The government has already spent over £3m on legal fees for High Speed 23 – even though construction work will not get underway until 2017.
In a Freedom of Information Act response, the Department for Transport said it had spent £1.3m each with lawyers Winckworth Sherwood and Eversheds up to December 2013.
The firms advised on and prepared elements of the hybrid Bill for HS2 which was published on 25 November 2013.
The government also spent £330,818.59 on barristers from Landmark Chambers and Thirty Nine Essex Street which advised on environmental law and petition management, worked on judicial reviews against the project and will represent the government when the bill reaches select committee stage.
The DfT also spent £366,036 on its Treasury Solicitors department which advised the government on the judicial review bought against the HS2 project, but it said it could recover a “significant proportion” of those fees from claimants because it obtained a costs order against them.
None of the figures include VAT and they do not include the legal bills of HS2 Ltd which is a separate body.