• Our specialist lawyers provide services on the planning, procurement, design, construction, maintenance and management of highways (including the formation of Teckal companies). We work closely with our clients and technical consultants to advise on all elements of highways matters.

    We provide comprehensive technical support and practical advice to clients, applying our specialist expertise in highways matters to deliver projects of all scopes and sizes. We understand that highways can form one component of a wider project.

    Our teams have specialist knowledge and experience advising in relation to the relevant legislation including:

    • EU State aid rules
    • Highways Act 1980
    • The Planning Act 2008
    • Public Contracts Regulations 2015

    We are experts in all forms of construction contracts. We also have extensive experience of advising on projects, including PFIs/ PPPs. 

    Our planning and highways specialists advise on the full spectrum of highways matters, including infrastructure delivery, highways agreements under section 38/278 of the Highways Act 1980, stopping-up and diversion applications, public right of way issues and maintenance and ownership obligations in relation to highways.

    We are vastly experienced in advising Local Government on developing their highways outsourcing contracts for and through procurement. We have advised on more than 17 local authority highways procurements of more complex forms of contracting arrangements. We appreciate a range of legal skills are required and are equipped to provide these skills.

    Our expertise in highways was recognised when we were asked to contribute to the standard form Highways Maintenance Contract and guidance notes for use by local authorities as part of the Department for Transport's Highway Maintenance Efficiency Programme Workstream 1.

    We can advise on any planning or construction disputes which arise, and have a proven track record of winning cases at adjudication as well as representing our clients in High Court trials. Our specialist procurement litigation team is highly experienced not only at running procurement challenges through to settlement or High Court trial, but also at providing ad hoc advice throughout a tender process around the management of procurement risk.

    Our expert insurance disputes team also advises a number of local authority clients in defending highways claims.

  • Regeneration project

    We are advising a local authority on its large housing & regeneration project to deliver a new scheme of 2,750 homes, two new schools, new community infrastructure, new highways, new bridges over a major motorway, new commercial space and significant green infrastructure.

    We are advising on all legal aspects from considering options and structuring project through to full delivery, most likely through a corporate joint venture with a private sector developer for a 30 year period. 

    Highways Contracts

    We are the lead advisor to a county council in relation to the CD procurement of the core highways maintenance term contractor engaged under an amended form of NEC3 TSC; the restricted procedure procurement of a consultant to provide transport planning services; the CD procurement of a consultant to provide client support services including design and project management to supplement the 'thin' Council commissioning team using an amended form of NEC3 PSC; and the restricted procedure procurement of a highways works framework.

    We are advising county council on a CD procurement for an integrated highways service provider using an amended form of NEC3 TSC.

    We are the lead advisor to a county council in relation to separate restricted procedure procurements for bridges and structures integrated service provider, surfacing term contractors and specialist tunnel service provider all using amended forms of the NEC3 TSC.

    Highways Co-operation Arrangements

    We are advising a county council on establishing a Highways Joint Venture co-operation arrangement with another Council under the Teckal exemption through which the JV body would deliver efficiencies in highways-related services back to the authorities. The overall value of the resource contributions over the 10-15 year duration is estimated between £19m to £31m.

    Procurement

    We are advising a county council on the procurement to award a contract of up to 11 years for Highways and Transportation Services Contract with an estimated value between £150m to £450m.

    We are advising a county council on the procurement to appoint a provider for a £150m 7-year highway services term contract.

    We are advising a city council on the award of a 10-year £100m Highways Agency Managing Agent Contract involving the outsourcing of the majority of their highways services.

    State aid

    We are advising a county council about the application of the State aid rules to a number of projects that will add new or improve existing slip roads to the M40 and make related improvements to the nearby local road network. We are instructed so that the council can be satisfied that the projects are State aid compliant. We have advised other councils on similar projects, for example, in relation to an upgrade of Junction 10 of the M27, required so that it could manage the volume of traffic to be generated from Welborne Garden Village.

    Planning 

    We are advising a District Council in relation to the compulsory purchase of land required to construct a new spine road, in order to facilitate comprehensive redevelopment in the district by enabling public highway access to a mixed-use redevelopment site.

    We are advising a District Council on the construction of a relief road to serve a business park including all the necessary side road orders and dealing with the compulsory purchase of land required for the road.

    We advised a unitary authority on a complex Agreement pursuant to section 38/278 Highways Act 1980 that included the construction of a road bridge over the main railway line to serve a major residential development and all associated negotiations with Network Rail. 

    Teckal companies 

    We are advising a local authority in relation to their outsourced highways services contract and providing input in relation to its future options. A wholly owned Teckal company was selected as the option and we are now advising the Council and supporting it to prepare for the transfer of people, assets, and services in April 2021 and creating a new client role and function.

    We are advising a county council on establishing a Highways Joint Venture co-operation arrangement with another Council under the Teckal exemption through which the JV body would deliver efficiencies in highways-related services back to the authorities. The overall value of the resource contributions over the 10-15 year duration is estimated between £19m to £31m. 

    PFI/ PPP

    We advised three local authorities on their joint 25-year £225m street lighting PFI Project.

    We are advising a local authority in relation to its 25 year PFI Highways contract worth approximately £730 million. We have advised the local authority on a number of potential disputes, including a dispute over Milestone completion and whether previously certified Milestones are set aside and the level of performance required by the Service Provider.

    Disputes 

    We acted on behalf of a large local authority in respect of an ongoing dispute with the Contractor in relation to a Highways Project where the Project Manager instructed and/or accepted 52 compensation events and certified payment of their direct costs. The Contractor initially sought payment for the compensation events through a smash and grab adjudication which we successfully defeated. When a second adjudication was launched, we instructed an expert engineer and won again.

    We are advising a local authority on a claim for £900,000 for payments made by mistake arising from an NEC highways contract.

    We are acting for a consortium of construction companies in a procurement challenge to Transport for London’s award of a £1bn PFI design, finance, build, operate and maintain contract for the construction of the new Silvertown Tunnel under the Thames. The automatic suspension on contract signature has been lifted by consent and the claim is proceeding as a damages claim with trial expected in June 2021. 

    Liability claims 

    We work with a range of local authorities in defending liability claims brought under the Highways Act 1980, and are highly experienced in compiling the documentary and witness evidence which is required to successfully argue a s58 defence. The claims we have handled range from minor injury or vehicle damage-only claims, up to cases involving life-threatening injuries.

    We also bring our expertise to bear in drafting indemnities and claims handling protocols to be incorporated into contracts to outsource highways inspection and maintenance functions.

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