Network Rail, the private company that replaced the old Railtrack, is setting up a brand new legal panel in the autumn.
Network Rail is still instructing the law firms that were put in place under Railtrack, but all these firms will be forced to competitively retender for their work.
Railtrack used Simmons & Simmons as its main corporate adviser, Clifford Chance alongside a few small regional firms for property work and ran a regional litigation panel.
The Railtrack litigation panel was last reviewed in 2000. Kennedys was awarded the bulk of the London work alongside Beachcroft Wansbroughs and Cartwrights (Bristol), Greenwoods (Peterborough), Hay & Kilner (Newcastle), Kershaw Abbott (Manchester) and Nabarro Nathanson (Sheffield).
Network Rail did not wish to comment on its internal procurement processes.
Network Rail was formed as the successor to Railtrack at the end of last year after Railtrack emerged from special railway administration.
Linklaters was Network Rail’s chosen law firm on the Railtrack handover. The firm advised Network Rail on the acquisition of Railtrack and on its arrangement with the Strategic Rail Authority, which financed the acquisition in part.