Fladgate has been advising clients in the rail sector since the beginning of the railway era. In the nineteenth century we acted for the Victoria Station and Pimlico Railway Company in obtaining Parliamentary powers, including the compulsory purchase of land for what is now London’s Victoria Station.

Nowadays we continue to act for clients involved in all aspects of rail projects and are currently instructed on many high profile rail projects, both in the UK and internationally. With record usage and investment levels plus increased health and safety requirements, our long experience provides clients with a safe pair of hands when embracing the complexities and opportunities presented by the rail sector.

Our rail teams expertise ranges from UK domestic rail projects and associated issues to international rail projects procured under project finance models in relation to both light and heavy rail, which have become the benchmark for procurement models on the projects that followed.

Not only are we familiar with the NR 12 and other forms of Network Rail standard contracts and procedures from our work within the rail industry, but we also regularly advise on other standard forms relevant to, and used within, the sector for procurement of associated works and services. Members of our team were involved in a number of the published updates issued prior to the 2011 rebaseline to bring the agreement into line with developing case law and legal updates. We continue to advise these organisations on related issues.

Our reputation for providing cost-effective, practical advice allows us to make a meaningful contribution, assist in minimising risk and help the project team meet their budget and completion requirements.

Where rail disputes are unavoidable, we are experienced in all forms of dispute resolution including litigation, arbitration, adjudication and ADR.

We also help clients working in the rail sector to understand their health and safety liabilities, for example through targeted workshops for senior executives and advice on compliance with health and safety law. Where rail related health and safety issues arise, our team provides timely and expert support, particularly in respect of ORR prosecutions.

Areas in which we act include:

  • Rail infrastructure projects – including major new infrastructure, new stations and network upgrades.
  • Rail franchising – we advise bidders and authorities on all aspects of the franchising process.
  • Rail operations – including advice on day-to-day activities, operations or implementation agreements, major strategic projects and complex contractual arrangements on passenger and freight operations.
  • Rail policy and regulation – including advice on compliance issues, engaging with industry bodies (e.g. the ORR) and licensing matters.
  • Rail strategy and structural change.
  • Rail procurement – including specialist advice on rolling stock procurement.

If you have any questions or queries please call Sam on +44 (0)20 3036 7351 or email stye@fladgate.com

If you have any questions or queries please call Gavin on +44 (0)20 3036 7371 or email gwhitney@fladgate.com

“The team provides a quality service and understands the importance of timely advice, pragmatic solutions and cost certainty.”

“With Fladgate we can rest assured that each area of legal and contractual exposure has been methodically reasoned with appropriate advice and implementation.”


‘Response times and value-for-money are very good’ at Fladgate LLP, where the team continues to undertake a range of instructions in key sectors.  Practice head Alan Woolston who is a ‘commercially astute, technically excellent lawyer’, advised Go-Ahead Group on a range of construction works as well as professional appointments related to the infrastructure for various well-known Go-Ahead brands, including Southeastern trains and Brighton & Hove buses.

Legal 500

Digby Hebbard and David Weare were also active in contentious matters, where work included representing contractors on various energy-from-waste project disputes, and acting for John Laing Investments on potential claims relating to the design and upgrade of Aylesbury Park railway station.

Legal 500

“The team provides a quality service and understands the importance of timely advice, pragmatic solutions and cost certainty.” “With Fladgate we can rest assured that each area of legal and contractual exposure has been methodically reasoned with appropriate advice and implementation.”

Chambers UK

Alan Woolston engages in both contentious and non-contentious work, with particular specialisms in PFI/PPP schemes and offshore energy projects. One client is “impressed with his focused attention to detail and ability to understand every potential trajectory of decisions that he has considered and created a strategy around.”

Chambers UK

A wide practice particularly active in waste-to-energy projects, property development for retail, hotels and student accommodation, and construction-related health and safety issues. “We’re very pleased. They worked very hard – they worked all hours to make it happen, and were very on top of it.” “Good solid team, quite specialist, and they know what they’re doing.”

Chambers UK

  • Contractor – advice on works carried out on the National Electrification Programme.
  • Contractor – advice on the West Coast Power Supply Upgrade project.
  • Balfour Beatty – numerous subcontracts for the delivery of the Blackfriars Station extension works using the ICE form of contract (now ICC) with NR12 style amendments passed down to ensure compliance with Balfour Beatty’s own agreement with Network Rail.
  • Advised John Laing Group on the disposal of its entire holding of shares in the City Greenwich Lewisham PFI project. The City Greenwich Lewisham PFI project involved designing, building, financing and maintaining an extension to the Docklands Light Railway system, from the southern end of the Isle of Dogs under the Thames to Lewisham.
  • McNicholas Construction Services Limited – various projects including the ICE (now ICC) subcontract pass-down of GSM-R node design and survey works in relation to the BT Tiverton Project.
  • Taylor Woodrow Construction Limited – appointments for a number of DLR and East London Line project enabling works using the ICC form of contract and NEC3 terms together with dispute advice and avoidance in relation to issues arising thereunder.
  • SPL Powerlines – advice on their involvement in the Crossrail Project.
  • Heathrow Express – aspects of the construction contracts.
  • London Underground and Croydon Tramlink – terms of maintenance contracts.
  • A number of train operating companies owned by and operating as franchises of the Go-Ahead Group Plc – contracts for their development obligations as part of station and network improvements which they are obliged to carry out on Network Rail assets.  We are familiar with related Network Rail agreements (such as the BAPA forms) and well used to incorporating compliance into industry standard forms such as the NEC3.
  • Construction Contractor (a joint venture between Balfour Beatty and Carillion) – supply chain contracts and giving advice on the operation of its main contract with Transport for London in relation to the East London Line, one of the UK’s largest rail infrastructure projects, valued at £1.4bn.
  • The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – various issues, including negotiating with railway companies, waterways, highway authorities and telecoms on service provision and infrastructure.
  • Assisted the John Laing Group in its preparations for the sale of its interests in the Coleshill Parkway project including advising on the terms of project documentation entered into on financial close of the project as part of John Laing’s vendor due diligence and subsequently advised John Laing Group on the sale. The Coleshill Parkway project is a multi-modal interchange entailing delivery of a railway station building, bus interchange, car park and bridge.
  • Alfred McAlpine plc – NR RT16 form based on the ICE form of contract in relation to enabling works for base station sites for the GSM-R Project.
  • Landowner – access rights and associated documentation in relation to the development of HS2 where the HS2 entity needed access to our client’s land.
  • Zog Group – acquisition of a long leasehold interest from Network Rail, and sale of the lease post planning, of a large £multi-million development site adjacent to and above a national railway and the Docklands Light Railway in a central London location.
  • VAE GmbH, a member of the VOEST Alpine Group – purchase of CDS Rail Limited, a leading railway asset monitoring systems business.
  • Jenbacher Holdings (UK) plc (part of the Auricon Group, Austria) – litigation concerning the manufacture of trains for British Rail (four High Court actions).
  • Colas Rail Group – UK employment matters.
  • Railway Procurement Agency – DBFO and maintenance agreements for Dublin Metro North, the proposed €4bn underground light railway project, remaining one of the largest investment grade bond financed projects in Europe to date.  The project was the first non-housing PPP in the country involving the development of bespoke documentation drawing on experience of SoPC4, the Irish NDFA model terms and UK precedent light rail projects.
  • Consortium of South Korean interested parties – procurement of major rail projects in the context of China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative.
  • Assisted the John Laing Group in its preparations for the sale of its interests in the Aylesbury Vale Parkway project including advising on the terms of project documentation entered into on financial close of the project and advising on and assisting with the implementation of documentation required to effect the sale and, subsequently, advised John Laing Group on the sale. The Aylesbury Vale Parkway project involved the construction of a new railway station.