LAWYERS behind Edinburgh’s controversial trams project are working on the new Forth crossing, it has been revealed.
DLA Piper drew up the contract for the beleaguered tram scheme with German firm Bilfinger Berger, the company employed to build the tram network.
Transport Scotland has confirmed they have paid the firm £1.9m to carry out legal work for the replacement bridge.
The work has been handed to DLA Piper despite calls for Scottish Government Ministers to do everything possible to prevent similar mistakes being made with the £1.6billion crossing project.
Edinburgh Council is said to be considering taking legal action against law firms, including DLA Piper, for the losses it has suffered during the adjudication process.
Councillor Lesley Hinds, the transport spokeswoman for the council’s Labour group, said: “I hope the Scottish Government has checked out any company it works with, particularly if they have a background in the tram project, to make sure the same mistakes are not being made on the biggest construction project in the country.
“Although there has not been a public inquiry yet, most people say one of the main mistakes was with the contract, so you have to worry that the same company that was involved with the tram project is now involved with the Forth bridge, and I would urge the Scottish Government and ministers to make sure they ask the right questions.”
Trams bosses have paid the legal firm more than £2.6 million since 2008.
Councillor Gordon Mackenzie, the city’s transport leader, previously said he had “concerns” with the way lawyers had drafted the tram project.
But, he added: “Transport Scotland has gone through the proper process of procurement for a legal firm. I’m sure other legal firms would have wanted that contract but you have to assume that DLA have won the contract fair and square.”
A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “DLA Piper was awarded a contract in March 2009 to supply legal services connected to the procurement of the Forth Replacement Crossing project. This contract was procured through the Scottish Government framework agreement for the provision of legal services.
“Following the conclusion of the FRC procurement process, DLA Piper’s involvement is now largely complete.”
Nobody at DLA Piper was available to comment.