Commercial Rail Associate, 2-4 yrs PQE, London

  • Stephenson Harwood
  • London, United Kingdom
  • May 10, 2017
Full time Commercial

Job Description

Stephenson Harwood is seeking a mid-level associate to join their Commercial/Rail/Finance team sitting within the finance group.  Applications are invited from England & Wales qualified lawyers with 2-4 years' PQE.  Ideal candidates will have experience of advising on and drafting commercial rail contracts as well as knowledge and understanding of UK rail regulation. Successful applicants will possess a keen interest in rail with past exposure (either in a projects or rail finance team) to the rail industry and the ability to be resilient.  Excellent verbal and numerical communications and attention to detail are essential.

This role primarily involves working with commercial contracts, specifically within the rail sector, together with advising on regulation within the rail sector. As a result, the role will be within the rail team at SH. 

The past few years have been highly successful for the SH rail team, which has seen the client base significantly grow and the team expanding accordingly. Key areas of expertise include:

-franchising and concessions (advising private sector operators and owning groups on their bids) – recent experience includes advising Northern Rail on all aspects of its franchise, including its “direct award” and various amendments to the franchise agreement, Abellio Greater Anglia on its “direct award” franchise, Arriva Rail London on the mobilisation of the London Overground concession, DB Regio Tyne & Wear on the demobilisation of its concession, and ongoing support and advising National Express on its bid for the ScotRail franchise;

-rolling stock (advising manufacturers on bids for new rolling stock contracts and associated maintenance arrangements) – recent experience includes advising CAF on its successful bid to provide new rolling stock and maintenance services to the Caledonian Sleeper franchise and on other bids for new rolling stock within the UK;

-regulation (advising on the regulation of the rail sector, including track and station access and new regulatory arrangements) – recent experience includes advising TfL on the creation of a new regulatory regime for the Crossrail central section, arrangements for the proposed regulation of the Heathrow rail infrastructure and a disputed application for access to a station; and

-rolling stock and depot financing (advising financiers on the financing of new rolling stock and depots) – recent experience includes advising Macquarie Bank on the acquisition of a portfolio of European rolling stock portfolio and advising on innovative financing arrangements for new rolling stock.

This role will primarily involve the first three categories and may also involve working closely with the rail partners on a full range of rail-related matters which may also include the procurement of new rolling stock, infrastructure development and other regulatory matters.

Key skills:

-Experience of advising on and drafting commercial rail contracts is essential

-A keen interest in rail with past exposure (either in a projects or rail finance team) to the rail industry will be crucial to this role

-Knowledge and understanding of UK rail regulation is essential

-Experience of dealing with franchises and concessions (both day to day and bidding) would be ideal

-Ability to manage own workload and lead a transaction with partner support, including experience in delegating to more junior lawyers

-Experience in dealing with regulatory issues

-Accuracy and attention to detail

-Excellent verbal and numerical communication skills

-Ability to acquire, consolidate and apply fundamental and up-to-date knowledge of the law and regulatory practices


-Ability to operate professionally and proactively at all times

-Resilient with the ability to handle set-backs and pressure

-Organised and able to work to strict deadlines with the ability to prioritise realistically

-Manages and records time promptly and accurately

-Cooperative and collaborative in approach and is able to develop excellent working relationships at all levels and roles

-Commercial awareness

-Background in a firm with an excellent reputation in commercial contracts (which will ideally include rail projects or rail finance)

-Active participant in self development

-Exhibits an understanding of the Firm’s position in the market and how it distinguishes its services from its competitors

-Excellent academic and professional qualificationsDemonstrates the Stephenson Harwood values of individuality, commitment, teamwork and straight talking.

Specific tasks and duties can include:

-Analysing the risks arising from proposed contractual arrangements and advising on the best ways of addressing those risks

-Ability to advise on procurement contracts

-Clear, concise and unambiguous drafting of documentation

-Conducting legal research using internal and external knowledge management resources

-Preparing commercially-tailored notes of advice and analysis

-Considering and analysing existing contractual arrangements

-Assisting in the preparation of legal articles

-Liaising with clients

-Developing own informal internal and external network of contacts

-Building excellent working relationships with clients and peers within Stevenson Harwood

-Attending business development and profile raising events (client events, graduate recruitment activities)