A NORTH-EAST law firm has been asked to advise one of the largest train operators in the UK.
Dickinson Dees, with offices in Yorkshire, Newcastle, Tees Valley, Leeds and London is one of only a handful of law firms in the country to have been appointed to advise Northern Rail.
It will be advising the rail company, which operates 20 per cent of all stations in the UK, on the commercial aspects of its business apart from core railway matters and human resource issues.
Nick Mason, a partner with Dickinson Dees, said: “This tremendous appointment is a resounding endorsement of our expertise in the transport sector and another significant win for the firm. 
“Northern Rail, or Northern as it is often known, has an extensive geographic reach across the north of England and serves nearly 15 million people with more than 500 stations. The company was keen to have a local legal partner and this, coupled with our knowledge and expertise in the transport sector, enabled us to secure this appointment.
“Our work has already begun and will concentrate on property-related matters, construction, funding and development, commercial contracts and dispute resolution. The core of the legal team will be in Yorkshire but specialists from across the firm will be drafted in when required.
“Northern’s franchise runs until April 2014. We will be working closely with the company until then, and hopefully beyond. We are especially pleased that Northern’s core business values, notably sustainability and ethical practices resonate with our own,” he added. 
Simon Taylor, Head of Procurement for Northern Rail, said: “Northern went through a competitive tender process which Dickinson Dees won through their thorough understanding of our business and values, coupled with depth and breadth of experience and commercial awareness.”
Northern Rail plays a vital role in the north of England by connecting tens of thousands of people to work, leisure, education and more every day. The company is owned by a 50:50 joint venture between Serco Group plc., the international services company, and Abellio, a subsidiary of NS Dutch Railways
Northern was formed in December 2004 when its parent companies won the franchise contract - awarded by the government - to operate train services in the north of England until April 2014.
The company has 4,900 employees providing nearly 2500 local and regional train services every weekday, making us the largest train operator in the UK.

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