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High Speed 2 Line

Question for Department for Transport

UIN 16832, tabled on 18 November 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which legal advisers and barristers have been used by (a) HS2 Ltd and (b) his Department on matters relating to High Speed 2 since the start of the project; and how much each such adviser or barrister (i) has been paid and (ii) is owed.

Answered on

23 November 2015

Since the start of the High Speed 2 project, High Speed Two (HS2) Limited and the Department for Transport have used two types of external legal advisers – solicitors (including parliamentary agents) and barristers.

High Speed Two (HS2) Limited has appointed solicitors Eversheds LLP in relation to property & planning and general commercial work, and Herbert Smith Freehills in relation to construction. High Speed Two (HS2) Limited has indicated to the Department that to date it has paid £2,202,410.59 to Eversheds LLP and £763,064.07 to Herbert Smith Freehills. Both figures exclude VAT.

The Department has appointed a joint team of solicitors/parliamentary agents from Winckworth Sherwood and Eversheds LLP to provide support in relation to Phase One of the High Speed 2 project. To date, it has paid £4,019,170.18 to Winckworth Sherwood and £3,022,492.30 to Eversheds. These fees are correct up to the end of September 2015 and are exclusive of VAT.

The Department has previously, or continues to, instruct the following barristers to support the HS2 Phase One hybrid Bill: Tim Mould QC, James Strachan QC, Lisa Busch, Richard Wald, John Jolliffe, Jacqueline Lean and Richard Turney. Each barrister is remunerated at government hourly rates agreed with the Attorney General. The current spend to date on these barristers in relation to the Bill is £1,404,978.96 and is exclusive of VAT.

Since approximately 2010, the Department has also instructed a number of barristers on other HS2 work. These barristers will have been remunerated at government hourly rates agreed with the Attorney General, but unfortunately it would involve disproportionate cost for the Department to provide precise figures.

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