Herbies gets £200m bridge over Mersey

Herbert Smith has boosted its transport practice by winning work from the lead counsel in the £200m Mersey Crossing development and a first instruction from Serco/Ned railways. Finance partner David Moore has won both clients, Halton Borough Council on the Mersey Crossing, and Serco/Ned on its bid for the Northern Rail franchise, awarded by the Strategic Rail Authority.

Herbert Smith secured the Serco/Ned instruction after advising existing client Arriva on the transfer of its Merseyside business to Serco/Ned.

More law firms are now set to cash in on the Mersey Crossing project. Halton is the lead member of the Mersey Crossing Group (MCG), a set of local borough councils and chambers of commerce, which will soon put contracts for building the crossing – intended to relieve congestion across the North-West – out to tender.

Two more law firms are set to cash in, one to advise the successful contractor and the other to represent the main banks.

A Herbert Smith team will be involved with the project until at least 2007, when the MCG envisages the crossing will be finished.

Halton council legal head John Tradewell told The Lawyer that only City firms were invited to tender for the work.
“We feel the firms we chose were the ones with a guaranteed expertise in projects of this nature,” he said.

As well at the Mersey Crossing, Herbert Smith is also working on the New Tyne Crossing for the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Authority.