Linklaters wins Railtrack work

City firm Linklaters & Paines is to handle the legal work in the flotation of Railtrack as part of the British Rail privatisation programme.

The firm will advise the Department of Transport on all aspects of the flotation, including matters relating to titles to land and property, European law that might be affected by the float, and on matters of contract.

Linklaters already has extensive experience of the BR programme. It was appointed in August 1992 to advise on restructuring and reorganising the rail industry and on the passage of the privatisation bill through Parliament.

The firm is also advising Opraf (the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising) on the process of creating 25 separate operating subsidiaries of BR.

The work for Railtrack was awarded in a separate contract, for which the firm tendered. The DoT would not confirm how many other law firms took part.

The Linklaters' team on Railtrack will be headed by corporate partners Tim Clarke and Michael Sullivan.

The controversially expensive BR programme has turned out to be a gravy train for advisers. It has cost u128 million in total up to March 1994. Of that, around u49 million has gone in legal, consultancy and accountancy fees.

Railtrack was set up as a Government-owned company on 1 April 1994, owning more than 10,200 miles of track, 9,000 bridges and viaducts and almost 1,000 tunnels. Other property, including 2,500 stations, will be leased to other private sector operators.