The Lawyer’s new China Elite report contains the most detailed research available on the PRC legal market and contains unparalleled insight into the country's leading law firms. They vary in size, practice focus and geographic coverage, but they all share one common quality – ambition... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
Ashurst is advising National Express on the planned termination of its East Coast mainline franchise.
Ashurst has been sole adviser to the transport company since the franchise was awarded to National Express subsidiary NXEC in 2007, with corporate partner Steven Fox believed to be taking a lead role. The firm declined to comment today on the matter.
A source with knowledge of the arrangement commented: “National Express completely overbid at the top of the market in 2007. The chief executive [Richard Bowker] was adamant he wanted it, he bid for the same franchise when he was at Virgin and didn’t win it.
“[National Express] tried to negotiate a management contract as soon as it became clear [the loss it was incurring] would kill the rest of the National Express Group.”
Operation of the route will fall into government hands once National Express East Coast ceases to exist.
The Department for Transport (DfT), which is understood to be receiving advice from internal counsel at this stage, is expected to put the franchise up for tender at the end of 2010.