National law firm Shoosmiths has been selected as part of a four-strong legal panel that will provide regulatory advice to the new West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA)
The authority, which is delivering a devolution package to unlock £8 billion of investment and half a million new jobs, has established a framework of legal service suppliers across three Lots (full service; regulatory and parliamentary agents).
The Lots cover the full range of legal services required to assist the organisation in meeting its vision, values and objectives.
Shoosmiths and the other firms on the regulatory panel will advise on regulatory matters relevant to the WMCA's role as a local government body.
Given the plan for devolution of heavy rail to the regions and the close working between WMCA and Network Rail, this specialist area is considered to be important for the ongoing development of transport services across the region. Other areas that may be required would include advice upon bus franchising powers and health and safety regulatory advice.
In being appointed to the panel, Shoosmiths demonstrated that it was agile and innovative and could provide the appropriate mix of qualifications and subject areas to meet the ongoing dynamic requirement of the WMCA as it moves forward.
Ursula Gould; commercial partner at Shoosmiths specialising in the transport and infrastructure sector, said: 'Shoosmiths has very broad expertise and an excellent track record in the transport sector. The firm also has one of the largest regulatory teams outside of London.
'Having worked with the region's former transport authority Centro, we are confident that we will be able to continue to deliver tailored advice in a manner that allows the WMCA to take appropriate actions and make decisions within the statutory and regulatory requirements to help achieve its goals.'
Shoosmiths' transport and infrastructure team acts for a wide range of transport clients including Hitachi Rail, Stagecoach (including South West Trains and East Midlands Trains), Porterbrook Leasing, The Car Finance Company and Swiss International Airlines.
The team has expertise in all forms of transport including aviation, freight, light and heavy rail. The team was in 2014 crowned regional Transport Law Firm of the Year by the Legal 500.