Eversheds has been appointed sole provider of legal services to the Forestry Commission in England and Wales.
The law firm won the contract after a bidding process that leaves it as sole adviser on all property and commercial work as well as other specialist areas.
A Forestry Commission spokeswoman told The Lawyer that the Government's property lawyers previously handled the commission's affairs but the department is being wound up. “That is why we went out to private tender,” she says.
The contract, which is initially for two years, follows on from Eversheds' appointment in May 1998 to handle personal injury claims and general insurance litigation on behalf of the commission.
Alan Meredith, head of Eversheds' commercial property department in Cardiff and Bristol, claims that the firm's UK spread – it has 13 offices – and the size of its commercial and property departments were instrumental in its successful bid for the contract.
The deal was negotiated through Forest Enterprise, an executive agency of the Forestry Commission, which is responsible for the management, protection and expansion of forests and woodland throughout the UK.