Herbert Smith appointed to advise HS2 on new UK rail project

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has scored a high-profile mandate to advise High Speed Two (HS2), the developer of Britain’s new north-south high-speed rail line.

The appointment will see the firm provide infrastructure, construction and rolling stock advice on what will become the first new railway north of London in 120 years.

HSF’s UK and EMEA infrastructure head Patrick Mitchell will lead the firm’s team on the development, which is one of the largest infrastructure projects in Europe. He will work alongside partners Nicholas Downing, Adrian Clough and Julia Pyke.

Construction on the first phase, a new railway line between London and the West Midlands, is expected to begin in 2017, with the line set to open in 2026.

In addition to HS2, the firm is acting on a number of other infrastructure projects including a role advising a consortium bidding to acquire the new £4.1bn Thames Tideway Tunnel super sewer in London.

Work on the controversial 15-mile (25km) tunnel, which has been proposed by Thames Water, will start in 2016 and finish in 2023.

Previously, HSF advised London & Continental Railways (LCR) on the restructuring and subsequent auction and sale of High Speed 1, officially known as the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and the UK’s first high-speed railway line.