DLA Piper has advised the newly formed Department for Transport (DfT) Rail Executive on one of the first franchise direct awards since the executive’s creation earlier this year.
The Greater Anglia franchise, which encompasses over 150 stations in the Greater Anglia area and provides local, suburban and express services from London to, and within, destinations in Essex, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk was directly awarded to Abellio Greater Anglia (owned by the Dutch State Railway Company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen), the incumbent train operator.
The direct award franchise will run for 27 months and forms a key part of the DfT’s franchise schedule which has been reviewed to allow the Rail Executive to stagger the delivery of the major pipeline of rail franchise competitions over the next three years.
DfT Rail Executive commercial lead Simon Gimson said: “DLA Piper provided first class support throughout enabling DfT to meet its objectives and deliver a highly successful result in a tight timeframe.”
The DLA Piper team was led by partners Paul Hirst and Robert Smith along with senior associate, Carla Hancock.
Mr Hirst said: “This is the first time that DLA Piper has advised Central Government on its franchising programme and was a fascinating transaction to be involved in as the new Rail Executive came into being to lead the major pipeline of franchise procurements over the next three years.”
DLA Piper have has also been retained to advise on the subsequent competitive procurement process to secure a long term franchisee for the Greater Anglia Franchise.