Carla has experience advising on a broad range of transport & infrastructure projects – focussing particularly on the road and rail sectors.  Her key strengths, a high level of technical skill and adaptability, have led her to work in broad range of sectors and play a key role on some of the largest project finance transactions that have taken place in the UK over the last decade.  Carla’s experience also encompasses project management and disputes, project finance documentation and project related corporate transactions.

Carla's experience includes:

  • DfT - East Midlands National Rail Contract: leading on the direct award of this third tranche national rail contract.
  • DfT – Essex Thameside National Rail Contract: working with the DfT and a panel of legal advisers on the roll out of the first tranche of new model rail contracts and the transition away from emergency measure arrangements put in place at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • DfT - Cross Country Franchise Competition/Direct Award: supported in the development of this direct award following the cancellation of the competition as part of the Williams Review.  Carla oversaw the conversion of the franchise to the DfT’s new operator model. 
  • DfT - Emergency Measures Agreements (“EMA”): Carla led on the EMA for the South Eastern franchise which had the additional complexity of being developed in parallel with the negotiation of the underlying franchise agreement (rather than an overlay to an existing contract).  Carla also provided an overarching guidance role on the other EMAs developed by DLA Piper: - Cross Country, East Anglia and East Midlands. 
  • DfT - Stagecoach Litigation: Carla provided support to the unsuccessful pensions litigation by Stagecoach in the context of the South Eastern Franchise team working seamlessly with DLA Piper’s litigation team. 

Carla's experience includes advising:

  • The Department for Transport (DfT) for the last ten years in relation to franchise competition and direct awards including Greater Anglia and South Eastern, the implementation of emergency measures agreements during the on-set of the COVID-19 pandemic and more recently the new model national rail contracts for Essex Thameside and East Midlands. 
  • DfT in relation to its arrangements, covering a number of complex and interrelated contracts, with TfL and Heathrow Airport Limited on in respect of Crossrail-Heathrow Services. 
  • National Highways in relation to operational support on the M25 DBFO Project for over 7 years.  Advice provided ranged from negotiating and drafting strategic variations, dealing with disputes and the project's refinancing from a commercial lenders/EIB solution to a bond/EIB solution.  
  • Birmingham City Council on the restructuring of its innovative GBP 2.7 billion highways maintenance highways maintenance PFI, including in relation to the Court of Appeal litigation and the negotiation of the exit of the operating sub-contractor.  Carla also worked on the original procurement of this project in 2010.  
  • Nottingham City Council in respect of Nottingham Express Transit Project Phase 2 including the procurement of NET Phase 2, the acquisition of the incumbent SPV and ongoing operational support.
  • Merseytravel on the implications of its new rolling stock procurement on the Merseyrail concession agreement and negotiating the required variations. 
  • West Yorkshire Combined Authority on various matters including the development of Kirkstall Forge Station and its funding arrangements and modifications to rail leasing arrangements between WYCA, Network Rail and Northern Rail. 
  • Oxford University – BA (Hons) Modern History (2002)
  • "We find Carla Hancock an invaluable support to our own internal project team because of the excellent understanding that she has of our needs." Legal 500.
  • "Carla Hancock was leading the team, but whenever she was unavailable for whatever reason, the other team members were able to slot seamlessly in, fully briefed and able to participate fully in negotiations. That level of seamless service is rare. Carla has an incredibly analytical mind, and so was able to work with us to look at a wide range of scenarios during negotiations and offer her opinion on the strategy adopted, identifying risks as negotiations unfolded and also identifying where there were implications for other areas of a very complex commercial contract being discussed." Legal 500.