Olympic plans shrug off threat of terrorism

Lawyers for London’s Olympic bid vowed to go full steam ahead with the Olympic plans, despite the terrorist attacks on London last week.

London 2012 commercial and legal director Charlie Wijeratna told The Lawyer: “Hopefully, the Olympics will pick people up [after the attacks] when they think about what’s around the corner.”

The Olympic Bill is due to have its first hearing in the House of Commons towards the end of this week. That will put in place the Olympic Delivery Authority, the body that handles the infrastructure work.

“We’ve done the transactional legal work and the joint venture agreement is in place. No OCOG [Organising Committee of the Olympic Games] has been set up within three weeks of a decision, but we’re ready to go,” said Wijeratna, before hastily adding: “And the other message is that we’re not hiring.”

Celebrations were taking place across the City and in particular in the firms that have played a key role in securing the bid.

London 2012’s ‘major partners’ – Ashurst, Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer – all provided the bid with a substantial amount of legal advice in exchange for ‘supportership’ rights.

Freshfields acted as general corporate counsel to the bid, while Ashurst advised on infrastructure and employment work, with Clifford Chance working on commercial and sponsorship deals and branding work.

Clifford Chance also offered London 2012 the use of its Canary Wharf facilities, including the meeting room on the 30th floor, which played host to all of its major press conferences.