Freshfields tracks down Tube adviser role

FRESHFIELDS has fought off bids from rival City firms to land the coveted post of legal adviser to London Transport and the Government for the proposed £7bn public-private partnership funding of investment in the Tube.

To get the work, the firm had to fight its way through a tough selection process that involved a presentation to London Transport together with representatives of the Department of the Environment, Trade and the Regions, the Treasury and the Treasury Task Force.

The successful Freshfields team – which acted on the Railtrack flotation and the Jubilee Line extension – will be led by partner Richard Phillips. He said he “hoped the job would be challenging and fun… if lawyers are allowed to have fun”.

While refusing to speculate on the fees that the appointment would generate, Phillips added that it was “a very large undertaking which would involve a high number of lawyers”.

The Government's aim is to generate more than £7bn of long-term investment, using private sector finance and increased government funding, in a bid to address the chronic underfunding of London Underground.

It is expected that up to three private sector contracts will be awarded to companies to maintain and modernise the Tube's infrastructure, which will stay in public hands.