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On the right track: Hitachi Rail Europe appoints first general counsel as legal team develops

Hitachi Rail Europe has confirmed the hire of WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff’s director of legal Jane Mee as the transport firm develops its legal team.

Mee will become a member of the company’s executive team, and will oversee matters in Hitachi Rail’s legal team.

The newly appointed general counsel will bring over twenty years’ experience working with in-house counsel to her new role at Hitachi Rail. Prior to her appointment with WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff she worked for Bombardier Transportation UK and London Underground Limited.

She has led negotiations on several complex matters including the exit of Metronet from administration as well discussions with BAA for the extension of the Piccadilly line to Terminal 5.

Hitachi Rail appointed six firms including Addleshaw Goddard, DLA Piper and Shoosmiths, onto its first formal legal panel in December 2014, as the company increased its commitment to the region with a new factory and offices in the UK.

The panel, which is in place for an initial period of two years, was decided after a competitive tender process run by Hitachi’s former legal counsel Rachel Crosier, who was seconded to the company in July 2014. Ashurst, Eversheds, and Stephenson Harwood also won spots after the review.

At the time, Hitachi Rail chief executive Andy Barr told Legal Business a key aim of the panel is to promote trusted and mutually beneficial relationships with the selected panel firms and nurture those relationships over time.

Barr added: ‘All six panel firms demonstrated a willingness to collaborate and work as an external extension of Hitachi Rail Europe’s in-house legal function. The panel takes a medium to long term view of external legal services, rather than purely reacting to legal requirements as they arise.’

Other recent panel reviews include JPMorgan signing the entire Magic Circle to its EMEA panel and the Royal Bank of Scotland appointing a raft of firms including Clifford Chance, Linklaters and Allen & Overy to its panel for the next three years.