Addleshaw Goddard's 'excellent' national transport team is housed in Leeds and has expertise across the domestic and international rail and road sectors, advising an impressive roster of clients. Jointly overseen by Paul Hirst and Anna Heaton, the group remains a go-to for contentious and non-contentious matters relating to rail and transport projects and transit schemes. The group's litigation expertise is spearheaded by Bill Gilliam, who advises on high-profile transportation projects; he is supported by associate Ryan Geldart. Other core team members include Sara Gilmore, who was recently promoted to the partnership, and Michael Rainey, who leads the public procurement team. The department is also highlighted for its increased focus on airport-related work across development projects and investments.
Transport in Yorkshire And The Humber
Paul Hirst; Anna Heaton
Other key lawyers:
Bill Gilliam; Ryan Geldart; Sara Gilmore; Michael Rainey
‘They work together as a team – Very open and knowledgeable – They bring together a wider view of the transportation sector and how it sits with other industry sectors such as energy.’
‘Paul Hirst – Very open, knowledgeable and engaging- very patient in helping you think through / navigate complex scenarios. Never fails to come back to you no matter how busy he is. Paul is a great leader.’
‘Anna Heaton – Very knowledgeable and easy to work with. Brings a wealth of understanding to any conversation. ’
‘AG’s Leeds transport team is excellent and can punch its weight with any of the big London teams. Their strength lies in excellent, tight knit teamwork, great communication within their team and the teams at large, a very good working relationship with counsel and the client and relentlessly working to get the right results for their clients.’
‘Bill Gilliam is the best solicitor that I have ever worked with. He 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.’
‘Ryan Geldart is a managing associate with a very bright future. I have watched him progress from a junior associate and he is extremely bright. He has rapidly become a bright star in the AG team. He has excellent litigation judgement and drafting skills and is always very calm and considered, whatever the challenges of high octane expedited public procurement litigation.’
‘The team at AG have excellent knowledge of the whole industry and its complexities. They have broad experience across a wide variety of matters which I think makes them unique in this sector. They have some excellent individuals.’
Prologis Group Companies
VTG Rail UK Limited
London Luton Airport Limited
Rail Operations Group Limited (“ROG”)
Department for Transport
High Speed Two (HS2) Limited
Greater London Authority / Transport for London
West Yorkshire Combined Authority
West Midlands Combined Authority
Hitachi Rail Limited
Manchester Airport Group
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority
Freightliner Heavy Haul Limited
Sealink Travel Group
Transport for Greater Manchester
The Road Haulage Association (RHA)
Associated British Ports Limited
- Advised the Department for Transport on the various agreements to bail out the train operating companies, and lead adviser on the new National Rail Contract.
- Advising the Mayoral Combined Authority on its bus franchising assessment.
- Advising West Yorkshire Combined Authority on its new stations programme.
Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP retains its expertise in the wet and dry shipping space and is the name for high-value international trade agreements, commercial contracts and cargo matters. Overseen by Dominic Ward in Hull, the team works in tandem with the vessel finance group and advises companies and individual clients on financing projects; banking partner Nick Scott is a key contact. On the shipping disputes side, Paul Newbon is the main contact for international arbitration proceedings arising out of the carriage of goods, and Andrew Oliver works on UK fisheries work and is the name for marine law matters.
Other key lawyers:
Andrew Oliver; Rebecca Forder; Nick Scott; Paul Newbon
‘The partners and associates in Andrew Jacksons cover a wide range of specialities. Their service is crucial to the smooth running of our business. The partners are always available to give immediate advice either on the telephone, email or team’s meeting.’
‘Dominic Ward and Paul Newbon are people that we deal with on a regular basis. They are very approachable, will always return a call, take the time to explain all the options advising on the costs and the consequences. They share their knowledge willingly, addressing every question with patience and kindness.’
‘We engaged Dominic Ward, senior partner at Andrew Jackson, on a specialist shipping issue we encountered. Dominic is a subject matter expert on logistics and shipping, he grasped our challenge immediately and very quickly worked with us to develop a strategy to manage the situation.’
‘I found Dominic Ward, to be a very personable, experienced transport and logistics lawyer who can apply a legal twist to a commercial strategy to deliver a positive outcome. His fee basis is very competitive as a regional legal provider, but he delivers top quality legal advice.’
‘The firm are specialists in the fishing sector, and they always manage the legal aspect of lending transactions with professionalism and great efficiency.’
‘Rebecca Forder is an outstanding solicitor. Rebecca deals with our requests with both speed and expertise. Customers always highly rate the work undertaken and Rebecca is a major asset to the firm.’
Associated British Ports
SMS Towage Limited
Blue Water Shipping
Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Woods River Cruises Ltd
M&Co Trading Limited
- Acting for SMS Towage in relation to the refinance of its existing borrowing with Lombard North Central and purchase of two additional vessels.
The transport practice at DLA Piper has a regional focus, acting on high-profile rail, bus and airport infrastructure work for public sector and local authority clients. Robert Smith oversees the practice in Leeds and advises national clients on cross-border tenders, commercial contracts and rail regulatory matters. Co-head Petra Billing is the key name for dispute resolution mandates, specialising in property litigation. The core team also includes Ben Peecock, who advises on procurement issues. The group has a growing aviation practice and has British Airways as a key client.
Robert Smith; Petra Billing
Other key lawyers:
Department for Transport
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM)
Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive (Nexus)
British Airways plc
Hitachi Rail Europe
National Air Traffic Services
Transport for Wales
Transport for the North
Urban Transport Group
South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive
- Acting for the Department for Transport on the successful defence of Stagecoach’s legal challenge against The Secretary of State for Transport in relation to the decision to disqualify Stagecoach from rail franchise competitions.
- Advising Nexus on the £700m project for the replacement of the Metro fleet, which forms the centre of the North East’s integrated transport network.
- Advising on the Lower Thames Crossing, one of the largest construction projects currently in procurement in Europe.
Plexus Law is singled out for its market-leading aviation practice and has various airlines and airport operators as key clients. Overseen by aerospace specialist Jarrod Parker, the team handles aircraft damage and loss claims, personal injury claims, and airport-related claims; the group also handles contractual disputes and liability claims. Louise Brown focuses on fatality matters and inquests, while Jennifer Chan acts for insurer clients on liability claims.
Other key lawyers:
Louise Brown; Jennifer Chan
‘A good, friendly and efficient team handling aviation claims. Very approachable and knowledgeable.’
‘I have found the Plexus team to have excellent knowledge of our specific business and they have formed relationships with many individuals within our business. This is hugely beneficial when exchanging information and key details.’
‘The Plexus team are extremely friendly and approachable. They have a very good understanding of our business structure and methods of working. They are always willing to support us through complex scenarios, helping us understand ‘jargon’ and striving for the best outcome. Jarrod Parker is always very enthusiastic and positive when working with us and it is a pleasure to work with him and the team. Their wealth of experience in their field is obvious and serves us very well.’
‘The Plexus team has proven to be effective on a range of aviation legal matters. We have seen first hand the practical application of this work and the benefit it has derived. We draw excellent value from the Plexus offering of being a London-level market aviation law practice, located outside of London, which in our experience has never compromised the service.’
‘Jarrod Parker and Louise Brown are our main contacts within the practice, with whom we have a strong relationship and where exists an understanding between us of expectations and delivery of their product. Jarrod works well with clients, who feel they can speak with him freely when faced with an issue, which is testament to his approach and ethos, being a clear and open channel of communication, supported by a strong knowledge base.’
‘When visiting clients, Jarrod Parker takes the time to find out precisely which level of service the clients require and is very happy to tailor his work to fit that level. Does not have preconceived ideas of what the clients should want.’
Starr Underwriting Agents Limited
Belfast International Airport
- Retained to defend a flying club in defence of claims for damages arising from a fatal aircraft crash in August 2020.
- Instructed by AIG to act in defence of a ground handling company which was providing service to a Bombardier DHC-8-402 aircraft when it collided with an Embraer ERJ-145 aircraft.
- Acting for an insured MRO on the instructions of the Chubb Insurance Aviation team.
The transport practice at Hull-based Myton Law has a focus on the shipping, logistics and rail sectors, acting for national and international insurers and operators. The team is active in wet shipping matters with key figurehead Scott Yates retaining his expertise in this area, alongside John Habergham, who handles dry shipping matters including disputes. On the transactional side, commercial property lawyer Chris Thornes is active in the rail and logistics sectors, advising rail freight operators on corporate law and project work. The group also has an integrated health and safety practice.
John Habergham; Chris Thornes; Scott Yates
‘London level of expertise at competitive rates with genuine director led involvement on all cases.’
‘John Habergham – a former life as a police officer has left him with a great instinct for sniffing out issues and evidence. Scott Yates – well known and highly regarded in the insurance market.’
‘Unbeatable expertise in all aspects of shipping and maritime matters.’
‘Scott Yates is one of the most able solicitors I know. He is very personable and his approach is characterised by common sense and good judgment. He combines legal expertise with exceptional commercial awareness and understanding of the client’s needs.’
‘Myton Law is a boutique specialist transport legal firm and highly respected within the Shipping, Rail and Logistics industries. Highly flexible on fee structures and align well as outsource arm for in house legal teams for these specialist areas of legal practice.’
‘It is regional shipping law firm providing unique services to the marine industry. Specialising in “wet” claims and personal injury matters. They are a preferred practice for us when dealing with UK casualties and personal injury matters.’
‘Scott Yates is very personable and commercial in his approach. His advice tends to be clearly written and succinct and he always strives towards finding a solution.’
Samskip Multimodal BV
Post & Co
Thor Shipping & Transport UK Limited
Wascosa AG and Wascosa UK Limited
Moorland & City Railway
Swift & Bold Transport Limited
John Good Logistics
- Advised and assisted Swift & Bold Transport Limited in respect of two investigations undertaken by the Traffic Commissioner’s regarding the client’s business and Operator’s Licence.
- Representing Global Freight Forwarder in a high-value lien dispute arising out of the insolvency of a customer.
Weightmans' transport practice has strong regulatory expertise and advises clients across the logistics industry including infrastructure operators. Based in Leeds, Ben Daniel advises on employment issues for transportation clients; he is supported by a specialist road regulatory sub-group, which appears before tribunals and acts in criminal proceedings.
FirstGroup (multiple operating companies)
National Express (Bus and Coach)
Turners of Soham
West Yorkshire Combined Authority
Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council
Alstom Transport UK
- Advised a national client on a complex TUPE process relating to a Service Provision Change with £2m exposure.
- Advised a national client on furlough and internal redundancy processes, together with a subsequent Employment Tribunal claim presented by one employee whose role was redundant in which a very favourable result was obtained at early stages of the proceedings.
- Advised a HR Director on a recurring basis to help inform the main Board strategy, commencing immediately prior to the first lockdown and continuing through the multiple phases of the Covid crisis.
At Wrigleys Solicitors LLP, the transport team fields a specialist rail property group headed up by Elizabeth Wilson in Leeds. The group acts for national train operating companies on non-contentious property matters, franchising work, and planning issues. Rachel Meredith, who leads the firms property practice, is a key contact in this area; she also advises on commercial property issues and lettings for railway stations. Paul Nash oversees the firm's work in the bus sector, while Richard Marson handles railway property work.
Other key lawyers:
Rachel Meredith; Richard Marson; Paul Nash
‘The team led by Elizabeth Wilson is proactive and responsive. Of particular note over the last 12 months has been their response to documenting complex tenant rent relief initiatives involving different forms of leases, licences and tenancies at will.’
‘Elizabeth Wilson is the go to solicitor for any matters relating to third party occupations on the station rail estate, Richard Marson ably supports Elizabeth offering pragmatic and commercially sound advice.’
At DWF, the transport practice handles a steady stream of road transport regulatory work, and is able to leverage the firm's wider capabilities, particularly on insurance matters, to provide a full service to clients. Led in Leeds by David Chant, who acts for a range of transport sector clients, the group advises on contentious mandates, public inquiries and regulatory proceedings. Mark Thompson assists with road traffic matters, and associate Sophie Parkin represents individuals and companies in criminal investigations. The team also works with the firm's offices across the North West.
Other key lawyers:
Sophie Parkin; Mark Thompson
‘David Chant is the solicitor in charge of my case. From my very first meeting with David l really did think he was excellent, he was very direct from the start outlining the implications of the case that could be formed against me and the possible outcomes. I really appreciate his very matter of fact attitude to all the aspects involved in my case and I always feel whenever we have a meeting that he is always giving me the full details of the proceedings.’
‘DWF gave straightforward, timely and actionable advice, appropriate to our situation. The sense of DWF working in partnership with our organisation and understanding our circumstances is really strong, and this is something that is important to us.’
‘Mark Thompson was my direct contact with DWF in relation to our concern. Mark was available to discuss the situation with me at the start and to work with me to create a plan of action. He was personable and it was easy to talk through our options with him. He was honest and open in advising which might be the best option for us in the situation and in supporting us with the action we needed to take.’