Richard Rogers Partnership, Denton Corker Marshall, Rafael Vinoly and Kohn Pedersen Fox are among the heavyweight practices longlisted, alongside Foster and Partners, Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners and CZWG, for the £55m courts complex in Manchester. The Lord Chancellor's Department received a total of 48 expressions of interest.
The scheme is unusual as it is separating the appointment of an architect from the competition for a developer. The department believes this will ensure high quality of design.
The Lord Chancellor's Department is expected to select three architects from the list, as the 40-60 courts could be built on up to three sites. It has not yet been decided whether it will be necessary to have more than one developer.
Several Manchester-based architects have teamed up with national names to strengthen their bids for the scheme, as the original European Union Official Journal advertisement called for practices with court service experience and an international reputation.
Local practice Hurd Rolland Partnership with renowned architect CZWG is among the partnerships on the longlist.
It is expected that the architects will be selected towards the end of next month or the beginning of November.