London Underground picks five firms to join legal panel

Berwin Leighton Paisner

, Bird & Bird, Hammonds, Manches and Nicholson Graham & Jones have been appointed to the London Underground legal panel.

The firms, which previously did not have relationships with London Under- ground, will work alongside Herbert Smith.

As revealed in The Lawyer (11 August), Herbert Smith replaced London Underground’s longstanding adviser Freshfields Bruck-haus Deringer as its principal law firm.

Sarah Atkins, London Underground’s acting head of legal services, who led the review, told The Lawyer: “I’m very much looking forward to working with the panel. I have every confidence the panel, together with Herbert Smith, will provide London Under-ground with the sound legal and business advice that it needs.”

Freshfields advised Lon-don Underground on the Tube Lines public private partnership (PPP), as well as on two Metronet PPPs, which concluded earlier this year.

The remit of the five additional firms’ includes advising London Underground on smaller issues arising out of PPP and project finance initiative work.

Commenting on his firm’s appointment, chair of Bird & Bird Hamish Sandison said: “We’re thrilled with this appointment. It fits extremely well with our ambition to be the leading commercial law firm for the public sector, and reinforces our growing strength in the transport and construction sectors. We look forward to helping London Under-ground deliver a better tube for London.”

The appointments complete the second and final stage of London Under-ground’s panel review. The panel review, first revealed in The Lawyer (16 June), was triggered by the transfer of London Underground to Transport for London (TfL). At the same time, London Underground’s legal department underwent a reorganisation, resulting in 48 employees out of 85 staff moving to TfL.