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Freeths - Law firm


Solutions for tomorrow’s transport needs

What is involved?

The Transport sector faces many challenges as it evolves to meet the needs of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) and the travelling public in the post-COVID net zero carbon era. Whether it’s changes to rail franchising, the implementation of bus franchising, working within the competition rules, regional self-sufficiency as part of the devolution agenda, regulatory and political frameworks, environmental, health and safety, ensuring your HR and IR strategies are effective or simply managing your estate and assets – our multi-disciplinary Transport Sector team can help smooth the way.

The team acts for a wide range of Transportation clients including commercial operators and airlines, government bodies, public authorities, devolved transport bodies, financiers, equity investors, developers, retailers, airports, statutory utilities, infrastructure owners, manufacturers, maintainers and organisations throughout the supply chain.

Additionally, we help clients in all sectors with their Transport related needs, including for example, advising statutory utilities and landowners faced with the impact of large transport infrastructure projects such as HS2 and Crossrail. We also work closely with colleagues in our Energy Waste and Sustainability team advising on renewables and energy schemes on transport assets, and development and regeneration schemes near operational railway lines, ports and major transport interchanges.

The team is led by Michael Bray and Iain Bowler and our lead sector experts are:

Rail: Tom Johnson, Michael Bray and Iain Bowler (Heavy Rail, Light Rail/Tram infrastructure and operations, Rolling Stock procurement and maintenance, Rail franchising and concessions)

Rail Regulatory: Tom Johnson, Michael Bray and Iain Bowler

Highways: Jackie Heeds and Robert Bruce (Highways, Stations and Depot Infrastructure)

Bus and Coach Operations:  Frank Suttie, Michael Bray and Tom Johnson

Aviation: Shashi Chambers and Iain Bowler

Freeports:  Jackie Heeds and Frank Suttie

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Key contacts

Iain Bowler

0345 030 5767

Michael Bray

Michael Bray

0345 126 3775


Who we work with

  • London Luton Airport
  • Bristol Airport
  • HS1
  • Midlands Highways Alliance
  • Merseytravel
  • Onur Air

Why choose Freeths?

Our Transport team includes specialists in heavy rail, light rail/tram, highways infrastructure, station and depot infrastructure, rail franchising and concessions, rail regulatory, bus and coach, and aviation who advise across a broad range of legal practice areas.

Our Transport team advises domestic and international clients on all contractual, infrastructure, regulatory and related matters for the movement of people by all transport modes.

The team has in-depth knowledge of the Transport sector, with particular expertise in rail, highways, bus, coach and airports/aviation. Our teams’ experience includes:


  • long term maintenance arrangements
  • asset stewardship
  • rail depot leasing and redevelopment
  • rail station leasing and redevelopment/major improvement works/construction
  • transport interchange facilities
  • construction of new tramways and tram depots
  • rail franchising and concessions
  • operation and maintenance of tram systems
  • procurement and maintenance of rolling stock
  • dispute resolution in relation to ticketing scheme and revenue allocation
  • corporate M&A of transport sector companies, including rail transit and ticketing software solutions, and vehicle part manufacturers
  • Network Rail asset protection and implementation agreements
  • statutory utilities on asset diversions and monitoring regimes to facilitate the construction of rail infrastructure
  • retail and F&B concessions at railway stations
  • NSIP/DCO projects and Transport and Works Act Orders
  • CPO and compensation


  • fleet and vehicle procurement
  • powers to levy highway tolls
  • new roads and highways schemes
  • highways framework agreements
  • low emission vehicles, hydrogen and EV charging infrastructure
  • planning and consenting including NSIP/DCO projects
  • environmental regulation and permitting
  • habitats/ecology

Bus and Coach

  • local bus services – enhanced Partnerships and franchising concessions
  • demand responsive services
  • DfT grant and other funding schemes
  • licensing and other regulatory matters
  • ticketing schemes
  • technology procurement
  • retail and F&B concessions at bus stations
  • competition and subsidy control

Airports and Aviation

  • significant airport redevelopment and expansion projects
  • concession agreements (retail, advertising, catering)
  • ground transportation and surface access contracts (taxis, coaches, car hire operators)
  • supplier and aviation contracts (IT, PPM, PRM, ground handlers)
  • procurement and tendering processes, including Utilities Contracts Regulations and the Concession Contracts Regulations
  • competition advice and review into mergers, markets and abuse of dominant position
  • drafting airport by-laws
  • defending Health & Safety Executive prosecutions, investigations and inquests
  • NSIP/DCO projects
  • CPO and compensation

We are supplier members of the Confederation of Passenger Transport

Our other services include:


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Transport Lawyers

Iain Bowler

0345 030 5767

Michael Bray

Michael Bray

0345 126 3775

Robert Bruce

0345 128 6958

Shashi Chambers

0345 271 6770

Jackie Heeds

0345 634 2606

Tom Johnson

0345 128 7974

Nick Sutton

0345 077 9567

Frank Suttie

0345 128 6996

Ella Carroll
Senior Associate

0345 017 6020

Rachel Clack
Senior Associate

0345 272 5720

Amy Platt

0345 166 6267

Lewis Whalley

0345 404 1716

Client service

‘Doing the right thing’ is at the heart of Freeths. Find out more about our excellent client service and the strong set of values that guide the way we work.

Our values


Talk to us

Freeths are a leading national law firm with 12 offices across the UK. If you have a query about our services or just want to find out more, why not give us a call?

Contact: 03301 001 014

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