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Government plans creation of £50m panel for specialist rail legal services

The Government has issued a prior information notice for the creation of a £50m panel that will provide specialist rail legal services.

The procurement is being led by the Minister for the Cabinet Office acting through the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), working in partnership with the Department for Transport and the Government Legal Department.

The CCS said the potential benefits of such a framework would include:

1. Market capacity and capability — “providing a more focused framework will give the market greater availability of work”;

2. Ready access — “the framework will provide users with ready access to a pool of highly experienced rail legal advisers”;

3. Choice and competition — “it will provide users with choice and competition, and drive value for money”;

4. Reduce complexity — “by reducing the number of potential suppliers it will reduce complexity”;

5. Streamlining — “minimising the time required and administrative burden to contract work”.

The CCS added that the scope of the specialist framework would include:

  • Rail Regulatory Law;
  • Commercial and Contract Law;
  • Procurement Law;
  • Competition Law;
  • EU Law;
  • Pensions;
  • Finance;
  • Information Law;
  • Intellectual Property;
  • Property including Planning;
  • Litigation and Dispute Resolution;
  • IT — Telecoms and Digital;
  • Environmental;
  • Employment;
  • Devolution Law — Local and Sub-National.

Matters suppliers will be expected to advise on include:

  • High Priority Franchise Competition Strategic Support and Advice;
  • Franchise Procurement Interventions;
  • Direct Awards for Franchises;
  • In-Life Franchise Management and Change including Digital;
  • Rolling Stock Transactions;
  • High Priority Policy and Rail Projects;
  • Policy Development Support including Digital;
  • Business as Usual Policy Development Support.

The anticipated start date of the framework is 31 January 2017. The anticipated maximum number of providers to be appointed to the framework is approximately eight, the CCS said.

The estimated date of publication of the contract notice is 1 August 2016.

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