Our People

Mark Swindell

Rock Infrastructure, Founding Partner
Rock Rail, Chief Executive Officer

Mark founded Rock Infrastructure in 2011 after a highly successful career in law at Clifford Chance (10 years) and DLA Piper (18 years).

Mark has over 35 years of experience working in the City of London, New York and Europe. For the last 27 years, he has specialised in developing innovative funding, financing and procurement strategies for major infrastructure projects and has worked on many ground-breaking PPP transactions. He has worked to ensure that the interests of the public and private sectors are aligned to create long-term, privately financed projects with incentives which reward success against output driven objectives and which create substantially improved public sector value for money.

As a lawyer, Mark created and led DLA Piper’s Commercial and Projects group, which grew to 130 lawyers across Europe. This group completed over 160 PPP projects in ten different territories over ten years. In 2007, he became global head of the Infrastructure and Defence Sector at DLA Piper and was the principal editor of the five DLA Piper European PPP Reports published between 2005 and 2010. The last of these were sponsored by EPEC and the European Investment Bank. He also chaired a market leader European round table conference.

Since founding Rock Infrastructure, Mark has been the principal advisor delivering the Mersey Gateway Bridge Project having been appointed Commercial Director in 2011 and has also been involved in the transformation of CAE’s Medium Support Helicopter Training Facility PPP at RAF Benson. Having set up Rock Rail in 2014, Mark developed a joint venture with SL Capital to invest over £2billion in new rolling stock for the UK, alongside long-term institutional investors.

Notable transactions

Rail

  • Mark is the ultimate commercial lead on the delivery of the Company Management Agreements and director representing Rock Rail interests on the boards of Rock Rail Moorgate, Rock Rail East Anglia and Rock Rail South Western Plcs.
  • South Western – Led the commercial and financial negotiations for Rock Rail with First MTR and Bombardier on this £1bn transaction to buy and finance 750 Aventra cars for use on the South Western franchise.
  • East Anglia – Led the commercial and financial negotiations for Rock Rail with Abellio and Stadler on this £700m transaction to buy and finance almost 400 Flirt cars for use on the Greater Anglia franchise.
  • Moorgate – Led the commercial and financial negotiations for Rock Rail with GTR and Siemens on this £300m transaction to buy and finance 150 Desiro City cars for use on the TSGN franchise.
  • Intercity Express Programme – Acted as lead advisor for Agility Trains (Hitachi, John Laing, Barclays Private Equity) for 3 years from early in the competitive bid phase to the appointment (and re-appointment in March 2011) of this consortium as preferred bidder on this innovative private finance train service provision procurement.
  • Acquisition and financing of rolling stock for the Southern Region in the UK – Worked with Veolia Transport to develop the first PPP structure to purchase £500 million of rolling stock from Bombardier on a privately financed basis.
  • British Railway Franchises – Advised HM Government and a range of private sector rail franchises on developing rail franchises and access agreements under the UK regulations, including structuring access to private finance to support infrastructure and rolling stock upgrade investments in 20 year franchises.

Transport

  • Mersey Gateway Bridge – Commercial Director of procurement team responsible for:

Negotiating funding terms with the Department of Transport and seeking clearance through the Treasury Approval Process

Devising an innovative procurement strategy that delivered the best value for money DBFO crossing as well as allowing the private sector to support the Mersey Gateway Crossings.

Taking the lead in all commercial, legal and financial negotiations with bidders to bring the project to a successful conclusion.

  • Olympic Delivery Authority – A lead advisor on procurement strategy for the construction of the aquatics centre, velodrome and transport infrastructure for the 2012 London Olympic Games.
  • California Bay Area Rapid Transport System – Advised Balfour Beatty, Mitsui and Citigroup on the development of the Oakland Airport Connector PPP project, an automated people mover project, connecting the BART system to the Oakland Airport.
  • South Hants and Leeds Tram Schemes – Worked with the Local Authorities on developing the procurement strategy for these Tram schemes.
  • Birmingham City Council Road Maintenance and Street Lighting project – Acted as the senior advisor to Birmingham City Council on developing the strategic structure of this project.
  • M25 Orbital Motorway – Advised the funders supporting Ferrovial and Laing O’Rourke on their bid for the right to widen and maintain the M25 London orbital motorway.
  • Berlin Embassy – Acted as lead advisor to HM Government on the Berlin Embassy which was the Foreign Office’s first PPP.

Defence

  • Ministry of Defence Simulator Training Facility at RAF Benson – developed the first privately financed major training facilities, namely, Medium Support Helicopter at RAF Benson for CAE, Serco and HSBC.
  • Ministry of Defence Simulator Training Facility at Faslane – developed the first marine (Astute Class Submarine) training at Faslane for CAE/Alenia Marconi and Babcock.
  • Ministry of Deference Construction Vehicle Support Project – acted as lead advisor for the successful consortium of Amey and Babcocks on developing a ‘just in time’ business model for the provision of construction type vehicles to the MOD.
  • MOD Military Flight Training Schools (MFTS) – advised KKR and Bombardier on bidding for this project.

Healthcare

  • Hereford Hospital – Advised Alfred McAlpine, Atkins and HSBC on one of the first UK general Healthcare Hospital PPP Projects.