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Six housing associations have clubbed together for the first time to instruct law firms jointly and reduce their respective legal bills.
The Generate Group, which has five members, has signed up to the Fusion 21 procurement framework alongside the Arena Housing Group.
Head of procurement and supply chain for Fusion 21 Helen Cooper told The Lawyer: “The housing associations have concerns around cost and have to prove efficiencies. [Joint procurement] ensures value for money for the clients and allows firms to pick up larger amounts of work.”
Fusion 21 is currently reviewing potential advisers and is looking to appoint firms for four years across practice areas including housing management, property, employment and pensions, corporate and governance, commercial, funding, litigation, projects and business restructuring.
The framework will cover six geographical regions - the North West, North East, Midlands, South East, South West and Wales - and Fusion 21 will seek to appoint at least one firm in each region.
“Because of the different geographical areas we need to make sure that the firms have a good spread. We want to encourage small solicitors that may only cover certain geographical areas, but there’ll also be some bigger firms on there that’ll cover the majority of the lots,” commented Cooper.
The housing associations involved are: Arena Housing Group, Cheshire & District Housing Trust, Halton Housing Trust, Knowsley Housing Trust, Leeds Federated Housing Association and Stafford and Rural Homes.
The framework is also open to other registered social landlords, local authorities and arm’s length management organisations.