Govt schools body extends legal roster

Partnerships for Schools (PfS), the public body charged with supporting the Government’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, has launched an expanded panel after placing costs at the centre of the review.

A total of 17 firms, including Addleshaw Goddard, Beachcroft, Burges Salmon, Dickinson Dees, Mills & Reeve, Nabarro, Norton Rose, Sharpe Pritchard, Trowers & Hamlins and Wragge & Co, have made it onto the panel.

One panel member told The Lawyer: “There was a massive weighting in scoring on price – two or three pounds of difference on the hourly rate could be the difference between 10 marks and no marks.”

Another said: “You had to allocate a lawyer and rates at almost every step of the way. There were 60-odd pages of items that had to be costed.”

The original panel had 12 members. Ten have continued on the new list, seven are new advisers and Hammonds and White & Case have been shed. Neither was available for comment.

The new panel runs from 1 July for a two-year term, which can be extended for a further two years.