The Government has established two new panels anticipated to start late November – one of them covering general legal services which is worth £320mil and an additional one covering financial and highly complex transactions which is worth £90mil, both expected to last four years.
Reviewed by the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), the panel for general legal advice is expected to be made up of around 18 ‘full service commercial law firms’. The successful firms will be expected to show that they are able to advise on a minimum of 24 compulsory specialist areas, involving public law, competition and EU, construction, data protection/FOIA, employment, insurance and tax. In addition, they will be required to provide end to end advice and assistance with public procurement matters such as process structure, documentation, drafting, criteria and negotiation.
The providers appointed to the financial and complex transactions panels can be no more than ten, while the potential participants will again need to demonstrate knowledge in a number of compulsory areas of law in accordance with the panel. The members who are approved will be expected to advice on ‘complex finance matters, capital markets, regulation, highly complex transactions, innovative and/or strategically important transformational change, including major or complex projects, and mergers and acquisitions.’
Successful firms will be eligible to receive contracts from governmental bodies including UK Ministerial and non-Ministerial departments, executive agencies, and non-departmental public bodies.
Before the deadline for all applicants (29 April), CCS is planning to hold ‘bidder engagement events’ alongside the tendering process.