Network Rail to undertake tender exercise to appoint new legal panel from 1 April 2019

The infrastructure company, which owns, manages and develops Britain’s railway, currently uses a panel of four full-service law firms and a couple of specialist firms across its national portfolio of work. The legal team of 26 lawyers, led by group general counsel, Stuart Kelly, will be running a procurement exercise for the new panel which will begin in April 2019.

Network Rail is spending £130m every single week on improvements for passengers through the Railway Upgrade Plan. As a result, by 2019 there will be an extra 170,000 seats into major cities across the country every single day, with 6,400 extra train services and 5,500 new train carriages – a 30% increase in capacity. Journeys will be quicker, trains will run more frequently and it will be more comfortable on board. It is the biggest programme of rail modernisation since the Victorian era.

Working together as one railway, 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.

With this modernisation programme in mind, Network Rail would like to appoint firms to its panel who will partner the in-house legal team to support Network Rail’s corporate functions and devolved route businesses in the delivery of their objectives for the next funding period (2019-2024) known as Control Period 6 (CP6). The firms will be expected to provide – either directly or indirectly – demonstrable expertise across the full range of legal disciplines and it will be essential for prospective partners to demonstrate an innovative approach, focussed on continuous improvement and committed to driving value for money. To achieve this, Network Rail is open to considering a wide range of delivery proposals.

The process to appoint Network Rail’s new legal panel for CP6, is being led by Dan Kayne, general counsel for route businesses, on behalf of Stuart Kelly. On the upcoming tender exercise Stuart said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the legal market to demonstrate to us they share our vision of delivering a great service to our customers – that they are forward thinking in terms of their offering and, perhaps most importantly, they want to be our partners in supporting the business to effectively deliver a growing, reliable, safe and affordable railway.”

On 13 February Network Rail published a Prior Information Notice (PIN) with some more information about the tender and details of where suppliers can register their interest in this opportunity. If you would like to be involved in the procurement going forward, then please email Fiona.Matthews@networkrail.co.uk by 2 March.