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Largest housing association group in the North East to set up solicitors panel

The largest group of housing associations in the North East, Thirteen, is to set up a new legal services panel worth up to an estimated £800,000 over four years.

The group said it wished to appoint a suitably experienced panel of solicitors' firms upon whose services the current in-house legal team could call upon.

Thirteen envisages five to seven participants to the framework, which will have four lots: Property and Development; Employment Law; Corporate Finance; and Commercial and Governance.

It will call upon the panel where demand for legal services exceeds in-house capacity or is outside the scope of in-house expertise.

The new arrangements will start in September 2015 and last for three years, with the option for Thirteen to extend for an additional year.

Firms that are interested in providing services must demonstrate relevant expertise and experience, the housing association said.

Thirteen – the product of a merger between Vela and Fabrick – is also purchasing on behalf of the other members of its group: Erimus Housing, Housing Hartlepool, Tees Valley Housing, Tristar Homes and Thirteen Care and Support.

Together the various organisations own and manage more than 32,000 homes in an area spanning North Tyneside to York. The group is in the top 25 housing association groups nationally.

The deadline for receipt of tenders or requests to participate is 09:00 on 17 July 2015.

Last week the Southern Housing Group, one of the largest social housing organisations in the South East, announced the appointment of 13 law firms to its revised legal panel.

In April City West Housing Trust, based in the North West, selected Manchester City Council and 14 law firms for a framework agreement worth £1.4m over four years.

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