THE region’s largest law firm Dickinson Dees has been picked as the new advisor of one of the largest train operators in the UK.
Newcastle-based Dickinson Dees is one of only a handful of law firms in the country to have been appointed to advise Northern Rail.
The firm will advise the rail company, which operates 20% of the UK’s railway stations, on commercial aspects of its business apart from core railway matters and human resource issues.
Nick Mason, partner with Dickinson Dees, said: “This tremendous appointment is a resounding endorsement of our expertise in the transport sector and another significant win for the firm.
“Northern Rail, or Northern as it is often known, has an extensive geographic reach across the north of England and serves nearly 15 million people with more than 500 stations.
“The company was keen to have a local legal partner and this, coupled with our knowledge and expertise in the transport sector, enabled us to secure this appointment.
“Our work has already begun and will concentrate on property-related matters, construction, funding and development, commercial contracts and dispute resolution.
“The core of the legal team will be in Yorkshire but specialists from across the firm will be drafted in when required.
“Northern’s franchise runs until April 2014. We will be working closely with the company until then, and hopefully beyond. We are especially pleased that Northern’s core business values, notably sustainability and ethical practices resonate with our own,” he added.
Simon Taylor, head of procurement for Northern Rail, said: “Northern went through a competitive tender process which Dickinson Dees won through their thorough understanding of our business and values, coupled with depth of experience and commercial awareness.”
Northern Rail is owned by a 50:50 joint venture between Serco Group plc., the international services company, and Abellio, a subsidiary of NS Dutch Railways.
The company was formed in December 2004 when its parent companies won the franchise contract (awarded by the UK Government) to operate train services in the north of England until April 2014. It has 4,900 employees providing 2,500 local and regional train services every weekday, making it the largest train operator in the UK.