High-speed spending: DfT’s £5m HS2 legal budget

We’re all used to a bit of healthy whinging over the cost of rail fares. However, the weighty legal cost of the government’s HS2 scheme including Landmark Chambers, Eversheds and 39 Essex Street might not feel quite so negative – the external legal costs of getting the controversial rail project over the Royal Assent hurdle are set to reach £5m, with £400,000 already spent on battles in the High Court and Court of Appeal (CoA).

The HS2 scheme has proved more controversial than leaves on the line in recent months as the party conference season has put the £50bn project in the spotlight.

At Westminster, backbenchers are opposing the 250mph train scheme from London to Birmingham on the basis that costs are getting out of control. That £5m legal spend is also bound to rise; after all, that is for just phase one of the project.

Landmark Chambers secured a season ticket on the scheme, with counsel on both sides of the Supreme Court battle, as well as being heavily involved in the High Court clashes between the government and anti-HS2 campaigners.

Keep an eye on this legal journey, which looks anything but high-speed.

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