Forsters dropped from DETR panel

Forsters, formerly known as Frere Cholmeley Bischoff, has been axed from the legal panel of the Department of Environment following a review.
Only four leading firms have been selected by the Department of Environment Transport and the Regions (DETR), for a five-year contract advising on property matters.
Cliff Duffell, procurement officer at DETR, says: “Forsters and Veale Wasbrough were originally on the panel, but following a review, Forsters was not selected. The opposition was very strong and there was a high quality of tenders.”
Nabarro Nathanson, Veale Wasbrough, Wragge & Co and Dibb Lupton Alsop are the firms appointed to the panel after a competitive tender.
Duffell says there are two stages in the selection process. “Firstly the suitability of a firm for the type of work we do is assessed, and secondly there is a criteria laid out by which we judge the firms.”
12-partner firm Forsters won the tender as Frere Cholmeley Bischoff but had changed to Forsters by the end of the four-year contract. There is some speculation the change was one factor leading to the decision.
However, managing partner at Forsters Paul Roberts denies this is the case, saying: “I believe the criteria used by DETR has changed. Our inability to provide a regional service was critical to their decision, and we continue to do work for them.”