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Road Transport & Logistics

Road haulage, freight and logistics companies are operating in a hugely disrupted market where the Covid-19 pandemic is forcing governments around the world to restrict the movement of goods. Add this to an environment that is already facing wide-scale change from national economic policies and shifting trade agreements (eg Brexit) as well as the growing impact of climate change and transport technology. In this context, it's critical that you can rely on a legal advisor that knows your business and understands the complex regulatory environment you operate in.

How we can help

Understanding your legal commercial needs

Haulage and coach companies have an obvious need for transport regulatory advice, but we find our expertise is equally important to those clients who don’t necessarily operate vehicles as their primary business, such as retailers, manufacturers, construction companies and utility companies, who all have a requirement to transport their goods.

DWF advises Public Service Vehicle and Heavy Goods Vehicle operators, from international transport businesses to retailers, construction companies and utilities organisations with all of their transport needs.

Operator licensing

We offer guidance on all aspects of operator licensing, including preparing licence applications and applying to vary a licence.

Find out more about operator licensing

Action against operator licences Across the jurisdictions we operate in, we are able to advise and represent operators facing regulatory action being taken against their operator licence.

In the UK, public inquiries can result in the curtailment, suspension or revocation of operator licences so proper legal representation is essential to minimise potential damage to your business. Our team is very experienced in attending public inquiries before the Traffic Commissioner or the Transport Regulation Unit in Belfast.

Defending prosecutions

If your business runs into problems with the regulators, we can help. We defend prosecutions brought against operators or drivers, and advise on any prohibitions and fixed penalties.


Achieving the required level of compliance in transport operations is the key to successful vehicle operations. A transport compliance audit will allow you to compare your systems against industry best practice.

An audit can help an operator to demonstrate effective and continuous management of the vehicle operation, which is invaluable in the event of a public inquiry. We can advise on any improvements needed, suggest corrective actions and work with you to implement them.


Training ensures that key personnel have the right qualifications, are up to date with regulations and aware of the proper procedures. We run regular training events, from accredited courses to more informal seminars. We can organise specific training for management, drivers and directors regarding any aspect of transport compliance.

Clandestine entrants / border force penalties

Our team is experienced in handling these matters and works with the relevant national authorities to ensure that civil penalties are avoided entirely or kept to an absolute minimum.


Vehicle seizures

Vehicle seizures often come about due to concerns over smuggling or illegal operation of vehicles, and can be disastrous for an operator. In the event that a vehicle is seized, we can offer immediate assistance in trying to secure its return. We have worked across Europe on customs’ seizures and acted for operators in regulator and police seizures.

Due diligence in acquisitions

If you are acquiring a new business, you need to ensure that you are not buying one that is on the brink of a public inquiry. Our transport due diligence specialists know exactly what to look for and will produce an in-depth report on road transport compliance.

If you are looking to sell your business, a transport compliance audit would pre-empt the concerns of any potential buyers and make your business a more attractive purchase.


When a business enters into administration, its operator licence is no longer valid. DWF can help to ensure a smooth transition onto a new licence to allow the business can be sold as a going concern.

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