Slaughter and May advised Department for Transport on the tender of the new West Coast Partnership franchise for HS2
Slaughter and May advised the Department for Transport (DfT) in relation to the tender of the new West Coast Partnership (WCP) franchise for HS2, the high speed line which will ultimately connect eight of Britain’s ten largest cities. The WCP franchise will combine the existing InterCity West Coast (ICWC) franchise with the new high speed services on HS2, which are expected to begin operating in 2026. Our role involved advising DfT in relation to the development of the innovative HS2 shadow operator role, establishing a framework whereby the WCP franchisee would work with the DfT, High Speed Two Limited and other stakeholders in preparing for the transition from conventional to high speed services, and in developing the post-launch services and passenger proposition. A key part of our role was advising the DfT in relation to the complex tripartite arrangements between the DfT, High Speed Two Limited and the WCP franchisee, which involved developing original and creative solutions in conjunction with the DfT’s project team and other advisers and managing the interests of various stakeholders.