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Wales’s largest social landlord RCT Homes has awarded 13 firms a place on its first-ever legal panel, with Trowers & Hamlins, Bevan Brittan and Burges Salmon among those to win spots.
The shake-up is the result of a project by procurement manager Karen Field, who joined RCT Homes from the Home Office in 2012 tasked with saving the housing trust £1m within a year.
A source told The Lawyer that 80 per cent of RCT Home’s legal spend was previously with just one firm. With the introduction of a formal contract the process is expected to save the housing trust between 20 and 45 per cent on legal spend.
It is understood that 14 firms pitched for the framework, which will be made available to other social landlords, councils and housing associations within the South Wales area.
“In the spirit of collaboration, we’ve decided to open this framework up to our peer organisations and other public sector services in South Wales,” Field told The Lawyer.
Areas in which they will be required to provide legal advice include legal advisory services, corporate and governance, property and estates, construction, major projects, open spaces and environmental, employment and pensions, finance and insurance, procurement, intellectual property rights and social legal services for tenants.
Earlier this year Freeth Cartwright advised RCT on a £1bn deal to build 11,000 new homes using institutional investment.