Simmons & Simmons, a long-time adviser to Network Rail, is in danger of losing yet another key client, following the firm's dumping from the Ministry of Defence panel earlier this year.
Linklaters, which is advising the Department of Transport on the Crossrail project, and Scottish firm MacRoberts, are also contenders for the final two panel places.
The Lawyer understands that Nabarro Nathanson has lost its panel place. Successful law firms are now finalising the terms on which they will work for Network Rail, with negotiations expected to end in the next few months.
Conflicts meant many firms with expertise in the rail sector were unable to apply for places. Allen & Overy advised the Strategic Rail Authority on the refinancing and restructuring of Network Rail, Herbert Smith acts for London & Continental Railways, while Ashurst is advising Cross London Rail Links, the company leading the Crossrail project.
Network Rail and the firms involved declined to comment.