Buddle Findlay, Simpson Grierson team up to advise on Auckland Light Rail project

The project is expected to help foster the development of a fully integrated transport network

Buddle Findlay, Simpson Grierson team up to advise on Auckland Light Rail project
Jennifer Caldwell, Bill Loutit

Buddle Findlay and Simpson Grierson have teamed up to become the joint legal advisors on the landmark Auckland Light Rail (ALR) project.

The two firms will provide guidance on the consenting and property acquisition strategies that will support the project in its planning and design phases. According to ALR project director Tommy Parker, the light rail is set to measure 24km in length, and will link commuters to job centres and to the Auckland Airport.

Half of the ALR will be underground, and it is expected to halve travel time “between the central city and most destinations on its route,” Parker added. The project is also set to bolster housing and business development, improving access to “new quality homes in growing suburbs” and “becoming a catalyst for neighbourhood regeneration and people-friendly streets.”

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“The project is a timely response to the transport challenges posed by growth in Tāmaki Makaurau and presents an exciting opportunity for the development of a fully integrated transport network,” said Jennifer Caldwell, national chair of Buddle Findlay and a resource management partner at the firm.

Simpson Grierson infrastructure partner Bill Loutit added that the combined experience of both firms in relation to consenting large infrastructure projects in complex urban environments would “help ALR unlock the full range of connectivity and urban development benefits the project offers.”

“I am hugely enthusiastic about the opportunity for our combined team to work on this inter-generational project to support the growth of Tāmaki Makaurau in a sustainable, planned way,” he said.

The firms were appointed as joint legal advisors following what they described as a “competitive procurement process.” They will coordinate with ALR and an alliance of Aurecon and Arup to “plan, design and consent the next phases” of the growing rapid transit network.

“We appointed Buddle Findlay and Simpson Grierson as legal advisers because we have confidence that they will bring the necessary vision, experience, capacity, understanding and commitment to assist the alliance to deliver the project,” Parker said.

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