Denton Wilde Sapte has won a contract from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to advise on its £5bn IT outsourcing.
In a beauty parade, the firm fought off opposition from other MoD panel firms DLA, Masons, Simmons & Simmons and Wragge & Co.
The project, known as the Defence Infrastructure Initiative (DII), is the latest in a series of giant public sector outsourcing deals, that are helping to keep the IT industry afloat. Allen & Overy and DLA were picked for the £2.3bn NHS IT programme and Shaw Pittman is advising on the Inland Revenue's £4bn Aspire project. These projects will increase the Government's spending on IT projects to more than £12bn in the next decade.
The Defence Communications Services Agency and the Defence Procurement Agency are running the procurement process. A handful of firms were selected from the MoD's panel to bid for the project. The other firms on the panel are Addleshaw Booth & Co, Beachcroft Wansbroughs, Burges Salmon, Eversheds, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, McGrigor Donald and Shepherd & Wedderburn.
The Defence Infrastructure Initiative aims to update the MoD's basic IT infrastructure and improve command and battlefield management systems by securing public-private partnership contracts with the private sector.
Computer services companies are positioning themselves in alliances to bid for the work. Reports have suggested that EDS, LogicaCMG, Fujitsu, General Dynamics, Cogent Defence and Security Networks are to make a joint bid. CSC, IBM and Lockheed Martin are also expected to bid.