Rail and road
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Rail and road

Our rail and road 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.
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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

"The team brings a common-sense approach; it is always enthusiastic and knowledgeable, with the ability to bring different sector thinking to the table." 
The Legal 500 UK 2020

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 and co head of rail

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


Suzanne Tarplee Partner and co head of rail

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

Latest news & insights

10 Jun 2021

From Insights

DfT plan to 'transform the railways for the better' released

The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced the launch of a new plan to "transform" railways in Great Britain: the Williams-Shapps plan. In a piece first publishe..


20 May 2021

From Insights

Williams – This time it'll be "Great"…

Today – 20 May 2021 – saw the much anticipated publication of the Williams Rail Review (the Review), in the form of a White Paper entitled "The Williams-Shapps Plan fo..


04 May 2021

From Insights

Green financing and green technology in rail

The Great British rail industry is on the verge of a technological revolution. In this article, first published by Rail Professional, partner and co-head of rail Tammy..


19 Apr 2021

From Insights

A green future for modified rolling stock

Decarbonisation of the UK railway by 2050 as part of the UK economy’s wider ‘net zero’ carbon target needs to start somewhere, and the removal of diesel trains from th..


26 Mar 2021

From Insights

High Court comprehensively rejects Bechtel’s procurement claims against HS2

In the recent High Court judgment Bechtel Ltd v HS2 Ltd [2021] EWHC 458 (TCC) delivered on 4 March 2021, Mr Justice Fraser ruled that HS2 did not breach the Utilities ..


25 Feb 2021

From Insights

Williams – the future?

Keith Williams has – finally – given the railway industry more of a flavour of what the future holds and what to expect as the outcome of the Williams Rail Review (the..


10 Feb 2021

From Insights

Railways - Procurement regulation for train operators post Brexit

Procurement in the Great British railways industry has for many years been governed by laws, procedures and regulations that have their origins in European Union (EU) ..


19 Jan 2021

From Insights

Brexit is here: What does it mean for the rail industry?

After almost three and a half years of negotiation and renegotiation, the United Kingdom, the European Atomic Energy Community, and the European Union finally agreed o..


19 Jan 2021

From Insights

Can Covid-19 relieve an employer from its contract obligations?

The balance between keeping the railway going and undertaking essential maintenance and infrastructure work is no mean feat at the best of times.


12 Jan 2021

From Insights

Williams and the pandemic: what next for the railway?

Keith Williams: remember him? These days he may be best known for being interim executive Chairman of Royal Mail, responsible for modernising the 500-year old postal s..


17 Dec 2020

From Insights

Supreme Court judgment in Merricks opens the door for other collective actions such as Gutmann

This briefing note follows on from our May 2020 briefing when the case was being argued before the Supreme Court. Whilst this note sets out some of the background to b..


19 Nov 2020

From Insights

Webinar - Decarbonisation of rail: The journey from concept to reality

On 19 November, Stephenson Harwood hosted a though leadership webinar with SNC Lavalin Atkins titled “Decarbonisation of Rail: the Journey from Concept to Reality”.


18 Nov 2020

From Insights

Decarbonisation of rail: The journey from concept to reality

Stephenson Harwood’s award-winning rail team is co-hosting a webinar with SNC Lavalin Atkins, a leading consultant in the rail sector, on the 'Decarbonisation of rail:..


05 Oct 2020

From Insights

Rail team update: October 2020

2020 has not been the year many were expecting it to be when the clocks struck midnight on New Year's Eve.


30 Sep 2020

From News

Tammy Samuel highly commended at Legal Business Awards

Stephenson Harwood head of finance Tammy Samuel has been highly commended at the 2020 Legal Business Awards, in the category of ‘Lawyer of the Year’.


© 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.