Freshfields, DLA scoop £7.5bn train deal

Freshfields and DLA Piper have advised on a £7.5bn deal to build a new fleet of high speed trains, one of the largest public transport contracts awarded in the UK.


Freshfields, DLA scoop £7.5bn train dealFreshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and DLA Piper have advised on a £7.5bn deal to build a new fleet of high speed trains, one of the largest public transport contracts awarded in the UK.

The Department of Transport, represented by Freshfields, selected the Agility Trains consortium as preferred bidder for the Intercity Express Programme this morning. Agility, which includes Japanese manufacturer Hitachi, turned to DLA Piper.

The project will replace trains on Great Western and East Coast lines with a new fleet of Super Express models, to be built and maintained by Agility.

It is understood that Freshfields corporate partner Richard Phillips acted for the Department of Transport.

The DLA Piper team was led by global head of infrastructure Mark Swindell and included finance and projects partners Paul Hirst, Siddharth Sharma and Colin Wilson.

Rival consortium Express Rail Alliance (ERA), which included British train manufacturer Bombardier and lost out to the Hitachi led-group, is understood to have used Linklaters. Allen & Overy advised ERA’s lenders, with finance partners Jon Bevan and Anne Baldock acting for the banks.

Transport secretary Geoff Hoon initially claimed the project would lead to 12,500 British jobs but it has emerged that most of the production will take place in Japan.

He has since backtracked and admitted that the programme would create some 2,500 jobs, mostly in manufacture and maintenance.

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