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 is regularly mentioned in legal directories, where he is described as a "leading individual" in rail and "outstanding" (The Legal 500, 2012), having "excellent industry knowledge" (The Legal 500, 2013), being "highly intelligent with the people skills to deliver the right result" (The Legal 500, 2014) and having "massive industry knowledge" (Chambers, 2014).
Major relevant transactions include advising:
- 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.
- Hitachi Rail Europe on its bid to supply a new fleet of bi-mode AT300 trains to First Great Western (now Great Western Railway) on the West of England routes
- 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
- Metroline Travel on its bid for the London Overground Operating Concession
- 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
- The DfT on the £1.6 billion Thameslink Rolling Stock Delivery Project
- Go Ahead/Amey Rail on their successful bid for the Docklands Light Railway operation and maintenance franchise which closed in July 2014
- Alstom on the rolling stock arrangements on the new West Coast franchise awarded to Virgin Rail in December 2012, including negotiation of amendments to the suite of agreements to ensure the trains would be maintained and made available in the new and unexpected franchise period
- The Olympic Delivery Authority in relation to all Olympic transport projects required as part of the Olympic Transport Plan including funding arrangements and design and implementation contracts with Network Rail, Docklands Light Railway, London Underground Limited and London Continental Railways with a value of over £1 billion
- Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council on the procurement of a PPP design-build-finance-operate concession for two new lines of the Nottingham Express Transit system, having originally advising Nottingham City Transport Ltd on the PPP operating concession for Line One, including the terms on which Nottingham City Council withdrew as co-sponsor of the scheme
- 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