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The Met advertised for expressions of interest and whittled down the respondents to a shortlist of eight firms, including all three of its current advisers
Ivan McCracken, Kennedys executive partner, said: "We gave the tender our best shot and made it to the shortlist, but price was definitely a factor and we weren't prepared to do the work at a loss." David Hamilton, head of legal at the Met, said that although cost was an important issue, the main criterion was the range of work the panel firms could handle. He said: "An important consideration was the ability of the selected contractors to provide services across the range of malfeasance claims, including assault, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, negligence, misfeasance, public liability, including motor, employers' liability and fatal accidents, and employment tribunal work." Weightmans partner Martin Forshaw and his Berrymans counterpart Jim Sherwood led the pitches for their respective firms. Forshaw said: "We're delighted with this exciting opportunity for the firm." The panel win has proven a timely boost for Weightmans' nascent London office. Hamilton said that a London office was an essential element for the successful firms. Berrymans has long had a London presence, but Weightmans has only been based in the City since May, when it opened after securing a merger with the litigation team from Vizards Oldham. Sherwood said: "We're delighted that the Met has recognised our strengths in this specialist field."