Paul Hirst is head of Transport at AG having joined the team in August 2014 from DLA Piper where he was head of its rail and public transport practice. Paul is rated as one of the country's top transport lawyers with an unrivalled breadth of experience in the sector including light rail schemes, heavy rail franchising, rolling stock procurement and leasing and advising a range of private and public sector clients.
Paul has more than 20 years' experience acting for both public and private sector clients in the rail sector and is a "leading individual" in rail in each of the principal legal directories where he is described as being "highly intelligent with the people skills to deliver the right result" and having massive industry knowledge.
Major relevant transactions include advising:
- The DfT in relation to the West Coast Partnership franchise competition, including advice on the procurement structure, the terms of the franchise, the interface and terms of the procurement of the new high speed train fleet for HS2 and managing a team delivering all associated documentation and procurement advice
- Hitachi Rail on four projects to supply new fleets of bi-mode AT300 trains to First Great Western (now Great Western Railway), First TransPennine Express and Hull Trains including the supply and maintenance documents, direct agreements with the DfT and funding arrangements. Paul also advised on the depot contractual and regulatory arrangements, including access issues and regulatory approvals
- The Agility Trains Consortium (comprising Hitachi and John Laing) in relation to the Department for Transport's (DfT’s) £5.4 billion Intercity Express Programme and the first heavy rail rolling stock public-private partnership (PPP) in the UK. Paul led the team advising on the principal project documents including in particular the train availability and reliability agreements between Agility Trains as the train service provider and the relevant train operating company which sets out the operational arrangements in relation to the trains and depots together with a complex performance regime
- Merseytravel leading the team advising on the production of an SOBC and the development of an OBC in relation to the services options available under the Bus Services Act
- London Luton Airport Limited on the £200m development of a mass passenger transit (MPT) system between Luton Airport Parkway railway station and the airport terminal, to replace the shuttle bus transfer system currently in operation
- Keolis/Amey Rail joint venture on its successful bid for the Manchester Metrolink O&M Concession which closed in 2017
- The DfT in relation to the West Midlands franchise direct award and subsequent franchise competition
- The DfT on the direct awards of the Greater Anglia and London South Eastern Railway franchise agreements, including advice on the procurement structure, the terms of the franchise agreement and managing a team delivering all associated documentation
- The Roads and Transport Authority of the Dubai Government on its competition process to outsource bus operations in Dubai
- Merseytravel on all aspects of the management of the innovative long-term rail passenger concession with Merseyrail Electrics including advice on major variations required to reflect the Office of Rail and Road-led access charge reviews, amendment to the performance regime, efficient operator reviews, major rail station enhancements and the proposal to take control of rail infrastructure to form a vertically integrated railway
- Merseytravel in relation to the construction of Liverpool South Parkway, including negotiation of bespoke documentation in relation to the lease, operational and maintenance of the station aspects of the facility due to the novel contractual structure that was proposed for the scheme