Osborne Clarke wins first spot on £50m rail panel alongside seven firms

Osborne Clarke is one of seven firms to have won a place on the UK Government’s £50m rail panel.

The Department of Transport (DoT) review was run by the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) and lasts until 2020.

It was developed over a year ago and has been created to assist the DoT on a “significant programme of rail franchises, major works and projects that require specialist rail legal services”.

Osborne Clarke has won its first spot on the roster, with a place in tier two of the roster. Other tier two firms include Linklaters, Norton Rose Fulbright and Stephenson Harwood.

Tier two firms are understood to already have a number of rail clients, choosing not to ditch those relationships in favour of DoT tier one work.

Tier one firms will focus their attention on DoT matters – firms in the top roster are Addleshaw Goddard, Ashurst, DLA Piper and Eversheds Sutherland.

The rail panel has been significantly shrunk this year, with the lot previously consisting of 24 firms. It used to form a part of the UK Government’s general panel, but was separated as part of a wider shake-up last year.

The UK Government’s general legal advisers were announced in March, with over 30 firms being cut from the list. Linklaters was again the only magic circle firm in the roster, with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Allen & Overy both being cut.

Both Freshfields and A&O, however, are expected to win places on the separate finance and regulation panel, which was also separated last year. The roster is valued at £90m and the went out to tender in April.

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