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THE DEPARTMENT of Transport says it is expecting "a significant amount of interest" from law firms by this week's deadline for conveyancing work tenders.
The DoT invited bids for the conveyancing work for England's trunk road network last month.
It follows a pilot project by the DoT's north-west office to market-test the effectiveness of contracting out its conveyancing work.
The test, expected to end next June, pitted Manchester firm Vaudrey Osborne & Mellor against government property lawyers in Taunton.
The DoT has the lion's share of conveyancing work for the Government, with property and land deals worth in excess of u100 million. A spokesman from the Highways Agency says there should be "a significant amount of interest shown from private firms" by this week's deadline.
Alan Ormand, principal administrator at the DoT's Manchester office, says: "The test has been successful - we are getting good service from Vaudrey Osborne & Mellor, who are working to time and cost, and we are getting the same from the government lawyers, who have tightened up and improved the service that they provide.
"The intention with this new invitation for bids is to market-test nationwide and proceed to a single contract with either a private firm or the government property lawyers."