05 December 2013

Rail sector experts from leading UK law firm Burges Salmon have advised Merseyrail Electrics 2002 Limited (Merseyrail) on a suite of contracts required to extend the lease of its rolling stock units.

A Burges Salmon team, led by rail partner Brioney Thomas with assistance from solicitor Lydia Bailey, advised Merseyrail in relation to the extension of its lease of the class 507/508 rolling stock units, to the end of 2018, with a potential further extension of up to year.

Merseyrail operates passenger services under a concession agreement let by Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive (Merseytravel). Merseytravel is considering how best to modernise the fleet by the end of the decade. All options, which range from a new fleet to extensive re-work of the existing stock, are being considered.

Merseytravel has, therefore, extended the leasing and maintenance arrangements for its existing fleet to ensure continuity of operations in the meantime. A package of engineering and refurbishment work will be carried out to ensure that the performance and service quality of the existing fleet is maintained until the end of the extended term.

The Burges Salmon team negotiated the extension of the sub-lease with Merseytravel, an amendment to the heavy engineering works contract with Angel, the tri-partite arrangements for the refresh programme and the extension of the guarantees provided by Merseyrail's parent companies Serco plc and Abellio Transport Holdings Ltd. The team also advised Merseyrail's board and that of its parent companies on the commercial risks arising from this transaction.

Brioney Thomas said: “We have a strong existing relationship with Merseyrail, having advised it since the award of its concession in 2003. We were therefore delighted to be able to assist the rail operator with this high value deal, which is of particular strategic importance as it will ensure continuity of passenger service until the fleet modernisation programme is complete.”

Key contact

Brioney Thomas

Brioney Thomas Partner

  • Head of Transport
  • Asset Finance and Asset Backed Lending
  • Commercial

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