Following the unveiling of an 18-firm general legal advice panel in March, the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has announced plans for a new £90m finance and complex work legal panel.
As reported by Legal Business, the CCS cut the number of firms in its general legal advice panel from 40 to 18. At the same time, the contracts for its finance and regulation and major or complex projects panels were both extended for a year until 31 January 2018.
This latest panel, named Finance and Complex Legal Services – will replace the major or complex projects roster. The agreement will last for two years, with an option to extend for up to two further 12-month periods.
Tender documents state that the value of the panel is £90m, and it is expected that a maximum of nine firms will make up the roster. This is a significant reduction from the previous panel, which comprised 24 firms. The deadline for tender applications is 12 June.
The document indicates that panelists must provide complex finance, capital finance and regulatory complex capabilities and adds: ‘Suppliers shall be able to offer market-leading expertise and a market-leading level of service in order to meet panel customer needs to deliver their most complex and challenging projects and matters’.
Firms which are already on the complex projects panel are Addleshaw Goddard, Arthur Cox, Ashurst, Bevan Brittan, Bircham Dyson Bell, Bond Dickinson, Browne Jacobson, Burges Salmon, Capsticks, CMS (and Nabarro), Dentons, DLA Piper, Eversheds Sutherland, Fieldfisher, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Gowling WLG, Hempsons, Mills & Reeve, Pinsent Masons, Simmons & Simmons, Slaughter and May, TLT and Trowers & Hamlins.
In March 2016, the government announced an initiative to reduce the number of go-to firms it uses for external counsel by almost 40%. The reductions formed part of a bid to ramp up legal service delivery across the public sector.