Combined Welsh councils unveil new-look panels

Beachcroft, Bevan Brittan, Cobbetts and Weightmans were the key winners on two major ­public sector legal panels in Wales.

The new North Wales ­Collaborative Framework, formed by a consortium of six local authorities, has appointed specialist panels of external legal advisers for a two-year term, with an option for a two-year ­extension.

The consortium comprises the councils of Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham. The panels include: property; construction; HR, health and safety, employment and pensions; criminal and civil litigation; adult services and mental health; environment; and corporate.

Beachcroft, Bevan Brittan, Cobbetts, Geldards, Hugh James and Weightmans were all appointed to multiple panels, while Berrymans, Hill Dickinson and Léonie Cowen & Associates scored single spots.

A source close to the process said: “This is the first time this group of authorities have come together, and it’s more ­evidence of councils ­collaborating to use their ­collective purchasing power.”

Meanwhile, the Wales Audit Office (WAO) has shaken up its regular legal advisers in a review of its external panels, which could generate work worth around £200,000 a year.

Beachcroft scored two new spots in the review, first on the WAO general advisory panel, working on local government matters alongside former adviser Winckworth Sherwood, and also on its HR and employment panel, ­advising on pensions, redundancies and general employment matters ­alongside new appointee Weightmans, which will advise on terms and ­conditions and policies.

Eversheds and M&A Solicitors were appointed as secondary advisers on the HR and employment panel, while Geldards and Hugh James are believed to have been dropped by the WAO.