Linklaters lands £1bn Tube telecoms deal

Linklaters & Alliance, Freshfields and Norton Rose are all working on London Underground's latest billion pound PFI project.

Last week London Underground awarded a £1.2bn contract for radio and transmission services for the Tube network to the consortium CityLink Telecommunications which includes Motorola, Racal Electronics, Hyder Investments, Charterhouse Project Equity Investments and Fluor International.

Freshfields is advising long-term client London Underground with banking and project finance partner Perry Noble leading a team of six.

Noble says the bulk of the work has been completed, but adds: "There will be times when we will be involved again because the contracts are very complicated."

A Linklaters team of 10, led by projects partner Clive Ransomel, is advising the winning consortium.

Pat Flaherty, vice president of global development at Fluor, says: "Linklaters had been involved with two previous PFIs so we felt they had the experience in this sort of transaction."

The consortium members also used their in-house lawyers. Motorola and Fluor sent teams from the US while Racal had in-house lawyers "basically camped in our very small office", says Ransome.

Linklaters and Freshfields are already involved in a PFI project for London Underground involving the improvement and maintenance of the Tube. (The Lawyer, 18 October)

Linklaters is advising one of the consortium bidding for work while Freshfields is acting for London Transport and the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions on the partial privatisation.

Norton Rose is advising the banks funding the consortium. These are the Bank of America, Royal Bank of Scotland, Toronto Dominion and German-based Bayerische Landesbank.

Norton Rose projects partner John Ellis is leading a team of 15 on the deal, including David Crane, partner in project finance, competition partner Michael Grenfell and pension and employment partner Stuart Lippiatt.

Ellis says: "There will be some continuing work. London Underground has the ability to request to make changes but we would not expect anything major."