HS1 nabs first GC from Porterbrook

Rail infrastructure company High Speed 1 (HS1) has recruited its first general counsel since spinning off as an independent entity from London Continental Railways (LCR) last year.

Lucy Lazzeri took up the post on 5 September, joining from Porterbrook Leasing Company, where she was a senior legal adviser. She was previously an assistant solicitor at Shoosmiths.

At HS1 Lazzeri takes over a modest in-house team including a secondee lawyer from Herbert Smith and a part-time solicitor.

“It’s a small team and part of my remit will be to look at building its structure,” Lazzeri said.

HS1 became an independent company last November after it was sold by LCR for £2.1bn as a 50-50 deal between Canadian pension funds Borealis Infrastructure and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

Herbert Smith is the company’s main external legal adviser, but Lazzeri said she “would not rule out” appointing a formal panel of firms.

Lazzeri is focusing on legal challenges surrounding the upcoming London Olympics and the arrival of Deutsche Bahn services in the UK in 2013. Deutsche Bahn will become the second international user of HS1’s track, alongside Eurostar.

“The role is every bit the challenge I thought it was going to be, and I’m ready for it,” Lazzeri said.