Rail dispute resolution

Our team prides itself on creating effective dispute management strategies at the outset of a problem in order to narrow the issues and promote an early resolution of the dispute.  
  • Profile
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We have a track record of winning the most complex and difficult cases and doing so quickly and efficiently. Our team prides itself on creating effective dispute management strategies at the outset of a problem in order to narrow the issues and promote an early resolution of the dispute. We have a reputation for commercial and practical problem solving.

We advise on disputes across all areas of the industry and act for a wide range of train operators (TOCs), rolling stock manufacturers, public bodies, main contractors and sub-contractors. We are experienced in using alternative dispute resolution techniques alongside arbitration and litigation as well as under the Access Dispute Resolution Rules and the Rail Industry Dispute Resolution Rules.  

Our team has extensive experience in advising on rail infrastructure and projects disputes, as well as those arising from the construction and refurbishment of stations and depots and the landlord and tenant issues that arise in connection with them.  We are also relied upon by clients during the construction phase to manage problems on live projects and to prevent disputes arising.

Our specialists also have many years of experience of advising public and private entitles on public procurement challenges within the rail industry including High Court litigation under the regulations and judicial review proceedings. 

We regularly advise a number of TOCs (both with franchises and concessions) in relation to complex and high value disputes arising from their agreements, as well as on track access issues, rolling stock issues, property disputes and a range of general commercial disputes, both large and small, arising from their day-to-day rail operations. 

We advise rolling stock manufacturers on a wide range of claims relating to the manufacture and maintenance of rolling stock, bringing together both our construction and rail specialist knowledge and expertise.

“The team is top of the list for rail-related projects"
Legal 500 UK 2017 

Infrastructure and construction

London Underground

Advising ABB, one of the world's largest engineering contractors, in defending a £70 million claim by its subcontractor BAM Nuttall in relation to alleged variations and delays to power upgrade and cabling works on the London Underground network. 

Cabling and integration works

Advising a sub-contractor in multiple adjudications against its main contractor in relation to its scope of work and the valuation of Compensation Events under NEC3 in relation to cabling and integration works at a London tube station.

M&E works

Advising a main contractor in arbitration proceedings against its M&E sub-contractor in relation to re-cabling works at four mainline stations.

Franchise agreements

Fares Indexation

Advising a TOC in relation to a significant multi-million dispute arising out of the impact of a change in government fares regulation policy including which fares were affected, the TOC's obligations as a result of the change and modelling the impact of the change.

Revenue Indexation

Advising a TOC in relation to a £9 million claim relating to the amounts attributed to staff costs and how those staff costs were to be indexed under the franchise agreement.

Operations

Disruption

Advising a TOC in relation to a disruption claim as a result of the redevelopment of a main line station.

Discrimination

Advising a TOC in relation to a claim that its ticketing policies amount to disability discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.

Track access

Heathrow Airport

Advising Transport for London in relation to a regulatory dispute with Heathrow Airport in relation to terms of access to the track and stations comprised in the Heathrow spur. The dispute was before the Office of Rail and Road ("ORR") as arbiter.

Timetable Planning Rules

Advising in relation to a dispute under the Access Dispute Resolution Rules arising out of proposed changes to the Timetable Planning Rules that had a detrimental impact upon the proposed services.

Delay attribution

Advising a TOC in a dispute with its alliance partner arising from the proper attribution of delay.

Rolling stock

New fleet

Advising a leading rolling stock manufacturer in relation to issues arising out of a Manufacture and Service Agreement for the design and manufacture of a new fleet of passenger coaches including alleged defects, the testing regime and the provision of depot facilities.  

Depot

Advising in relation to a fees dispute with the architect for the proposed construction of a new purpose built maintenance depot for rolling stock.

Defects claim

Advising a train manufacturer in relation to a defects claim caused by changes in the operating requirements for the rolling stock. 

Procurement

Judicial review

Advising TfL on aspects of judicial review proceedings brought by Heathrow Airport against the ORR in connection with Heathrow Spur access charges for Crossrail services.

HS2 rolling stock

Advising a train manufacturer in a High Court challenge to the decision by HS2 not to shortlist them for the £2.75 billion rolling stock supply and maintenance contract.

Franchise competition

Advising a TOC in judicial review proceedings and a subsequent appeal brought by a London Borough in relation to a rail network franchise competition.

Property

Dilapidations claim

Advising a TOC at the end of its franchise in relation to a substantial dilapidations claim made by Network Rail across a portfolio of stations and depots.

Repair work claim

Advising a TOC on its rights to force Network Rail to carry out structural repairs to a number of stations.  

Lawyer

Ron Nobbs Partner

T:  +44 20 7809 2280
M:  +44 7831 245 682 Email Ron | Vcard Office:  London

Lawyer

Tammy Samuel Partner

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

Lawyer

Suzanne Tarplee Partner

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

Lawyer

Paul Thwaite Partner

T:  +44 20 7809 2341
M:  +44 7881 913 246 Email Paul | Vcard Office:  London

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© 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.