04 Nov 2016

Stephenson Harwood advises on East Anglia rail deal

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Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has assisted rail operator Abellio in mobilising its operations for the new East Anglia franchise, which started on 16 October 2016.

Abellio has been awarded a new nine year franchise which will deliver a major package of improvements for rail services in the region. The franchise will bring an entirely new fleet of trains, a £60 million investment in stations, more and faster journeys on a range of the region's busiest routes, and better ticketing systems across the network. It will also deliver a £3.7 billion franchise payment to the government by Abellio over the course of the franchise.

"The new franchise will transform rail services in East Anglia and bring great passenger benefits," said Tammy Samuel. "Stephenson Harwood has a market leading rail practice and this deal demonstrates the breadth of our cross practice experience and the expertise. We pride ourselves on our commitment to our clients' success and see our ability to offer genuine commercial insight and industry knowledge as key to this."

The rail team, led by partner Tammy Samuel with support from associate Zoe Harris, paralegal Emily Nye-Dowling and trainee James Hammond, provided general support to Abellio across the franchise competition and mobilisation and in the re-leasing of their legacy train fleets.

Real estate partner Robert Newman, assisted by senior associate Gemma Cook, associate Stephanie Pereira and trainee Sher Khan, arranged for the transfer of stations and depots to the new franchisee. Partner Marta Garcia provided competition advice while partner Anne Pritam, assisted by senior associate Beth Hale and associates Leanne Raven and Hayley Reid, supported on employment aspects, and partner Graham Wrightson on pensions. Partner John Meehan and associate Kate Worthington continue to provide tax advice. Partner Paul Thwaite advised on a judicial review matter.

Bond Dickinson (in a team led by partner Paul Coleman) advised Abellio on the procurement and financing of its new fleets of trains and DLA Piper (in a team led by partner Robert Smith) advised the Department for Transport.

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