Last month HS2 Ltd named a joint venture of Balfour Beatty, Vinci and Systra as preferred contractor for Old Oak Common.
Bechtel was one of three losing shortlisted bidders to miss out, along with Mace/Dragados, Bechtel and BAM Nuttall/Ferrovial Agroman.
The Sunday Times reports that the US construction giant Bechtel is suing because, it claims, the methodology for scoring bids was unfair.
Neither Bechtel nor HS2 offered any comment on the action.
Bechtel has previously benefited from other contractors crying foul on HS2 tenders. Mace complained when HS2 chose CH2M as its £170m development partner for phase 2b. Mace cite conflicts of interest, with a former HS2 employee involved in CH2M’s bid and a former CH2M director in charge of HS2. CH2M withdrew after Mace threatened to sue; Bechtel got the contract instead.
Bechtel also has previous when it comes to suing major clients. Two years ago the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority was forced to scrap a £6bn Magnox decommissioning contract with Cavendish Fluor Partnership after Bechtel and Energy Solutions lodged a legal challenge.
Energy secretary Greg Clark later admitted that the procurement process had been flawed, with “a mismatch between the work that was specified in the contract as tendered in 2012 and awarded in 2014, and the work that actually needs to be done”.