Skip to main content

Working in transport and infrastructure means more than just rail, ports, bus and aviation companies.

Efficient and reliable systems are key to a successful economy. But we understand that expanding interests, emerging technology and tougher regulations present real challenges.

We don’t need to tell you that you’re in a tough industry and market, competing with providers from across the UK and Northern Europe. Dealing with customers that are increasingly demanding flexibility, cost savings and responsiveness.

It matters most to us that our clients consider us part of their team. Working together to transform your business and achieve your goals – as well as those of your customers. Over many years we’ve worked with public passenger service providers (rail and bus), freight operators, infrastructure providers/managers (including ports), government bodies and members of the supply chain (including train manufacturers and maintainers). This track record means you can trust us to anticipate your needs and deliver strong, ‘best in class’ advice at every stage. 

Our large sector team comes from across the industry, with a clear understanding of what it feels like to sit on your side of the table. Whether you’re looking for insight into the legal challenges in major infrastructure investment, devolution, alliancing and smart ticketing, or seeking someone to stand by your side during commercial litigation or restructuring. Whether large or small, our team of experts works hard to simplify complex and high profile projects and respond with clear, commercial advice and action.

"I have always received fantastic service and have built up a strong relationship with them. There is a strong team and they are very responsive to any requests, turning work around quickly when needed. I value them for the commercial advice, not just purely the legal points."

"A highly responsive team which provides excellent advice. They have delivered consistently for us."

Chambers 2017

“Our lawyers are praised for being ‘efficient, responsive and knowledgeable.”

Chambers (UK)

Get in touch

T:+44 (0)191 279 9245

What we do

We have experience in the following areas:

  • Infrastructure and development projects
  • Franchising and concession arrangements
  • Rolling stock procurement and leasing
  • Commercial and operational matters
  • Regulatory matters
  • Dispute resolution
  • Competition
  • Financing
  • Corporate finance work
  • Rail accidents
  • Health and safety
  • Property and planning
  • Smart technology projects.

Sector expertise

We have expertise across a range of sectors including:

Examples of work

Advising on both heavy and light rail franchising competitions, recent examples include advising:

  • Govia on its bid for the West Midlands franchise
  • London Midland on its direct award franchise agreement which involved addressing some of the issues arising from early HS2 enabling works
  • Transdev on its bid to operate and maintain the Greater Manchester Metrolink
  • Keolis in respect of the handover of the TransPennine Express franchise
  • Govia on its bid for the Northern franchise which included work on the procurement of a new fleet of trains to replace the Pacers
  • Keolis/Go-Ahead on its bid for the TransPennine Express franchise which involved considering the impact of major infrastructure works and electrification
  • Southeastern on its direct award franchise agreement which involved considering the impact of major infrastructure works at London Bridge
  • Keolis/Eurostar on its bid for the InterCity East Coast franchise which included detailed assessment of the InterCity Express Programme
  • Govia on its successful bid for the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise which involved advising on the legal strategy, the franchise agreement, the rolling stock and the transfer scheme to acquire First Capital Connect’s business
  • Nexus, the procuring authority, on the letting of the Tyne and Wear Metro light rail operating concession.

Advising on significant rolling stock procurements for the UK rail industry, recent examples include advising:

  • Abellio East Anglia in respect of the simultaneous procurement of two fleets of new trains, for the East Anglia franchise. They represent collectively the largest privately-led rolling stock procurement ever seen in the UK and are to be manufactured by Bombardier and Stadler, respectively.  The trains themselves are worth over £1.5bn, and with the associated maintenance arrangements, the total contract value is in excess of £1.8bn
  • Govia Thameslink Railway on the £200m+ purchase and financing of a new train fleet. The trains are to be built by Siemens in Germany and are planned to start running services in 2018. The financing structure was innovative because it involved a new entrant to the market for funding train fleets, called Rock Rail, which has financial backers including Standard Life and Aviva
  • Abellio ScotRail on a c.£380m deal to procure 234 vehicles from Hitachi Europe Limited to serve the busy routes between Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee. The trains are the first of a new generation of electric commuter trains and will be built at Hitachi’s new UK factory at Newton Aycliffe in the North East
  • Southern Railway on a deal worth over £300 million in respect of 108 Bombardier Class 387 vehicles for Gatwick Express services and the financing of a further 116 Class 387 vehicles.  

We have worked with various train operating companies based across the UK advising on the procurement of on-train Wi-Fi systems and the provision of Wi-Fi services across their rolling stock fleets. This involved providing support on aspects including services agreements and mobile network agreements. Bond Dickinson has advised four train operating companies which have received DfT funding as part of the DfT’s initiative to improve the provision of free Wi-Fi on rail travel.