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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
  • procurement challenges

Twitter @LegalRail

"They have an excellent understanding of the industry."
Chambers UK 2018

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.


Darren Fodey Partner

T:  +44 20 7809 2388
M:  +44 7920 201 290 Email Darren | Vcard Office:  London


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

02 Jul 2020

From Insights

Are PPE and social distancing costs recoverable under service contracts?

Writing for Rail Professional, senior associate Caroline Hooton and partner Suzanne Tarplee explore the additional costs contractors will face as a result of the COVID..


01 Jul 2020

From Insights

2019 Rail franchising Litigation judgment – key points

The long-awaited High Court judgment in the "2019 Rail Franchising Litigation" case has been handed down, with Mr Justice Stuart-Smith dismissing the claims brought by..


12 May 2020

From Insights

Railway collective action: Ticketing, zonal fares and large claims

We consider the implications of “Merricks” and “Gutmann” on the rail industry.


01 Apr 2020

From Insights

COVID-19: Force majeure in the rail industry

As the impact of COVID-19 builds every day, supply chains are being significantly disrupted and businesses' rights and obligations under contracts are coming into shar..


12 Feb 2020

From Insights

RailTech: Top tips for the future railway

Innovation in the rail industry is a hot topic, something which has been encouraged by government and Network Rail alike for some time.


30 Jan 2020

From Insights

Rail-tech and data protection

In a recent Rail Professional article, Stephenson Harwood associate Katie Hewson and partner Darren Fodey explore some consequences of the General Data Protection Regu..


16 Dec 2019

From News

Stephenson Harwood named ‘Transport: Firm of the Year’ by The Legal 500 UK 2020

Stephenson Harwood LLP has been named ‘Transport: Firm of the Year’ by The Legal 500 UK 2020.


05 Dec 2019

From Insights

Rail: a round-up of 2019 and looking forward to 2020

With the end of 2019 rapidly approaching rail partners Tammy Samuel, Suzanne Tarplee and Darren Fodey offer their thoughts on rail in 2019 and look forward to what are..


03 Dec 2019

From Insights

Cyber-security in the rail industry

Digitalisation of the rail industry is progressing at a steady pace, as stakeholders seek new opportunities to improve their efficiency and customer experience.


06 Nov 2019

From Insights

Innovation through data sharing

Partner Darren Fodey and senior associate David Berry write for Rail Professional, explaining how data sharing can place passengers at the heart of the industry.


17 Oct 2019

From Insights

What impact would a no-deal Brexit have on rail finance?

Lisa Marks and Darren Fodey assess the implications that a no-deal Brexit scenario would have on the rail finance market.


15 Oct 2019

From Insights

On track: an update from the Stephenson Harwood rail team

With the autumn nights drawing in, it’s time for an update from the Stephenson Harwood rail team.


07 Oct 2019

From News

Stephenson Harwood advises CAF on €90 million project for new trams in Birmingham

Stephenson Harwood LLP has advised Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF), in relation to a 90 million project for new trams in Birmingham by West Midlands ..


01 Oct 2019

From Insights

Placing customers ‘at the heart’ of the industry: technology

Stephenson Harwood partner Tammy Samuel, and associate Bobbie Bickerton, discuss in a piece first published by Rail Professional, the impact of promises and challenges..


18 Sep 2019

From Insights

Renationalisation – the railway

As part of a series on the continued debate around renationalisation, rail partners Tammy Samuel and Darren Fodey discuss the William Rail Review and the prospect of r..


04 Sep 2019

From Insights

Smart-ticketing – staying 'smart'

Writing for Rail Professional, David Berry and Suzanne Tarplee explore the ramifications of smart ticketing adoption by TOCs.


© 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.