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Network Rail has embarked on a review of its panel of external law firms following its recent securing of a £35bn funding injection.

The review is being led by group company secretary Hazel Walker, with the rail infrastructure company asking tendering firms to come up with more efficient ways of delivering their services.

The process will be completed by September 2009, and successful firms will be informed immediately.

Network Rail would not comment on the firms on its existing panel, but Linklaters and Thomas Eggar have both acted for the organisation in the past.

Linklaters advised the company on its acquisition of the assets of Railtrack, the privatised rail monopoly that went into administration in 2001. The last panel re-tender took place in 2005-06.

Network Rail’s funding was agreed earlier this month with The Office of Rail Regulation until March 2014, under the Control Period 4 Delivery Plan. Money from the plan will go towards improving the country’s rail network, including major projects such as the £600m redevelopment of Birmingham New Street station.

Last year Network Rail entered into a £500m joint venture with the Kier Group, with Clifford Chance (CC) and Denton Wilde Sapte taking key roles on the deal. The venture saw Network Rail appoint Kier as its preferred partner to regenerate seven brownfield sites across London and Southeast England, with a total development value of more than £500m.

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