Rail in South West

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP offers its clients 'an unparalleled level of support and experience for anyone working in the Rail Industry.' The team is well versed in franchising operations, rolling stock procurements, projects and infrastructure, and regulatory matters. Its client portfolio includes British train operating groups, their joint venture partners and government bodies. Ian Tucker, Chris Jackson, Brioney Thomas, Simon Coppen, Ann Metherall, Philip Beer and Chris Simms lead the team.

Practice head(s):

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

Other key lawyers:

Brian Wong; Lydia Cullimore


‘Excellent knowledge of the industry and an understanding of how our business works.’

‘Chris Simms brings practical and commercial rail experience outside of a pure legal background, having also worked for both the ORR and for one of the largest UK passenger rail Owning Groups as legal counsel.’

‘The Burges Salmon Transport – Rail practice offers an unparalleled level of support and experience for anyone working in the Rail Industry. The knowledge of the partners and associates around franchising, licensing, general railway legislation both current and historic ensures that the best advice and strategy can be obtained easily and resolution achieved quickly and effectively.’

‘Simon Coppen stands out as the lead for rail regulation and franchising matters his deep and extensive knowledge of all areas of the industry, throughout the privatisation period, is a clear advantage to any Rail professional.’

‘I have found the Rail team at BS to be both extremely knowledgeable and detail focused. This wrapped inside an astute wrapped of commerciality. When we place demands on the team they have all always responded and delivered beyond expectations.’

‘Ian Tucker is an exceptional individuals to work with. He understands our business, the industry (with all its vagaries!). They listen incredibly well and respond with improvements to the brief in terms of looking at the issue or problem laterally and comprehensively. The output is high in terms of content and speed of reply.’

‘Philip Beer is highly respected for his considered advice and integrity.’

‘Chris Jackson is a class act and a very experienced transport and public procurement lawyer lawyer. He navigated the tricky waters of the Rail Franchising Litigation with consummate skill and always appropriately and highly effectively.’


Key clients

FirstGroup and its TOCs

Abellio Transport Holdings and its TOCs

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


London Underground

Work highlights

  • Advising on the acquisition by the Welsh Government and TfW, from Network Rail, of track, railway assets and other infrastructure for the South Wales Metro project.
  • Representing 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.
  • Advising 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.

Osborne Clarke LLP

The team at Osborne Clarke LLP has considerable know-how in asset financing and leasing, franchising, and planning work in the rail sector. It is regularly instructed by key clients such as the Department for Transport, TfL, Gazeley and Eversholts Rails Group. Other areas of expertise are rail sector pensions, state aid and procurements. Lara Burch heads up the practice and has more than 20 years of experience. Edward Barratt specialises in the rail and rolling stock area and associate director Craig McCarthy is active in contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Lara Burch

Other key lawyers:

Edward Barratt; Craig McCarthy; Catherine Wolfenden

Key clients

Department for Transport

Eversholt Rail Group

Beacon Rail Leasing

Transport for London


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

  • Acting for Department for Transport as one of eight panel firms in matters such as 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).
  • Advising 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 7 million sq ft Strategic Rail Freight Interchange in Northamptonshire at a cost of £700m.