It was recently announced that the UK Government has approved Heathrow’s proposal for a third runway. Pinsent Masons and Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) played key roles in providing legal counsel for Heathrow on the lead up to the proposal. However, there are a number of obstacles that Pinsent Masons and BLP will have to guide the UK’s largest airport through before a third runway is fully permitted. Liz Jenkins, infrastructure partner at Clyde & Co said, “Even if the House of Commons does back [Heathrow] then there will still be a number of legal hurdles to overcome before any shovels can break ground. Apart from the political opposition, there will be opposition from activist local residents, local authorities and environmentalists on a host of legal, planning and regulatory issues, such as noise and emissions.”
Heathrow has a host of firms that it regularly seeks counsel from, including Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for finance and corporate issues, Allen & Overy on financing for lenders, Herbert Smith Freehills for litigation and Eversheds for employment. In the near future, these firms are likely to be contacted frequently as the matter is not limited to financial and corporate matters but is associated heavily with political, social and environmental issues.