The London Boroughs’ Legal Alliance (LBLA) has joined the rising number of organisations to drastically slim down its roster of legal advisers in a bid to achieve better value after revamping its panel for the third time in four years.
The LBLA, which includes the London boroughs of Kensington & Chelsea, Brent, Camden, Ealing, Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, the City of London Corporation and the West London Waste Authority, more than halved its legal panel to seven in its latest review.
The only new entrant to the two-tier panel, which is worth an estimated £5m over three years, is Freeth Cartwright, which has been appointed to advise on complex regeneration, development, property and planning work alongside Ashfords, Bevan Brittan, Sharpe Pritchard, and TLT.
The second tier of the panel, which covers a range of mainstream legal services including litigation, contracts, procurement, PPP/PFI, property and employment, sees Ashfords, Sharpe Pritchard and TLT again appointed to advise alongside Pinsent Masons and Michelmores.
The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea acted as central purchasing body on the procurement exercise, which was led by specialist legal consultancy Kennedy Cater.
Vivienne Horton, director at Kennedy Cater, said: ‘We are delighted by the response to this rigorous procurement process, which has delivered firms with recognised expertise and experience in local government who are well placed to provide the LBLA authorities with legal support that fulfils the significant cost and quality criteria required.’
Tasnim Shawkat, bi-borough director of law at Kensington and Chelsea added: ‘This is a great outcome for the LBLA – delivering once again a panel of firms committed to delivering exceptional service and supporting the challenging and wide ranging work being undertaken by our in-house legal teams. We are particularly pleased with the competitive rates achieved, which show a reduction on those under the old framework.’
Haringey Council and other authorities in London and the South East, although not members of the alliance, will be able to have access to this panel.
The LBLA’s first panel framework, which was established in 2009 saw 16 firms appointed including Eversheds, Kennedys and legacy Dickinson Dees.