Beachcrofts' Birmingham office lands city council advisory role

Beachcroft Wansbroughs' Birmingham office has been appointed to a new role working alongside the City Council's strategic procurement services division.`Beachcrofts will provide the department with specialist legal and strategic advice and will work on specific projects on an outsourcing basis.`The team also expects to be assisting the department in meeting the requirements of best value. This is the first time Beachcrofts has worked with Birmingham's city council.`IT partner Jeremy Roper, who is leading the Beachcrofts team, said the council was not specifically looking for a law firm when it put the role out for tender last autumn. More than 40 professionals expressed an interest in the role.`”We went out of our way not to stress the fact that we're lawyers, but to stress our experience of managing procurements across the public sector,” said Roper. “We felt we could take on the role of running procurements for them as and when necessary.”`But he added: “I think the fact that we're lawyers was an advantage because we can also deal with the legal issues.”`The firm's Brussels practice was used as an additional selling point.`Roper believes the appointment to be the first partnering exercise of its kind between a local authority and a firm of solicitors aimed at supporting procurement services.`”Birmingham is the country's largest local authority and it tends to be innovative,” said Roper.`The council's head of strategic procurement Mike Hawkins said: “The framework we've established provides us with excellent opportunities to draw on experience gained from Beachcroft Wansbroughs' broad public sector and contractor client base. They bring a detailed and effective knowledge of procurement law and procedures but, just as importantly, a sound understanding of critical industry sectors, such as construction and IT.”`The Beachcrofts team includes local government specialist Chris Ward and construction partner Martin Cannon.