Mr Paul Hirst > Addleshaw Goddard > Leeds, England > Lawyer Profile

Addleshaw Goddard

Work Department



Partner & Head of Transport Sector


Simmons & Simmons – Associate – September 1996 to April 2003
DLA Piper – Partner & Head of Rail – May 2003 to May 2014


Rail Freight Group
Rail Breakfast Club 100


University of Nottingham
Bachelor’s Degree, Law and European Law, 2.1

Lawyer Rankings

North West > Transport

Addleshaw Goddard is heavily involved across all aspects of the transport sector, and remains a key name in rail franchising/concessions. It continues to provide leading expertise in structuring transport-based asset finance schemes, and has seen considerable growth in a range of areas including urban transit schemes, freight and logistics, stations development, transport led regeneration and airports. It also offers market leading rail disputes and regulatory knowledge. Paul Hirst heads the team, specialising in transport infrastructure projects, operating concessions and franchises, and rolling stock procurements. Sara Gilmore  is part of the projects team and has experience with bus reform, whilst Michael Rainey heads the procurement team. Ursula Gould has extensive experience in transport projects, as well as negotiating arrangements with other bodies on transport schemes.

Yorkshire and the Humber > Public sector > Local government

Addleshaw Goddard has considerable experience in transactions, development option appraisals, state aid work, and procurements, acting for local government clients. Its services are sought out by clients in the PPP/PFI, energy, transport, public infrastructure and public services sectors. In Leeds, key contacts include Ian Smith and Anna Heaton who are both well versed in the real estate space. Paul Hirst specialises in transport infrastructure projects, operating concessions and franchises, and rolling stock procurements. Practice head Andrew Pettinger is based in Manchester.

Yorkshire and the Humber > Transport

(Leading individuals)

Paul HirstAddleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard has a diverse transport practice, with specific expertise in the rail sector. Areas of growth for the group include freight and logistics issues, with a focus on developing sustainable supply chains, as well as broadening its expertise in urban transit schemes, particularly in the bus market. The team has a strong reputation in advising on transport-led regeneration and infrastructure projects, with practice co-heads Paul Hirst and Anna Heaton spearheading the firm’s work in this area. Bill Gilliam and legal director Ryan Geldart are recommended for contentious matters related to procurement challenges, while associate Jack Harris has experience advising on various rail projects across the UK.

London > Transport > Aviation

Addleshaw Goddard advises numerous airports in the UK such as Manchester Airports Group, London Luton Airport and Edinburgh Airport across areas such as aircraft financings, transactions and regulatory matters. The firm has an increasing focus on aviation’s sustainable future advising on current challenges such as recovering from the pandemic. Co-head David Shaw provides key expertise in the construction and environment areas, while Paul Hirst heads up the transport sector group. Andrew Smith is experienced in joint ventures, outsourcings and sponsorship arrangements.

London > Transport > Rail

(Hall of Fame)

Paul HirstAddleshaw Goddard

Led by Paul Hirst and Anna Heaton the team at Addleshaw Goddard has an ‘excellent knowledge of the rail sector and is highly experienced with an in-depth knowledge of the complexities involved in the sector and a clear grasp of the issues and challenges’. It is known for its considerable strength in depth across all aspects of the rail sector (infrastructure, operating franchises/concessions and rolling stock in both passenger and freight markets) and is regularly involved in high-profile national projects as well as local schemes that add value to the local and regional economy. Other core areas of expertise include advising public sector authorities on devolved rail schemes and it has a leading rail disputes practice too. There have been changes to the team at a senior level – Clive Smith is now at gunnercooke LLP, while Simon Gwynne has joined the team from Norton Rose Fulbright and Rachel Scott is a new addition to the practice from Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP. The team is praised for its ability to ‘provide risk-based advice, on time and in a personable manner’.