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North West local authorities to procure new £10m panels of solicitors

The North West Legal Consortium has begun the procurement exercise for a new solicitors framework to replace its current arrangements, which end on 31 March 2016.

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council is acting as the lead contracting authority for the consortium, which has 43 members drawn from the public sector in the North West.

The new contract will run from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2020 and is estimated to be worth up to £10m. There will be five lots:

  • Lot 1 - Civil Litigation, Prosecutions and Regulatory: to include construction litigation, negligence proceedings, possession proceedings, licensing appeals and employment advice and litigation;
  • Lot 2- Property, Planning and Environment: to include all conveyancing, regeneration and highways advice;
  • Lot 3 - Corporate Governance, Ethical Standards and Information Law: to include organisational governance issues, data protection advice including advice on use of social media by council, councillors or third parties involving the council/council officers;
  • Lot 4 - Projects, Procurement and Commercial: to include all commercial contracts and company law;
  • Lot 5 - Adult Social Care and Education.

Sefton said there would also be an additional potential award of partner status to eligible bidders. The current partner firms are DAC Beachcroft, DLA Piper and Weightmans.

In March 2010 the NWLC appointed 31 law firms across 11 panels. In August 2013 it decided to extend the framework agreement for solicitors for a further two years.

The Invitation to Tender states that there is a possibility of membership extending during the course of the framework to other organisations “including local authorities, police and fire authorities, central and local government arm's length bodies, agencies and controlled companies, non-departmental bodies, education providers and NHS bodies, primarily but not exclusively from across the North West of England and North Wales”.

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