“The deposit of the Hybrid Bill is the culmination of months and years of hard work by everyone in our organisation. It is your dedication, skills and sheer hard work which has enabled us to deposit a Bill we can all be proud of and it will ultimately allow us to build a new north–south rail link which will revitalise Britain’s rail network and become a real engine for growth.”

Alison Munro | Managing Director Development, HS2 Ltd

High Speed Two (HS2) – Authorisation

Client: HS2 Ltd and CH2M (Development Partner)


HS2 is a proposed multi-billion pound high speed rail scheme connecting London to Manchester and Leeds. Phase 1, from London to Birmingham, received Royal Assent in February 2017.  Work continues on the parliamentary process for the Bill for Phase 2a, Birmingham to Crewe, which was deposited in Parliament on 17 July 2017.  CJ Associates has provided expert strategic, technical, commercial and management services to key workstreams across the HS2 project, including Hybrid Bill, stakeholder engagement and consultation, petition negotiation and commercial management, and project and technical authorship and management.

Key Services

Hybrid Bill preparation and deposit in Parliament

Our embedded team managed the process of the Hybrid Bill preparation and the five subsequent Additional Provisions, and their deposition in Parliament for Phase 1 – this was the largest ever Hybrid Bill deposited. The Bill for Phase 2a (to Crewe) was deposited in Parliament on 17 July 2017.  We are now managing the preparation for its passage through to Royal Assent. This work includes:

  • Initial strategic planning and development of specifications for Bill documents
  • Liaising with five different engineering consultancies, lawyers, parliamentary counsel and parliamentary agents
  • Providing evidence to the Parliamentary Examiners and Standing Order Committees
  • Managing the delivery of evidence from HS2 and petitioners to both Commons and Lords select committees
  • Preparing consultation and Bill documents, including Information Papers and Statements of Case

Ensuring compliance with Standing Orders, input into risk management processes, quality assurance and preparing and implementing the deposit logistics strategy.

Stakeholder engagement

We worked closely with HS2 on the strategy and planning for engaging with key stakeholders along the proposed route, including local authorities, statutory bodies, landowners and other affected parties. This work included:

  • Stakeholder identification and mapping
  • Stakeholder gap analysis
  • Development of systems for recording all communications with stakeholders
  • Delivery of one-to-one engagement with affected landowners
  • Reviewing stakeholder liaison plans and ongoing communications with key stakeholders to identify and mitigate potential petition issues

Petition negotiation and commercial management

As Bill preparation progressed we advised on, and were responsible for, the petitions management strategy, including the organisational structure design, planning, and scheduling for this essential activity. As part of the team negotiating with major organisations and the associated complex commercial agreements, we were responsible for:

  • Identifying, influencing and establishing relationships with stakeholders to communicate the requirements of the scheme and establish appropriate mitigation strategies
  • Negotiating agreements to formalise the relationships, roles and responsibilities between the parties
  • Leading negotiations and directing legal and technical support in developing critical commercial agreements, ensuring compliance with project governance and, where necessary, appropriate acceptance of the HS2 Ltd Board and Government (DfT & HMT)
  • Petition management, while protecting the requirements of the scheme and achieving value for money through appropriate mitigation strategies
  • Supporting and coordinating the scheme’s defence against petitioners through the House of Commons and House of Lords select committees
  • Post Royal Assent, managing the delivery of subsequent workstreams and agreements with major stakeholders
  • Drafting and presenting context reports on petitioners and their Undertakings and Assurances to HS2 delivery teams
  • Transfer of knowledge to delivery teams

Project and technical management

Our project and technical management services and advice for HS2 have included:

  • Technical interface engagement with principle stakeholders, including local authorities, Network Rail, TfL, train operating companies, Highways Agency (England), utilities companies and the Canal & Rivers Trust
  • Developing and managing the project execution plan, including design, procurement, survey and construction work activities for the utilities programme
  • Managing professional consultants for design, engineering, railway systems and environmental work, including recruiting and building the HS2 utilities team
  • Overseeing the information management systems and commitments register for the HS2 utilities team, ensuring design and environmental mitigation is reflected.
  • Participating in decision-making panels, steering groups, design and environmental consultations, HS2 board meetings and representing the utilities team on HS2 programme and commercial committees.

Value Added

The programme for achieving Royal Assent of the HS2 Phase 1 Hybrid Bill was exceptionally challenging. Our team was instrumental in achieving the target deposition date and gaining acceptance of compliance from the Commons Standing Orders Committee.

The management of the subsequent five Additional Provisions to address petitioner issues and required changes, was controlled by our team through to Royal Assent.

We advised HS2 on managing the entire parliamentary process and provided the design for a new directorate to manage this process. We also advised on necessary processes to manage the large number of petitions expected for the Hybrid Bill.

Our commercial negotiation and consents skills and experience informed the preparation and agreement of imperative Undertakings and Assurances with local authorities, statutory bodies and other major stakeholders.  This was invaluable in removing petitioners to the Hybrid Bill from the parliamentary process to achieve earliest feasible Royal Assent. We successfully negotiated pivotal agreements with the main local authorities, Network Rail and Transport for London and others.

HS2 Project Description