Transatlantic law firm Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD), which has a large office in Bristol, has advised Brittany Ferries, a long-standing client, on a series of contracts with the Department for Transport that secure additional freight capacity as part of the UK government’s planning for a no-deal Brexit.
WBD Partner, Peter Snaith was the lead adviser for Brittany Ferries with input from procurement, public sector and other relevant specialists from the firm.
Following confirmation of the contract agreed with the Department for Transport (DfT), Brittany Ferries has outlined steps being taken to change sailing schedules for 2019. Nineteen weekly return-sailings will be added to three routes on the western channel with these additional rotations allowing more space for lorries, as requested by the Department for Transport.
In total, Brittany Ferries will realise a 50% increase in freight capacity on the three affected routes from 29th March 2019, representing a 30% increase overall on the western Channel.
Peter Snaith, Partner at WBD, commented: “We were pleased to be able to support Brittany Ferries with this contract negotiation with the government that will make available additional freight capacity and help to mitigate against transport issues in a no-deal Brexit scenario. Whilst no one can be sure what the eventual outcome of the Brexit discussions will be, taking steps like these to keep the UK importing and exporting components or end products in our manufacturing supply chain or medicines or food should help ensure certainty of supply and go some way towards limiting the potential damage to the UK economy.”
Christophe Mathieu Brittany Ferries CEO commented: “WBD, and Peter in particular, provided excellent legal advice and worked seamlessly with our team to handle the negotiations for this contract professionally throughout, despite the extremely tight time pressures involved. Our priority is to prepare for a no-deal Brexit and to create additional capacity. By increasing the number of rotations on routes like Le Havre – Portsmouth we will be able to meet the Department for Transport’s Brexit requirement.”
Brittany Ferries operates 12 ships and 11 routes, linking the UK with France, the UK with Spain, France with Ireland and Ireland with Spain. It carries around 2.5 million passengers every year, 85 percent of whom are British, as well as around 210,000 freight units.