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Burges Salmon LLP

Living Wage
Work 0117 939 2000
Fax 0117 902 4400
Bristol, London

Simon Coppen

Work 0117 939 2291
Burges Salmon LLP

Work Department



Simon has advised rail industry members on the full range of legal issues concerning the strategy, operation and development of the industry since privatisation in 1994. He is a leading rail industry adviser with recognised expertise in policy, structural, regulatory and operational matters including access, licensing, European and UK regulation and franchising. He regularly advises on commercial contracts, procurement, rail disputes and competition issues.


Trained Allen & Overy; qualified 1987; Allen & Overy 1985-89; joined Burges Salmon 1989; partner 1993.


Law Society.


Attended Kings School, Rochester; Brasenose College, Oxford (1984 MA Law).

London: Finance

Asset finance and leasing

Within: Asset finance and leasing

One of the market leaders for rail financing work, Bristol-based Burges Salmon LLP advises borrowers and lessors on many of the most significant mandates in the domestic market. Team head Brioney Thomas has a very strong reputation among train operating companies, including West Midlands Trains, which she recently advised on the procurement of a new £680m fleet of CAF and Bombardier trains for the West Midlands franchise. As part of her broader banking practice, Rachael Ruane also regularly handles asset finance transactions, while Simon Coppen handles financing and corporate matters as part of his overarching rail practice. Other clients include Abbellio Transport Holdings, First MTR South Western Trains and First TransPennine Express.

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London: Transport


Within: Leading individuals

Simon Coppen - Burges Salmon LLP

Within: Rail

Burges Salmon LLP‚Äôs ‚Äėoutstanding‚Äô rail department is active across regulatory, franchising and procurement work, in addition to major infrastructure and rolling stock projects. The¬†‚Äėpragmatic and knowledgeable‚Äô ¬†Brioney Thomas¬†heads the rail practice and advised Abellio on its successful bid for the West Midlands rail franchise as part of West Midlands Trains, a JV that includes JRE and Mitsui. Thomas also advised West Midlands Trains on its successful bid for the West Midlands franchise.¬†Thomas acted alongside rail infrastructure head Philip Beer¬†for Transport for Wales and the Welsh government on the award of new rail franchise for Wales and the Borders. Head of rail franchising Simon Coppen¬†advised FirstGroup on First MTR South Western Trains‚Äô successful bid for the South Western franchise; he also advised on the procurement of a fleet of new trains to support First MTR South Western Trains‚Äô successful bid for the South West passenger rail franchise, and is advising First Rail Holdings on its West Coast franchise bid submission. Other key figures include rail health and safety head Ann Metherall,¬†Keith Beattie,¬†Ian Tucker,¬†Rachael Ruane¬† and transport head Chris Jackson. Legal director Chris Simms¬†joined in 2017 from Abellio UK. Legal director Edward Barratt¬†was recently promoted.

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South West: Transport


Within: Rail

Burges Salmon LLP¬†advises on all aspects of rail transport including regulatory, commercial, safety and strategy issues. Clients include train operating companies and rolling stock manufacturers such as Eurostar International, Northern Ireland Railways Company, Transport for London, Association of Train Operating Companies and Travelers Insurance Company. Head of Rail Brioney Thomas¬†led on advising Abellio on its bid for the west midlands rail franchise, this was a joint venture that included JRE and Mitsui and was worth ¬£1b. Simon Coppen¬†led on advising FirstGroup on a joint venture with MTR Holdings to acquire the South Western franchise, this deal will involve ¬£1.2b of investment over seven years. Another highlight includes acting for Transport for Wales in relation to its procurement of the next Wales and Border Rail Service and Metro on behalf of the Welsh Government, this deal is worth between ¬£3b and ¬£5b. Philip Beer¬†is head of rail infrastructure, Ian Tucker¬†was promoted to partner, Edward Barratt¬†was promoted to legal director, he has ‚Äėcommitment, transparency and wide and deep subject knowledge‚Äô. Chris Jackson¬†heads the transport sector and specialises in industry policy and strategy developments. Ann Metherall¬†specialises in health and safety matters. Chris Simms¬†joined as legal director from Abellio. The team provides ‚Äėa very high quality of service, promptly turning work round to support the pace of active negotiations with broad knowledge and tailored advice‚Äô.

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Legal Developments by:
Burges Salmon LLP

  • Restoring environmental damage: putting a price on ecosystem services

    On 7 August 2009 a 40-inch pipeline ruptured, spilling 5,400 cubic metres of crude oil into the soil and groundwater of La Crau nature reserve in southern France, a habitat protected under French and European law. The operator had to excavate and replace 60,000 tons of soil, install 70 wells to pump and treat groundwater and 25 pumps to skim oil from surface water, at a cost in the region of ‚ā¨50m. However, this was just the primary remediation (that is, restoring the site to the state it would have been if the damage had not occurred). The operator was also required to compensate for the damage to the habitats and the loss of the ecosystem services that would otherwise have been provided by La Crau nature reserve. Measures included purchasing land outside of the nature reserve and contributing to its management for a period of 30 years (over ‚ā¨1m), monitoring the water table for 20 years (over ‚ā¨500,000), monitoring fauna over three years (‚ā¨150,000) and rehabilitation in accordance with best available ecological techniques (nearly ‚ā¨2m). Overall, the compensatory restoration (to compensate for the amount of time that the ecosystem was impacted) and complimentary restoration (to compensate for elements of the ecosystem that had been permanently lost) came to more than ‚ā¨6.5m. ‚Ä©
    - Burges Salmon LLP

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