Demand for railway services continues to grow. The UK has seen unprecedented activity in passenger rail franchising, growth in demand for new rolling stock and investment in rail infrastructure. This has all taken place within a legal and regulatory framework that is continually evolving. In Europe, the market has been open to greater competition since the 1990s and this is expected to continue with the recast of the First Railway Package and the introduction of the Fourth Railway Package.
Our team acts for private sector operators and owning groups, public bodies, financiers, lessors, industry bodies, infrastructure owners, manufacturers and maintainers and includes lawyers who have worked in or been seconded to the industry (including to General Counsel roles in both of High Speed 1 and High Speed 2).
We can help you with:
- franchise agreements and concessions (including direct awards)
- mobilisations and demobilisations
- competition issues
- infrastructure procurement, ownership, operation and maintenance
- access agreements and options
- stations, depots and adjacent property
- rolling stock procurement, operation, leasing and maintenance
- signalling arrangements
- employment, unions and pensions
- joint ventures
- planning and environmental issues
- procurement and regulation
- real estate and construction
- intellectual property rights and protection
- dispute resolution
"Stephenson Harwood will go the extra mile for its clients."
Chambers UK 2015
Northern Rail – franchise, direct award and operations
Acting for the UK's largest operator on all aspects of its franchise operations including its direct award, rolling stock matters, disputes, real estate and all commercial arrangements.
CAF – major rolling stock procurement including Caledonian Sleepers
Advising Spanish manufacturer CAF on the majority of its UK rolling stock bids, including the successful bid for the Caledonian Sleeper fleet expected to come into service in April 2018. This included maintenance arrangements and employment issues.
Transport for London – strategic advice on rail regulation including in relation to Crossrail
We work alongside TfL in considering its rail regulation strategy. In particular, we advise on all elements of the design of the regulatory and charging frameworks for Crossrail.
Transport for London – development of a new stations access regime
TfL is taking on greater responsibility for heavy rail services in the capital. With TfL, we designed and implemented innovative and ground breaking arrangements for the leasing of and access to TfL Rail stations.
National Express – advising major train operator on its ScotRail bid
Representing National Express on all aspects of its bid to Transport Scotland in relation to the ScotRail franchise, including rolling stock, competition and employment advice.
Abellio Greater Anglia – devolution of services to LOROL and Crossrail
Devolution of rail services to local authorities is expected to be a key part of this Parliament. We advised operator Abellio Greater Anglia on the transfer of certain of its services to TfL concessionaires LOROL and Crossrail.
Train operator – confidential disputes on franchise agreement terms
We work closely with train operators and regularly advise on the interpretation of their contractual arrangements – this can lead to disputes and we have advised on high profile (confidential) disputes in the rail sphere.
Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern – competition filings
UK and EU competition issues are at the top of the agenda in the rail industry. We advise on competition filings in the UK and EU as well as competition strategy for a number of operators. We recently made successful filings in relation to the TSGN franchise at both EU and UK level.
High Speed 2 – General Counsel and industry consultation
One of our partners was seconded as the general counsel of HS2 and we have also assisted HS2 in its rail industry consultation through a series of top table dinners.
Voyager Leasing – signalling contracts
Advising the owners of the Voyager fleet on the procurement of on train (ETCS) signalling.