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High speed rail project a long journey for Clayton Utz

High speed rail project a long journey for Clayton Utz

FOUR YEARS into the project, Clayton Utz lawyers can celebrate the success of a new US$16 billion ($17.4 billion) bullet train service between Taipei and Kaohsiung with its clients, the Taiwan…

FOUR YEARS into the project, Clayton Utz lawyers can celebrate the success of a new US$16 billion ($17.4 billion) bullet train service between Taipei and Kaohsiung with its clients, the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation (THSRC).

The firm’s major projects team, lead by construction and major projects partner Colin Dodd, has been based in Taipei advising their client on commercial matters connected with the project.

The bullet train service, which commenced revenue operation in January this year, was commemorated at a ceremony last month in Taipei.

Clayton Utz lawyers assisted with a range of issues associated with the civil, depots, stations, track and core system contracts on the deal.

Dodd was joined by partner Philip Dawson and solicitors Paul Tobin and Victor Lau, who also worked on the “unique and challenging deal”.

The firm said it was the first time the Shinkansen bullet train has been launched outside Japan, and noted that the route along which the new line has been built is prone to regular earthquake activity.

Dodd said it was pleasing to be able to bring a host of legal and contractual issues to a successful conclusion within a relatively short timeframe, particularly on a project of this scale.

“Complex projects involve a raft of issues but working alongside THSRC management, the Clayton Utz team was able to achieve a successful outcome for THSRC enabling it to deliver the project,” he said.

The client itself said the firm was brought in early to work on project, which it said proved to be a valuable investment as Dodd and his team helped the corporation overcome some “formidable challenges”.

Clayton Utz chief executive partner David Fagan said the project was an excellent example of the ability of the firm to transfer its domestic expertise to assist a key client on a significant regional transaction.

“We are extremely proud to be involved with this unique project. Our ability to place a core team of lawyers to work alongside THSRC for a considerable period of time demonstrates our commitment to providing our clients with the legal services they require wherever they are doing business,” Fagan said.

THSRC secured the project on a “build, operate, transfer” basis, the firm said. It will run the new service for the rest of the 35-year concession period, with trains able to carry more than 900 passengers at a time, travelling at speeds of up to 300kph.

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