Railtrack PLC

02 Jul 1999



Simmons & Simmons has advised Railtrack PLC on Phase 1 of the comprehensive improvements at Paddington Station, which was opened on 23 June 1999 and marked by a ceremony attended by the Rt. Hon. Helen Liddell MP, Minister for Transport. The cost of the project is approximately £63 million.

This is the first Major Station development scheme where the rail industry "contractual matrix" of documentation between the former parts of British Rail has been tested. It is possible that the listed building consent for the scheme is also something of a first, containing a condition dealing with the repositioning of Paddington Bear!

The improvements at Paddington Station include the creation of a spectacular enclosed glazed area, occupying part of the existing concourse. This has been designed by Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners, who were responsible for the Waterloo International Terminal. It includes climate controlled shopping, eating and waiting areas as well as a 27-desk passenger check-in facility for airline passengers, using the Heathrow Express. A new underground baggage tunnel leading to the Heathrow Express platform forms part of the improvements. Outside the enclosed area, other improvements include a state of the art customer information system, new station lighting and new concourse surface, which enhances significantly the interior of this Grade 1 listed building. Simmons & Simmons has provided the legal input on all major aspects of the development, including the complex contractual documentation with the train operators; agreements with the neighbouring hotel, BAA/Heathrow Express and London Underground; title due diligence; and advice on the construction documentation. Using its project management techniques, the firm has also been responsible for the co-ordination of all the legal aspects. In addition to ensuring the most effective use of the Simmons & Simmons team, this has involved pulling together advice from Railtrack's legal department and from other external legal advisers.

The Simmons & Simmons team was led by Property partner Mark Austin assisted by partner Jane McKee, partner Tim Barnard, Bridget Eddy, Michael Kan and Paul Hillier (Property); and partners Robert Bryan and Richard Dyton, and Judith Bird (Construction). Internal advice from Railtrack's legal department has been provided by Geoffrey Kitchener and Alison Parkinson of its infrastructure group, and Thomas Eggar Church Adams have dealt with the retail tenants.

Mark Austin commented:

"We are very pleased to have been involved in this flagship development, which adds to our extensive experience in the railway industry. This is the first scheme of this scale at a station under the new rail industry contractual matrix. This gives rise to additional challenges over and above those normally arising on property development work. With Railtrack, we have been able to find a way through this which seeks to balance the interests of the train operating companies, the commercial occupiers, the statutory authorities and Railtrack itself"

ENDS Notes for editors:

1. Simmons & Simmons is worldclass law firm with offices in London, Paris, Brussels, Düsseldorf, Lisbon, Milan, Rome, Madrid, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Shanghai and New York with over 1,400 staff worldwide. For further information on Simmons & Simmons please visit our website at www.simmons-simmons.com.

2. The Corporate Department at Simmons & Simmons comprises over 220 legal staff (115 in London), including 47 partners (27 in London). It advises on the whole range of corporate finance activity, and mergers and acquisitions as well as other corporate law matters for listed and unlisted companies, in the United Kingdom and overseas.