Browne Jacobson elbows Addleshaws aside as IPSA sole legal provider

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), the body which oversees MPs’ salaries and expenses, has appointed Browne Jacobson as its sole legal provider in the place of Addleshaw Goddard.

Browne Jacobson picked up the mandate following a competitive tender for the three-year appointment, which will see the firm advise Ipsa on issues including public law, freedom of information, employment, pensions and procurement.

Ipsa was established under the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009 and according to a spokesperson, had always used Addleshaws for its legal work. Although the firm lost its spot as sole adviser to Ipsa, Addleshaws will be retained for a small number of ongoing matters.

Ipsa is an independent body which sets and pays MPs’ salaries and pensions as well as monitoring and administering MPs’ business costs and expenses scheme. The spokesperson said there was no set value on the appointment, as legal work varied.

The body does not have its own lawyers in-house and the tender was overseen by a panel, which included Ipsa directors and board member Sir Neil Butterfield. The process, which used the Crown Commercial Service Legal Services Framework, took two months from start to finish.

A spokesperson for Addleshaws said: “We have been sole advisor to IPSA for more than four years working actively on a wide range of assignments and are looking forward to providing ongoing, specialist support as part of a new arrangement.”

Browne Jacobson advises a number of public sector and parliamentary bodies, including the National Audit Office and the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

Public sector panel wins in the past year include spots on the joint panel for five West Yorkshire councils (11 June 2013), the NHS Litigation Authority (3 June 2013), the Homes & Communities Agency (8 May 2014) and the NHS Property Services Panel (15 May 2014).