National UK law firm Shoosmiths has been honoured for its role advising train manufacturer Hitachi Rail in a multi-billion pound sterling order for new trains.
IJGlobal (Infrastructure Journal and Project Finance Magazine) presented the Intercity Express Programme (IEP) with the Rail Deal of the Year award at the annual IJGlobal Europe and Africa Awards ceremony on 19 February.
IEP is a 30 year design, construction and maintenance contract to replace Great Western and East Coast mainline intercity rolling stock in the UK with nearly 500 new Class 800 series carriages, to run from 2018. Hitachi Rail Europe beat stiff competition from Bombardier, Siemens and Alstom to secure the largest ever rolling stock contract in the UK, valued at £4.5 billion.
Shoosmiths' transport and infrastructure group advised Hitachi on the financing, regulatory, real estate, planning and construction aspects of the deal. Led by Chris McClure, the team included partners Mark Shepherd (corporate), partner Joanne McGuinness (real estate and rail regulatory), and Simon Wain (construction).
The IJGlobal Europe & Africa Awards are a celebration of best in class deals in energy and infrastructure over the past year and is one of the most prestigious events of the year in the finance and infrastructure calendar. The Rail Deal of the Year category recognises quality, innovation, market influence and diversity in the winner's offering.
Chris McClure said: 'It's great to see this historic deal recognised in by the IJGlobal Awards. We are proud of our finance capabilities here at Shoosmiths and it is a great achievement for everyone in the firm who has worked with Hitachi over several years.
'The modernisation of the UK's intercity train fleet is an important piece of national infrastructure investment and we're proud to be a part of it. This transformational deal will provide the next generation of high-speed, low-carbon trains for Britain. It will also secure and create thousands of jobs and bring the headquarters of a world-class, high-tech company to the UK.'
Tom Nelthorpe, executive editor of IJGlobal, said: 'IJGlobal had a very large number of transportation projects to choose from in 2014. In the middle of a very fertile period for UK rail procurement, the financing for the East Coast Mainline's rolling stock programme achieved impressively attractive terms despite complex risk allocation.'
As a result, Hitachi will maintain the rolling stock and directly create nearly a thousand jobs in the North East of England when a new train manufacturing facility and test track is constructed at Newton Aycliffe in County Durham.
The scale of the programme is underlined by the relocation of Hitachi Rail's headquarters from Japan to London as a result of the contract awards.
Last year, The American Lawyer awarded the Intercity Express Programme (IEP) the Project Finance (Europe) award and was nominated for the Global Finance Deal of the Year category at its global legal awards.
For more information on the IJGlobal Europe and Africa Awards, please visit: