Network Rail launches tender exercise to appoint new legal advisers
Network Rail is inviting law firms to bid to be its legal advisers from 1 May 2019 until at least 2024.
Network Rail’s legal team of 32 lawyers, led by group general counsel Stuart Kelly, is signalling a move away from its current traditional panel of four full-service law firms and several specialist firms across its national portfolio of work, towards an innovation driven, business aligned group of advisers.
Network Rail owns, operates and develops Britain’s railway infrastructure – that’s 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts, and thousands of signals and level crossings – and runs 20 of the UK’s largest stations. Every day there are more than 4.7 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. Network Rail is investing £130m every single week on improvements for passengers through the Railway Upgrade Plan and as a result, by 2019, there will be an extra 170,000 seats into major cities across the country every day, with 6,400 extra train services and 5,500 new train carriages. Journeys will be quicker, trains will run more frequently and it will be more comfortable on board under the biggest programme of rail modernisation since the Victorian era.
Working together in partnership, the government and industry are investing over £50bn to improve rail for the whole of the country, creating a huge volume of work for Network Rail’s legal team.
Network Rail is seeking to appoint up to four full service legal firms, who will partner with the in-house legal team to support corporate functions and devolved route businesses in the delivery of objectives for the next funding period (2019-2024), known as Control Period 6 (CP6).
All firms will be expected to provide – either directly or in conjunction with their selected associates – demonstrable expertise across the full range of legal disciplines. It will be essential for prospective partners to demonstrate an innovative approach, focused on quality and continuous improvement, and committed to driving value for money. To achieve this, Network Rail is open to considering a wide range of delivery proposals.
Following the tender process, three successful law firms will be appointed to the framework for England and Wales; and one will be appointed for Scotland. The three suppliers appointed to England and Wales will be allocated to specific route businesses and corporate support functions to provide support on a dedicated basis; the supplier appointed for Scotland will be instructed on all matters for Scotland.
The process to appoint Network Rail’s legal advisers for CP6, is being led by Dan Kayne, General Counsel for Route businesses. Of the tender exercise Dan said: “We are excited to be offering this opportunity of partnership and innovation to the legal services market. The core aim of the tender event is to allow us, in partnership with our advisers, to deliver exceptional quality legal advice using innovation to drive value.”