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Government to set up £650m ‘legal services marketplace’ for public bodies

The Crown Commercial Service has unveiled plans for a £650m ‘legal services marketplace’, a commercial vehicle for the provision of commercial legal services to all UK public sector contracting bodies.

Users of the vehicle or vehicles could include central Government departments and their associated bodies including devolved administrations, the wider public sector including health and education bodies, local and regional government organisations, emergency services and third sector organisations.

The CCS said: “Presently, there are two commercial vehicle types being considered, a dynamic purchasing system, and / or a framework. The choice of commercial vehicle(s) will be decided after the results of in-depth market and customer engagement sessions currently being planned”.

The scope of services provided by the vehicle(s) is envisaged to cover more than 35 ‘Legal Practice Sectors’ with subsets of more than 75 smaller ‘Practice Areas’. These will include advisory work such as administrative and public law, data protection and information law, education law, planning, procurement, projects and social housing.

The value of the marketplace is estimated by the CCS to be up to £650m excluding VAT.

It added that market engagement would be managed electronically via its eSourcing Suite.

A contract notice in relation to the marketplace is expected to be published at the end of next month.

In March this year the CCS named 18 law firms to a £320m, two-tier panel for the supply of general legal advice to crown bodies and other permitted users.

In May it announced a panel agreement for finance and complex legal services worth an estimated £90m over a four-year period.

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