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            Road Transport & Logistics

            Keeping on the right side of the legal challenges spanning road haulage, freight and logistics can sometimes feel at odds with completing projects and running a business. For Transport advice, please contact us on 0161 603 5389

            Haulage and coach companies have an obvious need for transport regulatory advice, however where we find our expertise is of most importance is 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.

            Head of the firm's road transport and logistics team Vikki Woodfine "knows her stuff," according to interviewees. She is adept at representing clients during road-related health and safety prosecutions as well as advising on regulatory compliance matters.
            – Chambers & Partners 2018

            DWF advises PSV and HGV 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 here >

            Public Inquiries 

            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 experienced in attending public inquiries before the Traffic Commissioner.

            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 UK Border Force to ensure that civil penalties are avoided entirely or kept to an absolute minimum. Find out more about clandestine entrants here >

            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 DVSA 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.

            Legal Insight

            State aid law: European Commission amends COVID-19 Temporary Framework to faciltate recapitalisation aid and subsordinated debt awards

            15 May 2020

            In a move which is likely to facilitate multiple European government bail outs of airlines, sports, leisure and hospitality companies and possibly even carmakers and others under the most acute pressure from the COVID-19 crisis, the European Commission has further amended its State aid Temporary Framework to allow for recapitalisation aid and subordinated debt instruments.  The new rules contain limitations on dividends and acquisitions by businesses who benefit from recapitalisation aid and include a requirement for conditions relating to climate change and the digital agenda to be reported to the European Commission.  While the UK remains in the Brexit transition period (currently due to expire on 31 December 2020), these rules apply to it as well.

            Vikki Woodfine

            • Partner // Head of Road Transport & Logistics // Head of Regulatory Compliance & Investigations (North West)

            Joanne Witheford

            • Deputy Head of Road Haulage & Logistics // Senior Associate
            Connected Services offers a range of stand-alone consultative services that complement our legal offering in each of our core sectors.
            DWF 360

            DWF 360

            As the technology arm of DWF Law we help you use technology to reduce your cost and improve customer service. Our suite of market leading risk mitigation products are all built on our robust, scaleable and flexible software platform, EvoSuite.

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