Energy expert gets top ORR position

DENTON Hall regulatory specialist Tom Winsor has been appointed General Counsel at the Office of the Rail Regulator (ORR).

But the Denton Hall partner, who has just completed an 18-month secondment as ORR's chief legal adviser, is only to remain with the rail regulator until 31 March when he rejoins his firm.

His short term as general counsel will allow him time to hand over to his successor as chief legal adviser, Michael Brocklehurst, former chief legal adviser at the Officer of Electricity Regulation.

A spokeswoman says it is unlikely the general counsel post will remain in existence once Winsor has left.

“There's a lot going on at the moment and we need both of them,” she explains.

Before moving to ORR on secondment, Winsor was an energy regulation expert and headed the Denton Hall team hired by the Government to design and implement the regulatory regime for electricity privatisation in Northern Ireland.

He was the first chief legal adviser at ORR heading an in-house team of three lawyers advising rail regulator John Swift QC on all the legal aspects of his powers and duties.

These include issuing operating licences, approval of access agreements to track, stations and maintenance depots and the investigation of all station or line closure proposals.