hand dirty as well as do the strategic thinking. Very strong on all rail matters.’

Key clients

Angel Trains

Beacon Rail

Transport for London

Heathrow Airport

Magway Limited

Lendlease

Landsec

Work highlights

  • Advised Beacon Rail in relation to the implementation of the Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements and related arrangements put in place by the Department of Transport (DfT) with UK passenger operators as part of the DfT’s response to the pandemic.
  • Advised Heathrow Airport both on the proposed Western Rail Link and on the Southern Access to Heathrow project.
  • Advised Angel Trains in relation to Transport for Wales taking over the Wales and Borders rail franchise from Keolis Amey, including in connection with the transfer of rolling stock from Keolis Amey to TfW.

CMS

CMS is particularly noted for advising major contractors on large infrastructure projects, such as the Bakerloo Line Extensions as well as on the Crossrail and Thameslink projects. The team is also highly experienced in international rail PPPs, rolling stock procurements and funding, and light rail projects. It works in conjunction with real estate and construction disputes teams to cover an increase in developments around key railway sites. In London, practice co-head Bill Carr focuses on rolling stock procurements and maintenance, as well as regulatory rolling stock matters. He works alongside co-head David Moore, who specialises in rail franchising, rolling stock procurement, and rail regulation. In Edinburgh, co-head Eleanor Lane is an expert in green rail and modernisation of subway systems.

Practice head(s):

Bill Carr; Eleanor Lane; David Moore

Testimonials

Broad experience and depth of knowledge.’

Very broad consideration of the issues. Nothing is missed. Excellent willingness to make links to other clients interested in the same areas.’

Very good strength in depth across all relevant disciplines, friendly approach, wide range of experience.’

Key clients

Tramlink Nottingham

Eurostar International Limited

Aviva Investors

Sun Life Capital Management

John Laing Infrastructure Fund

Ricardo Rail

Mace Limited and Dragados SA

KPMG Al Fozan

Korfez Ulastirma A.S.

Stagecoach Rail

Government of Mexico

Transport Scotland/Scottish Government

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport

Edinburgh Trams

DLA Piper

DLA Piper deals with complex rail matters across the UK, including advising on HS2, advising the DfT on procurements, and advising freight operators on claims against Network Rail. It also has extensive commercial experience regarding rolling stock procurement and rail franchises, and provides support on operational matters regarding franchise support and rolling stock leasing. Co-head of the team Robert Smith acts for public and private sector clients on complex rail transactions, including procurement of new train fleets, while practice co-head Colin Wilson deals with cross-border joint ventures, PPPs and outsourcings. Legal director Carla Hancock leads on rail franchise procurements for DfT.

Practice head(s):

Robert Smith; Colin Wilson

Other key lawyers:

Carla Hancock

K&L Gates LLP

K&L Gates LLP is particularly experienced advising long-term clients such as TfL and Hitachi Rail Europe on major light rail metro and mass transit systems. The team is noted for its work regarding complex signalling procurements, rolling stock, and advice regarding both brownfield and greenfield matters. Practice leader Matthew Smith acts for rail owners and contractors, advising on major infrastructure projects, including Crossrail and the Doha Metro. Nicola Ellis is particularly experienced in signalling contracts, senior associate Sarah Drinkwater focuses on rail-related adjudications and international arbitration, and senior associate Daniel Lopez de Arroyabe advises on infrastructure contracts. Special counsel Inga Hall is another key member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Smith

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Ellis; Sarah Drinkwater; Daniel Lopez de Arroyabe; Inga Hall

Testimonials

‘The team has a deep understanding of the rail sector as it has worked for many years on contentious and non-contentious matters within it. This ensures the team is well versed in the current practices in, amongst other things, NEC contracts and drafting amendments. The team is also shrewd and alive to the typical dispute matters that arise.’

‘The team is led by very experienced partners who are detail orientated, great strategists and very pleasant to work with’.

‘The practice provides expert and user friendly advice, with very good value for money.  They work well as part of a collaborative team with both in-house lawyers and our clients.  They have excellent industry knowledge and provide a high level of legal expertise but are pragmatic and commercially aware.  They have become trusted advisers to both the in-house legal team and senior management of our organisation.’

‘Matthew Smith has a detailed knowledge of the rail sector, the contracts used within it and the issues that arise. He understands matters quickly and is a great strategist, which helps to provide successful outcomes for his clients.’

Sarah Drinkwater is a dual qualified legal and accountancy professional, this helps her to not only understand the pertinent legal points but also the commercial issues. She grasps technical matters easily, which assists in ensuring that she can put her client’s best case forward.’

‘Inga Hall is a seasoned lawyer with extensive experience of working in the rail sector on contentious and non-contentious matters. She thoroughly understands a matter and gives good, reasoned advice.’

‘I have worked closely with Matthew Smith and Nicola Ellis for a number of years, and I have appreciated their support through some very difficult negotiations requiring bespoke drafting to adapt standard forms of contract to meet complex infrastructure and systems requirements. Matthew is an exceptionally bright and knowledgeable lawyer and provides consistently high standards of advice and support. Nicola is a real expert in both rail infrastructure and systems contracts and works in a very collaborative way with her clients.’

Key clients

Hitachi Rail Ltd

Transport for London (including London Underground Limited, LUL Nominee SSL Ltd and LUL Nominee BCV Ltd)

Crossrail Ltd

Qatar Rail

Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd

Tube Lines Limited

Rail for London Limited

Osborne Clarke LLP

Operating out of Bristol and London, Osborne Clarke LLP is noted for its wide scope of expert advice concerning rail franchising and concessions, planning and regulation, asset finance and leasing, procurement disputes, and specialist work for the Department for Transport. Practice leader Lara Burch acts for key clients such as major operators and manufacturers on rail franchising, rolling stock, and regulatory matters. Associate director Jeremy Godley can draw on previous experience from his time at the Office of Rail Regulation, while Edward Barratt specialises in rolling stock mandates. Additionally, senior associates Marie-Claire Smith and Keir Pimblett are key resources regarding rail technology matters.

Practice head(s):

Lara Burch

Other key lawyers:

Jeremy Godley; Edward Barratt; Keir Pimblett; Marie-Claire Smith

Testimonials

‘The team demonstrates commitment, sage advice and a high level of emotional intelligence.’

‘Jeremy Godley has a good all-round understanding of rail, having also worked at the Office of Rail Regulation.’

‘Osborne Clarke has a thorough knowledge of the rail industry. They are able to help with virtually any issue.’

‘Jeremy Godley is an exceptional individual with excellent client skills, an ability to convey a message and propose the best way forward.’

‘Jeremy Godley: helpful, knowledgeable, and generous with his time.’

‘Lara Burch and Ed Barratt are both excellent lawyers with a strong understanding of the rail industry. They are very easy to work with and we enjoy having them on our team.’

Key clients

Department for Transport

Eversholt Rail Group

Beacon Rail Leasing

Transport for London

Siemens

Rail Delivery Group

Office of Rail and Road

Western Power Distribution

Eurostar International

Ricardo Rail

Knorr Bremse Rail

Cross London Trains

Hack Partners Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted as one of eight panel firms for Department of Transport and undertook several high profile mandates across rail franchising, fares and ticketing and regulated procurement.
  • Advised Eversholt on multiple mandates including on a highly innovative project with Alstom to convert existing trains to run on hydrogen (Project Breeze), an important step in the move to de-carbonise rail, re-purpose existing fleets and address sustainability issues in transport.
  • Advised Gazeley on the Development Consent Order and Compulsory Acquisition of land for Rail Central, a joint venture with Ashfield Land, to develop a proposed new seven million sq ft Strategic Rail Freight Interchange in Northamptonshire at a cost of £700m.

Pinsent Masons LLP

The 'very strong' rail team at Pinsent Masons LLP provides advice regarding rolling stock and rail assets, PPPs, procurements, planning, and civil engineering contracts. Notable recent work includes advising on HS2 and high-profile work involved with the reopening of closed rail lines. Practice head Jonathan Hart leads on major LRT and metro PPP schemes, while infrastructure partner Robbie Owen is a highly regarded Roll A Parliamentary Agent 'with an excellent strategic and tactical approach'. Transactional projects partner Anne-Marie Friel specialises in multi-party civil project joint ventures. Legal director Duncan O’Connor focuses on infrastructure planning work, advising on hybrid bills, transport and works act orders, while partner Sonal Shah advises on transport infrastructure projects.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Hart

Other key lawyers:

Robbie Owen; Anne-Marie Friel; Sonal Shah; Duncan O’Connor

Testimonials

This is a very strong team. Although often used, the term ‘strength in depth’ applies to the Pinsent Masons team. They have experts at all levels from partners to associates who have have detailed knowledge of a range of railway consenting procedures from hybrid bills to Transport and Works Act orders.’

Robbie Owen is probably the most experienced Parliamentary Agent in this field, with an excellent strategic and tactical approach. Duncan O’Connor is an expert in Transport and Works Act orders.’

‘The team have an in depth knowledge of the rail industry and the associated challenges. They work in an extremely collaborative manner and are very practical in their approach. They have always met the timescales that we agreed at the outset.’

We have worked with Pinsent Masons since 2012. We are happy with the services we receive. The partners dealing with us are committed, experienced, easily reachable and quick in responding.’

Key clients

Yapı Merkezi İnşaat ve Sanayi A.Ş

West Midlands Combined Authority

Port of Tilbury London Limited

East of Leeds rail alliance

Eiffage Génie Civil

Transport Infrastructure Ireland (Dublin Metrolink)

Kier Infrastructure

Transport for London

Northumberland County Council

Overseas Limited

BAM Nuttall/Ferrovial JV

Urban Growth Company

Work highlights

  • Advised Northumberland Line & Medway Council on the planning and property aspects of the Northumberland Line project. The project involves the re-introduction of passenger services on the Northumberland Line (formally known as the Ashington Blyth and Tyne (ABT) Line).
  • Appointed to the Parliamentary Agents panel for the West Midlands Combined Authority in 2016. Recently acted for the WMCA in connection with its successful application under the Transport and Works Act for powers to construct and operate the Birmingham Eastside extension of the Midland Metro tramway.
  • Selected as Transport Infrastructure Ireland’s counsel to advise on the procurement of the Dublin MetroLink project.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP has a strong track record of acting for train operators and manufacturers regarding major franchise extensions, rolling stock leases, and  procurements. It has particular niche expertise in the development of new stabling facilities and depots. 2020 saw the team advising Govia Thameslink Railway on Covid-19 Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements. Newcastle-based transport and infrastructure sector head David Rewcastle specialises in advising on passenger rail franchise bids and rolling stock procurement and leasing. He works alongside Paul Coleman, an expert in corporate and finance transactions, especially regarding asset leasing and structured finance. Associate solicitor Joseph Causer is a key contact regarding rolling stock leasing and maintenance agreements.

Practice head(s):

David Rewcastle

Other key lawyers:

Paul Coleman; Joseph Causer

Testimonials

‘A small but potent team of commercial rail lawyers. Expertise in franchise agreements, access contracts and rolling stock.’

‘A very strong transport team covering both the rail franchise and the associated arrangements. The partners have developed their associates well. They more than hold their own against the other heavyweight firms. Excellent delivery.’

‘David Rewcastle is thorough, careful, personable, commercial, very experienced in DfT and franchising.’

‘Paul Coleman has a huge brain and the ability to simplify things. He is very experienced in rolling stock contracts, depots and complex finance transactions.’

‘David Rewcastle and Paul Coleman stand out as providers of excellent advice.  Always pragmatic and very reactive to meeting client needs. They have strong knowledge of the business and beyond the legal arrangements, so advice is well tailored and suitably efficient.’

Key clients

Go-Ahead Group plc/Govia

Abellio

Govia Thameslink Railway

Southeastern

Arriva

Bombardier

Transdev

SNCF

Stadler

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited

Work highlights

  • Supported Southeastern on all aspects of the Direct Award Contract for the South Eastern passenger rail franchise entered into in 2020. The team advised on all legal aspects of the bid, including legal strategy, due diligence, franchise agreement population, competition and rolling stock.
  • Supported Govia Thameslink Railway on all aspects of the Emergency Measures Agreement entered into in response to the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak. The team advised on all legal aspects of the agreement, including legal strategy, due diligence and commercial implications of entering into the arrangements.
  • Advised Stadler on the procurement of 30 Class 93 tri-mode locomotives by Rail Operations Group.

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG advises rail developers on all key matters, with particular focus on infrastructure, planning, governance, real estate and construction. The team has a track record of work on rail station developments and is known for its 'industry knowledge and commercial awareness'. Practice head Giles Clifford has advised London Underground, TfL and Crossrail on infrastructure protection, over station development and Network Rail interfaces. He splits his time between Birmingham and London and works alongside Richard Green, who specialises in new station development, and commercial contracts expert Sarah Riding, who joined as partner in May 2020 from Irwin Mitchell. Director Dominic Richardson is also a key contact regarding rail development schemes.

Practice head(s):

Giles Clifford

Other key lawyers:

Richard Green; Sarah Riding; Dominic Richardson

Testimonials

‘Good industry knowledge and commercial awareness.’

‘Dominic Richardson is pragmatic and commercially astute.’

Key clients

Transport for London

Transport for Greater Manchester

London Underground Ltd

Crossrail Ltd

Docklands Light Railway Ltd

Rail for London Ltd

London Bus Services Ltd

London Borough of Barnet

GB Railfreight

Ricardo Rail PLC

Office of Rail and Road

Arden Cross Consortium

Railroad Development Corporation

Devon and Cornwall Railways

CRRC Corporation

Bombardier Transportation UK Limited

Arch Co

Tarmac

Highways England

FlyPlymouth Ltd

Alstom Transport UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the London Borough of Barnet on all rail aspects of the Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration, including the new Thameslink station.
  • Advised Transport for London on the development agreement with Aviva for over the Crossrail and London Underground lines at Liverpool Street.
  • Acted as Bombardier’s Legal adviser on the renegotiation of its Manufacture and Supply Agreement with Angel Trains and Abellio Greater Anglia in relation to the supply of a fleet of Aventra trains for the Greater Anglia network.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

The multidisciplinary rail team at Hogan Lovells International LLP is noted for its expertise advising clients on transitioning to green energy and long-term sustainability, as well as major acquisitions. The team is able to draw on talent from the international firm's network of offices to provide true global coverage, including strong capabilities across Europe and the US. Practice head Charles Ford is an expert on the sale and leasing of rolling stock, while Andrew Gallagher advises lenders and sponsors on major finance and refinancing matters, especially regarding light metro rail PPPs.

Practice head(s):

Charles Ford

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Gallagher

Key clients

Rail Baltica

Cross London Trains

Work highlights

  • Appointed to advise on the High Speed Rail Baltica project – the largest Baltic-region infrastructure project in the last 100 years.
  • Advised Akiem on the acquisition of Macquarie’s European rolling stock business with assets and operations across continental Europe and the UK.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP

Winckworth Sherwood LLP has particular expertise regarding legislation for railways and has advised major transport clients including Network Rail and the Department for Transport on bills and orders, drawing on a bench of parliamentary agents. Head of parliamentary and infrastructure Paul Irving is a key contact.

Practice head(s):

Paul Irving

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans has expertise in the planning and authorisation of large-scale infrastructure projects for rail clients, covering both light and heavy rail. The team includes several Roll A Parliamentary Agents with significant experience regarding the promotion and opposition of railway bills, including development consent orders and Transport and Works Act orders. The team has also advised petitioners in respect of HS2. Practice head Mark Challis is 'greatly respected' for his work regarding major rail schemes, including line extensions and compulsory purchase issues.

Practice head(s):

Mark Challis

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Clark

Testimonials

Long experience in this sector with a long record of success in promoting major rail projects in the country.’

Mark Challis is a wise team leader who is greatly respected for his strategic grasp.’

‘Sarah Clark knows the sector very well – an excellent lawyer who is great to work with.’

Key clients

Network Rail

Transport for London

Transport for Greater Manchester

HS2 petitioners

Transport for Wales

Nottingham City Council

West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Work highlights

  • Advising a wide variety of petitioners in respect of HS2.
  • Advising Transport for London in respect of the Bakerloo line extension from Elephant & Castle to Lewisham.
  • Advising The Auckland Project on the steps required to allow it to operate and maintain the Wear Valley Railway (a heritage railway and key tourist attraction in County Durham) following the acquisition of the railway assets and then subsequently securing the necessary Transport and Works Act Order and completing a track access agreement.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Greenberg Traurig, LLP advises major rail clients on rolling stock procurement, financing, and leasing, handling a range of complex, cross-border transactions. Practice head Graeme McLellan has an 'excellent knowledge of rail' and specialises in asset finance regarding rail rolling stock, while senior associate Richard Hughes is a key resource for rolling stock procurement and financing.

Practice head(s):

Graeme McLellan

Other key lawyers:

Richard Hughes

Testimonials

Graeme Mclellan has an excellent knowledge of rail. He is one of the best lawyers you could instruct.’

Key clients

Equitix Limited

Eversholt Rail

Macquarie Bank / Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation / SMBC Leasing

Work highlights

  • Represented Macquarie on all matters in relation to the sale of three European passenger and freight rolling stock portfolios operating across Europe.
  • Advising Equitix Limited (the equity investor) in relation to the financing of the development of the Norwich Crown Point Light Maintenance Depot.

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons advises on complex PPPs and PFI projects in the rail sector, as well as all aspects of infrastructure finance. The team is particularly experienced advising on operation and maintenance arrangements, as well as procurements, financings, and secondary trading and funds work. Practice leader Iain Duncan advises rail clients on M&A, joint ventures, and finance, while Juliet Reingold has advised on HS2, as well on major PPPs. Head of the international projects group Richard Dyton is a key contact regarding rail transactions.

Practice head(s):

Iain Duncan

Other key lawyers:

Juliet Reingold; Richard Dyton

Watson Farley & Williams LLP

The team at Watson Farley & Williams LLP is particularly focused on financing and capital markets matters, as well as dispute resolution and tax. It advises clients on cross-border and domestic projects related to rolling stock lessors, train operators and manufacturers, and public bodies. Practice leader Louise Mor is an expert in rail-related transactions, including secured debt, sales, and asset acquisitions. In November 2020 the team brought on construction specialist Ryland Ash; he brings client-side experience from his time at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Taiwan.

Practice head(s):

Louise Mor

Other key lawyers:

Ryland Ash

Testimonials

‘We have found WFW to provide excellent guidance, advice and support in contractual matters relating to several key rail projects in London and the UK. Personal service has been outstanding and response times quite amazing, especially considering the working environment and extenuating circumstances in the covid period.’

‘The team are extremely knowledgeable and very pleasant to work with.’

‘Ryland Ash is our primary contact; he is an expert in contract law and provides superb advice and support – we enjoy working and learning from Ryland. Ryland has a critical understanding and knowledge of contract law prevalent to the rail industry.’

‘Louise Mor is the perfect lawyer to work with.’

‘Louise Mor has a wealth of knowledge that she manages to bring across in a very simple way. A very sophisticated transactional lawyer.’

Key clients

Ermewa Holding

Alpha Trains

KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH

Work highlights

  • Acted for KfW as lender in respect of a £47m secured loan to Wascosa UK, financing the purchase of 570 new Greenbrier freight wagons, to be leased to Network Rail in the UK.