The project is shortly to enter the third and final stage of the procurement process when one of three shortlisted bidders will be selected.
Ashurst is advising one of the three, the Oceancrest consortium of Blackfriars Investments, Elliott Bernard, the Lefrak Organisation, Royal London Asset Management and the Bank of Scotland. Real estate managing partner Martin Wright is leading the team.
Linklaters has been advising the Lend Lease consortium, another of the bidders, since last summer. The team is being led by real estate and construction partner Anne Byrne.
The third bidder, the Key Property Investment (KPI) consortium of property developers St Modwen and Kuwaiti investor Salhia Real Estate, has not yet appointed a legal adviser.
Herbert Smith is advising the London Borough of Southwark, led by real estate partner James Barnes and corporate partner Mark Newberry. The firm began working on the project in early 2005 following a competitive tender process.
The £1.5bn development is expected to take between 10 and 15 years to complete and covers a 170-acre area of London.
Final details will be confirmed when the bidder is chosen, but are expected to include 75,000sq metres of retail space, 5,300 homes, five new open spaces, two tram routes, a market square and a new city academy.
The London Borough of Southwark originally appointed development company Southwark Land Regeneration to run the project in June 2000, but shelved the plans in April 2002 because they could not agree terms.