New chairman will take over from Doug Oakervee in November 2009

Tube Lines chief executive Terry Morgan is to become the new chairman of London's £16bn Crossrail project.

Morgan will replace Doug Oakervee as non-executive chairman of the cross-London rail link next November year, after serving a 12-month notice period at Tube Lines.

In the meantime, Oakervee will continue to oversee the scheme, which is scheduled to start construction next year.

Crossrail expects to appoint its programme delivery partner before Christmas and project delivery partner early next year.

The scheme is also looking for a new chief executive.

The news came as Crossrail announced which firms will sit on its legal panel for property acquisition and planning. More than 13,000 properties must be bought before main construction can begin on the network.

The firms are Eversheds, Cripps Harries Hall, Wragge & Co and Ashurst.

Mark Fell, legal services director at Crossrail, said: “Only with all the necessary property and land acquisition in place can Crossrail's construction begin and therefore this legal panel will provide invaluable support to both the in-house Crossrail and [Transport for London] legal teams during this key phase of the scheme.”