A trio of law firms has advised on a ground-breaking £210million deal in the rail sector aimed at boosting passenger capacity in to and out of London Waterloo from July 2017.
In a competitive procurement run by Stagecoach South Western Trains (SSWT), train manufacturer Siemens Rail Systems Division won the tender to produce 30 new five-carriage Desiro City trains and train leasing and rolling stock company Angel Trains won the tender to buy the trains and lease them to SSWT.
Shoosmiths advised SSWT and BLP advised Angel Trains on the financing of the rolling stock. Osborne Clarke advised Siemens in relation to the maintenance and secondment arrangements.
The deal is part of a long-term strategy with the Department for Transport (DfT) to ease congestion in the capital. It will create around 140 new jobs for drivers, engineers and maintenance staff.
The investment means SSWT will be able to carry an additional 24,000 passengers at peak times to and from London Waterloo, the UK's busiest station. The first of the 150 new carriages will arrive in 2017 and all will be in service by 2018.
Shoosmiths' partner Chris McClure, who advised Stagecoach South Western Trains, said: 'It is a groundbreaking deal in the rail industry because, while Siemens is contracted to maintain the trains until 2019 the maintenance will be carried out by an SSWT maintenance team on secondment to Siemens. SSWT will be able to take the maintenance back in house after the maintenance agreement comes to an end. So, from this deal, SSWT will also be gaining an informed and expert maintenance team within its business. We believe it to be the first agreement of its kind in the industry.'
Advising SSWT, Chris McClure, who heads Shoosmiths' transport & infrastructure group, was assisted by associate, Tristan Broomfield whilst employment partner Kevin McCavish advised on the secondment arrangements.
BLP partner and head of asset finance, Russell Clifford commented: 'This is an important transaction for Angel Trains and a further boost for BLP's asset finance practice. This new lease for SSWT will be one of the essential first steps in increasing long term capacity on the UK's busiest commuter network and a real boost to the UK rail industry.'
The BLP team led by Russell Clifford included partner Jamie Wiseman-Clarke, with support from associates Amy Maxwell, Jaymine Rana and Stuart Cottrell.
Banking partner at Osborne Clarke, Clive Smith, said: 'This is an important transaction for Siemens, which represents the first post-Thameslink platform for their Desiro City product, and the first to be funded by a ROSCO. We congratulate our clients and fellow advisers on a tremendous collective effort to bring this exciting and innovative project to a successful conclusion.'
Clive Smith of Osborne Clarke advised Siemens in respect of the maintenance and secondment agreement and was assisted on the maintenance agreement by partner Simon Smith and senior associate Jeremy Godley. On the secondment agreement, he was assisted by employment partner Victoria Parry, employment senior associate Claire Bowles and employment associate director Jenny Wotherspoon. Siemens acted for themselves in respect of the manufacture and supply agreement.