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Newcastle giant Dickinson Dees has beaten a swathe of City and national firms, including Ashurst and DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary, to advise on a major upgrade of the Tyne & Wear Metro system.
It is understood that Dickinsons won the mandate from Nexus, the Tyne & Wear Passenger Transport Executive, following a competitive beauty parade earlier this year.
Seven firms were short-listed following initial pitch documents, including Ashurst, Bevan Brittan, DLA Piper, Eversheds and Nabarro Nathanson. However, only Bevan Brittan, DLA Piper and Dickinsons were invited to the subsequent, final interview stage.
Nexus is examining options to raise up to £500m to invest in upgrading the Metro, including initiatives to improve safety, lay new track and refurbish stations. The next stage of the project will see Nexus engage in market consultation to help it develop the best options.
Head of projects at Dickinsons Tim Care will lead the firm's team advising Nexus, assisted by partners David Rewcastle and Paul Coleman.
Care explained that the firm had previously advised Nexus in relation to the Sunderland extension of the Metro, which opened in 2002.
Dickinsons has also advised Southern Railways, Thameslink and Thames Trains.