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    Band 1 for rail

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    Rail finance law firm of the year 2016


Our rail team combines first-class legal skills, unbeatable commitment to our clients, outstanding market knowledge and genuine commercial understanding. Being at the table with the industry means we have unique insights from all perspectives. This benefits our clients, who comprise some of the most significant stakeholders in the industry.
  • Profile
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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

Twitter @LegalRail

"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.


Tammy Samuel Partner

T:  +44 20 7809 2227
M:  +44 7766 991 053 Email Tammy | Vcard Office:  London


Suzanne Tarplee Partner

T:  + 44 20 7809 2389
M:  +44 7718 247 220 Email Suzanne | Vcard Office:  London

Latest news & insights

09 Jun 2017

From Insights

Brand new trains being pushed off-lease: implications and options for financiers

The cost of purchasing and leasing new trains has fallen dramatically over the last three years, due to factors including lower manufacturer prices and the availabilit..


01 Apr 2017

From Insights

Great Britain passenger rail: the current expected timetable

We provide a helpful one-page summary diagram of the current expected timetable for Great Britain's passenger rail franchises and concessions.


24 Mar 2017

From Insights

Future railway

Top table dinner: Future railway with David Waboso – Wednesday 15 March 2017


17 Mar 2017

From Insights

A better understanding of life on the frontline

Tammy Samuel leaves the office to be taken on a guided tour of CAF’s factory in northern Spain. Here, she and Martin Watt, Managing Associate at Dentons, talk about wh..


20 Feb 2017

From Insights

High speed rail – delivery of professional services to the high speed rail industry

The overall topic for the dinner was how professional services providers can play their part in delivering the ambitions of HS2 in the creation and delivery of skills ..


13 Feb 2017

From Insights

On track towards an integrated railway?

Following Chris Grayling’s recent announcement to unite track and train operations, Tammy Samuel and Zoe Harris explore how the government might approach integration –..


24 Jan 2017

From News

Stephenson Harwood named 'Rail Law Firm of the Year'

Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has been named 'Rail Law Firm of the Year' by Global Transport Finance magazine, for the fourth consecutive year.


12 Jan 2017

From News

Stephenson Harwood advises Trenitalia on £70 million UK rail deal

Deal signifies Italian operator's entry into UK market


04 Nov 2016

From News

Stephenson Harwood advises on East Anglia rail deal

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.


12 Sep 2016

From Insights

Media coverage: 'Brexit': no rush for change

Darren Fodey considers the implications of the UK's vote to leave the EU, suggesting that the implications for the European railway sector should be less dramatic than..


05 Jul 2016

From Insights

Brexit and the UK railways industry: So long and thanks for all the TSIs…

23 June 2016: a day which will go down in history as the day Europe and the UK changed forever. Since the "First Railway Package" of legislation was introduced in the ..


29 Jun 2016

From Insights

Future Shape and Financing of Network Rail; What Next for Network Rail?

This article summarises the main themes from Stephenson Harwood's two breakfast events.


08 Jun 2016

From Insights

New entrants are tasting success in financing rolling stock

Graeme McLellan writes for Global Transport Finance as new entrants are taste success in financing rolling stock


25 May 2016

From Insights

Signal change

Suzanne Tarplee writes for Rail Professional examining the challenges, as well as opportunities, that the introduction of the new digital rail management framework pos..


27 Apr 2016

From Insights

Passenger rights: all change?

In Rail Professional and Railway Strategies, Tammy Samuel and Zoe Harris explore what the new Consumer Rights Act 2015 could mean for TOC's and their passengers.


06 Apr 2016

From News

Rail industry leaders discuss the future of railway signalling in the UK

International law firm Stephenson Harwood has hosted over 100 delegates at a two day event which brought together the leading voices across the rail industry.


© Stephenson Harwood LLP 2016. Any reference to Stephenson Harwood in this document means Stephenson Harwood LLP and/or its affiliated undertakings. Any reference to a partner is used to refer to a member of Stephenson Harwood LLP.