Blake Morgan helps set £5billion rail investment off on the right track

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Leading national law firm Blake Morgan have advised Transport for Wales on a £5 billion investment that will fund significant improvements to the frequency and quality of Wales and Borders services, as well as the creation of the South Wales Metro.

Following a rigorous procurement process under the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016, the Welsh Government has contracted KeolisAmey to operate and develop the Wales and Borders rail service and South Wales Metro working in partnership with Transport for Wales.

Led by commercial partner Simon McCann, a cross-discipline team from Blake Morgan advised Transport for Wales on various matters throughout the deal, including procurement, elements of the contract drafting and employment law.

The 15-year contract will run from 4 June, 2018 until 16 October, 2033, with KeolisAmey taking over the Wales and Borders rail service from Arriva Trains Wales in October 2018. A joint venture partnership of international public transport operator Keolis with infrastructure asset management specialist Amey, KeolisAmey will work in partnership with Transport for Wales, running all services under the Transport for Wales brand.

With the procurement stage of the project complete, Blake Morgan will now continue to advise on the construction/civil engineering contracts that will deliver the major elements of the infrastructure as well as on a number of smaller related contracts.

Commenting on the project, Blake Morgan partner Simon McCann, said:

"We are proud to have advised on such a significant deal that will help transform rail services in Wales, and it was a great privilege working with the excellent and highly professional Transport for Wales/Welsh Government team. It was a tremendous cross team effort within the firm and demonstrates the strength and depth of expertise that enables Blake Morgan to deliver top-quality legal services for even the most complex and high-value infrastructure projects.  We wish all parties involved every success for the future and look forward to continuing the journey with them moving forward."

A spokesperson at Transport for Wales, commented:

"This is a ground breaking deal that will lead to a major transformation of our rail services, so it was essential that we got it right. Blake Morgan has extensive experience in delivering major public projects and we were very pleased with the level of support and reassurance we received from them. I would like to thank the team for their hard work, dedication and pragmatic advice that helped us complete this complex deal."

For more information on the investment visit: http://tfw.gov.wales/news-events/ps5-billion-investment-transform-rail-services-across-wales