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EMA, ERMAs, a pending Williams Review and a concession-based railway – UK railway has gone through dramatic changes during 2020 and it is not clear what the final set up will be. The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly brought lots of changes and shaken the industry to the core.

Running a maximum number of trains with a very limited number of passengers allows social distancing and has therefore managed to keep the people who have to travel safe. There is no confirmed case of transmission which can be traced back to public transport. What does this drastic reduction in income mean for operators, who takes over the risk? How can we upskill current railway employees and future generations to be able to address the challenge of a fixed cost heavy industry and falling travel demand?

While any future-gazing is difficult, we would like to discuss with you and our speakers what the railway of the future could look like and how we can all take part in shaping it. To set the stage, two speakers will provide an overview of the changes which took place in the last 8 months and will discuss what is likely to come. Tammy Samuel and Darren Fodey, Partners at Stephenson Harwood LLP will explain the legal implications and Neil Robertson, Chief Executive of the UK National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) will discuss changes to our workforce and skillsets.

Join us for an informative and engaging session by registering here 

You will receive the link to join the webinar a few days prior to the event.

In order to make this session as interactive and beneficial for you as possible and help our speakers prepare please feel free to submit questions beforehand to


Darren Fodey is a partner in the rail team at Stephenson Harwood. He has worked in the rail industry throughout his career and has been lucky enough to spend time working as an in-house lawyer at an infrastructure manager and a train operator. He supports clients in both the public and private sectors: continuing to work with train operators on everything emerging from the day-to-day operation of rail services and franchises, as well as being responsible for developing the regulatory regime and regulated contracts for the new Crossrail railway under London. To answer your question: yes, these were all ready for the original planned opening date!

He has particular expertise in rail regulation, regulated contracts, franchises and concessions. Offering strategic business-focussed advice, he works closely with rail businesses throughout the lifecycle – whether that be bidding, mobilisation and in-life management of a franchise or concession, commercial contracts, through to the periodic review process. Recent experience includes advising on the Emergency Measures Agreements, Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements and Direct Awards, management of the Crossrail concession agreement, passenger rights obligations and advising on regulated track access contracts. He also assists clients in relation to development of new and existing infrastructure, such as at stations or depots, as well as on how to structure investments in the railway whilst staying compliant with regulated requirements.

Working alongside colleagues in the wider cross-practice rail team, over the past year he has offered advice to rail businesses including on potential disputes, employment matters, construction works at railway facilities, real estate development alongside stations and protection of personal data. Reform of fares and the Ticketing and Settlement Agreement, as well as the outcomes from the Williams Review are areas of particular interest and Darren is regularly publishing thought-leadership pieces in these areas.

Darren has been described by clients as being “excellent on the detail” and a “professional and knowledgeable individual who is good fun to work with”.

Tammy Samuel is the head of the Stephenson Harwood international finance practice and co-heads the rail team. She is a lawyer who has worked in the railway sector for over 20 years. Her clients are rolling stock manufacturers and maintainers, train operators and the public sector.

Her experience includes providing comprehensive and strategic advice on railway franchises and concessions (including in bidding and operational phases and emergency measures agreements), rolling stock procurement (including manufacturing and maintenance arrangements), infrastructure development (including station and depot construction) and on regulatory matters (including the development of new regulatory frameworks).

Tammy’s projects have included advising bidders in all rounds of franchising and concessioning in the UK (including EMAs, ERMAs and Direct Awards) and concessions overseas. She advises on the most high profile rolling stock procurements, including working with commercial litigation colleagues on disputes relating to the same.

The rail team at Stephenson Harwood is at the forefront of the industry, writing numerous articles, presenting seminars and hosting industry dinners.

Tammy is described by clients as “one of the most outstanding lawyers they have worked with.” “Her client focus: she listens, she delivers what you ask for, she’s very efficient, very pragmatic, and very responsive. She’s got a team from partners all the way down to paralegals that are dedicated rail attorneys. It’s a really outstanding and good-quality team.”

Neil Robertson joined the National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) in 2015, from the utility sector where he was CEO of the Energy & Utility Skills Group. Before that he was CEO of the British Institute of Innkeeping.

Prior to these sectoral CEO roles, he held senior positions in government departments for education and business where had responsibilities in skills, employability, English and migration, regional economic development and European Structural Funds.

Neil has also worked with Babcock, City & Guilds and the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

NSAR’s current priorities are workforce planning, standard setting, company support and quality assurance of training and assessments. In his spare time, he likes riding motorbikes and planting trees.


  • 12pm
  • 12:05pm
    Overview of changes to the rail industry, speaker: Tammy Samuel, Partner and Co-Head Of Rail and Head of Finance Practice and Darren Fodey - Partner at Stephenson Harwood LLP
  • 12:20pm
    The impact of COVID on skills and the future workforce, speaker: Neil Robertson, Chief Executive at the UK National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR)
  • 12:35pm
    Joint discussion on the future or rail and Q&A
  • 12:50pm
    Women in Rail update