Medway Council has issued a voluntary ex ante transparency notice (VEAT) over its procurement of law firm Pinsent Masons to a £700,000-£900,000 contract to provide legal advice in relation to the Housing Infrastructure Fund and Grant Determination Agreements (GDA).
The move follows the council’s successful application for £170m Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) grant funding. It has subsequently procured Pinsent Masons for Environmental, Road and Rail legal services pertaining to the GDA.
Medway said: “Pinsent Masons were on the approved panel of Homes England for legal team who have a proven track record in negotiating and understand the mechanisms of the Grant Determination Agreements.
“Beyond their initial appointment, Pinsent Masons have continued to work on the Grant Determination, advising on planning and property matters pertaining to the delivery of Road, Rail and Strategic Environmental Management, these matters are intrinsically linked to the grant determination agreement and have been able to provide detailed advice to ensure that Medway Council adhere to the terms of the GDA.”
It added: “The Grant Determination Agreement governs the entire delivery of the HIF interventions, the terms of the agreement are commercial and strictly confidential, Pinsent Masons being an approved legal practice have a deep understanding of the GDA and can advise on all aspects of the terms and clauses this will ensure that Medway Council delivers a viable scheme.
“Medway Council is therefore of the understanding that due to the initial appointment of Pinsent Masons and continued work to date, a change in contractor would result in substantial duplication costs and a timely delay in the programme which would render the programme non-deliverable against the completion date set within the grant.”