London Underground to launch PPP review

London Underground Limited (LUL) has promoted head of legal Sarah Atkins to director of reviews in preparation for its PPP contract review, which is slated for 2010.

Atkins will lead the review, which the company undertakes every six or seven years, to examine all PPP contracts and to identify what LUL should be procuring and the costs involved.

LUL currently has six major PPP contracts, two of which are with failed Tube operator Metronet, which operates the subsurface Bakerloo, Central and Victoria Lines, and one is with Tube Lines, which runs the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly Lines.

This particular contract review may prove to be complicated, with Metronet in the middle of administration procedures.

Atkins, who will oversee a team of 80 lawyers, consultants, engineers and finance experts, said: “We’ ll be negotiating with Metronet and Tube Lines to reach agreements on contracts. Even though Metronet is under administration, we still have to review their PPP contracts.”

Atkins added that, if the three parties fail to reach an agreement, LUL PPP arbitrator Chris Bolt will be brought in to remedy the process. Jane Mee has become acting head of legal at LUL.

Mee, who has been part of the LUL in-house team for 14 years, will be responsible for the team of 35 lawyers and will report directly to Atkins.

“Until we know exactly what’s going to happen to Metronet, Mee will remain in an acting position,” said Atkins.