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Infrastructure (parliamentary) in London

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans is well-regarded for its work on the promotion and opposition to major infrastructure schemes before Parliament, particularly regarding matters related to transportation and energy. Of particular note is the team's niche work as advocates before parliamentary committees and in inquiries. Practice leader Mark Challis is 'quietly confident, friendly, and dedicated', while the team's four active parliamentary agents - Angus Walker, Nick Evans, Nick Brown, and David Mundy - have extensive expertise on a range of matters, including advising on Brexit, British Overseas Territories, and devolved administrations. Sarah Clark focuses primarily on infrastructure planning for both public and private sector clients.

Practice head(s):

Mark Challis


The team at BDB Pitmans contains a broad wealth of experience; there seems to always be someone with an answer and colleagues are not afraid of deferring to each other where necessary. They stand out for their friendly and approachable manner and attitude, making working alongside them an easy and pleasurable experience.’

Nick Evans is intelligent, thoughtful, and completely unflappable. His knowledge and understanding of public law is unsurpassed. He looks to keep things simple and gives practical but comprehensive advice. He is particularly good at thinking outside the box and applying his vast brain power to novel and unusual problems. The team lead by Mark Challis is reflective of his own demeanour and attitude – quietly confident, friendly and dedicated.’

David Mundy is a wise adviser with an excellent understanding of the client’s needs.’

‘Mark Challis is calm and experienced.’

‘Nick Brown has excellent judgement and is great fun to work with.’

They are always very responsive, thorough, and clear in their advice. Nick Evans is always helpful, responsive, offers sound advice, and provides great client care. He’ll always respond quickly and is keen to know what the outcome is that is needed in any particular case.’

Key clients

National Audit Office (NAO)

HS2 objections, including the Greater Manchester Authorities and Leeds City Council

Transport for London

Riveroak Investments (developers of Manston Airport)

Clean Air Zones Drafting legislation for Leeds Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield , Newcastle under Lyme

Highways England

London Luton Airport Limited

Peel Group

Transport for Wales

Work highlights

  • Advised the National Audit Office on public law and parliamentary matters.
  • Continued to act for a wide range of parties affected by Phases 2a and 2b of HS2, the country’s largest infrastructure project.
  • Advised Transport for London on all aspects of the authorisation Crossrail 2, including matters regarding environmental assessment and public consultation.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP is praised for its 'innovative approach to the delivery of projects'. The team is well-regarded for its work promoting, opposing and drafting private and hybrid bills for Parliament on big-ticket transport and energy infrastructure projects. The team has experience advising on a wide range of bills, including those relating to railways, ports and harbours, urban transit, aviation and waterways. Practice leader Robbie Owen focuses on promoting and opposing hybrid and private bills, while Francis Tyrrell acts for local authorities on major transportation projects. Legal director Richard Bull specialises in drafting and promoting private legislation.

Practice head(s):

Robbie Owen

Other key lawyers:

Francis Tyrrell; Richard Bull


The team has an innovative approach to the delivery of projects. They focus on the solution, not just the issues. Robbie Owen has a wealth of experience and is able to relate that in a practical way that gives confidence. He has a fantastic ability to identify key issues.’

One of the largest and most impressive planning teams in the country. There’s a huge strength in depth and a very strong lineup of partners and associates. Robbie Owen is one of the most high-profile names in infrastructure planning, and deservedly so. Francis Tyrrell is a smart and dedicated young partner.’

They have a great range of clients and work, with full-service capability and very high-quality projects. Richard Bull is the standout lawyer here. He has a unique knowledge of specialist parliamentary practice. His drafting knowledge is exceptional, and he brings all-round talents that are hard or impossible to find elsewhere.’

Key clients

University of London

Suffolk County Council

Transport for London

Heathrow Airport Limited

Highways England (formerly the Highways Agency)

Port of Tilbury London Limited

Falkland Islands Government

Cambridgeshire County Council and the Greater Cambridge Partnership

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority

West Midlands Combined Authority (formerly West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive)

Work highlights

  • Successful promotion of a private Bill for the University of London primarily to facilitate the establishment of its colleges and research institutes as universities in their own right.
  • Advising Heathrow Airport on its third runway expansion programme proposed to be authorised by a Development Consent Order.
  • Advising TfL on the implementation of the Silvertown Tunnel, a twin-bore highway tunnel beneath the Thames in east London authorised by a DCO made under the Planning Act 2008.

Sharpe Pritchard LLP

London public law specialist firm Sharpe Pritchard LLP has 'incomparable experience and expertise in all matters relating to Parliamentary practice'. The team advises on the promotion of private Acts of Parliament and acts for opponents to hybrid bills, with extensive experience advising clients on matters relating to infrastructure projects requiring statutory authorisation. The team has particular expertise in planning law, environmental and highways law and compulsory purchase. In recent years, it has seen an increase in advising on green energy work. Practice leader Alastair Lewis and Emyr Jones focus on both private and hybrid legislation frequently relating to major infrastructure projects. Aidan Dickinson is known for his work in urban and housing regeneration and compulsory purchase matters.

Practice head(s):

Alastair Lewis

Other key lawyers:

Emyr Jones; Aidan Dickinson


They are extremely knowledgeable, both on the law and on its practical application. Very safe hands.

Emyr Thomas, Andrew Swaffer, Aidan Dickinson and above all Alastair Lewis are all exceptional solicitors, who I have only good things to say of.’

They are accessible and their advice is pragmatic and based on sound knowledge and experience of the area. They are also reasonably priced.’

We find Alastair Lewis is particularly outstanding. He has a down-to-earth, friendly, and engaging manner with clients. His service delivery is based on rock-solid practical experience and first-rate knowledge of relevant law and procedure. His performance has been consistently excellent on a range of matters on which we have worked with him.’

Incomparable experience and expertise in all matters relating to Parliamentary practice over very many years, ably led by Alastair Lewis.’

Alastair Lewis is hard-working, diligent, approachable, and has a keen insight into how to present the best case for the client. Emyr Thomas is almost as accomplished as his team leader and a compelling advocate.’

Key clients

The Churchwardens of Monken Hadley Parish Church

Staffordshire County Council

The Yarlet Trust (a school)

The National Trust

Cheshire East Council

North Devon District Council

Work highlights

  • Advised the Churchwardens of Monken Hadley Parish Church on the promotion of a parliamentary private Bill.
  • Advised on the Staffordshire County Council’s objection to the High Speed Rail (West Midlands – Crewe) Bill (HS2 Phase 2A).
  • Advised on the Cheshire East Council’s objection to the High Speed Rail (West Midlands – Crewe) Bill (HS2 Phase 2A).

Winckworth Sherwood LLP

Winckworth Sherwood LLP is known for its expertise in drafting and promoting legislation, statutory instruments, byelaws, and private bills, both in the Westminster and Scottish parliaments. The 'pre-eminent' team has extensive experience with legislation promoting key infrastructure projects, and 'a deep understanding of Parliamentary processes', as well as handling Parliamentary proceedings and procedure hearings. Head of the practice Paul Irving - dubbed - 'the clear master of this sector' - specialises in drafting and advising on legislation, with particular expertise in infrastructure promotions. Key advisers include consultant Alison GorlovHazel AndersonAlex Dillistone, and Jane Wakeham, who are all highly regarded.

Practice head(s):

Paul Irving


The pre-eminent team of specialists in this sector, led by the unrivalled experience, technical skill, encyclopaedic knowledge, and impeccable judgement of Paul Irving. The team has great expertise across the transport infrastructure sector. They have a deep understanding of Parliamentary processes and exceptionally strong relationship with Parliamentary clerks.’

Paul Irving is the clear master of this sector, completely reliable and trusted to deliver every time by clients and professional colleagues. Hazel Anderson has fantastic drive and experience in environmental law elements of Parliamentary work. She is fearless and utterly dispassionate in her advice. Alex Dillistone is following in Paul Irving’s footsteps in every respect, while Jane Wakeham is a calm and authoritative specialist with incisive advice.’

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP has a track record of work promoting and opposing private and hybrid bills relating to infrastructure projects in Parliament, as well as legislative drafting. Recent work has included advising on hybrid bills regarding major rail projects, the ports industry, and green energy projects. Both practice leaders Stephen Collings and James O’Connor promote and oppose hybrid and private bills in Parliament. 'Superbly insightful' parliamentary agent Monica Peto acts for clients on key rail, port, and energy projects. Planning lawyer Stuart Andrews is also highly recommended.

Other key lawyers:

Monica Peto; Stuart Andrews


The team has a long and solid track record in the promotion and implementation of major projects. The team is therefore able to efficiently and proactively deliver the required legal support for these types of projects.

James O’Connor is a solid lawyer with great experience. Stephen Collings is high energy, experienced, and able to develop a strategy to deliver the right outcomes for the client.

A vastly experienced team of technical experts. Highly commercial approach with a particular focus on managing land and property acquisitions.’

Stephen Collings has huge experience and clarity of approach founded on a career specialising in rail and transport infrastructure development and delivery. Monica Peto is a superbly insightful Parliamentary specialist. James O’Connor has a razor-sharp brain attuned to marrying legal principle and commercial outcome.’

Monica Peto stands out as very knowledgeable in her field, with the ability to respond to specific, sometimes multifaceted queries at very short notice.’

The Eversheds Sutherland team is highly experienced; they maintain an excellent working relationship with all colleagues and communicate very effectively with colleagues new to the processes associated with consents.’

James O’Connor provides clear concise advice. His knowledge of his subject is is excellent. He is very responsive, incisive, and precise.’

Key clients

Department for Transport and HS2 Limited

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited

Transport for London and London Underground Limited

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited