Social housing group Circle launches panel review

Circle Housing Group, the social housing provider for London and the South East, has kicked off a tender process for its legal panel worth up to £8m.

Cobbetts and Wragge & Co won first-time places on the panel following the last review in 2010, joining long-term advisers Devonshires and Trowers & Hamlins. They were among 25 firms to have pitched for the four-year contract (3 February 2010).

However in January 2013 Manchester-based Cobbetts filed for administration (31 January 2013), and it is not known if its contract with Circle transferred to the firm’s buyer DWF.

The contract is split into five areas, with firms to work on property and development, housing management and general litigation, mergers and acquisitions, employment and pensions and general legal services.

Cost, technical ability and track record are among the list of factors on Circle’s selection criteria. Head of legal Angela Drum said the group had assessed which areas they would need advice on in future in order to choose the specialist services required.

The organisation, which had a turnover of £280m in 2010, provides affordable housing, care and support services across London, East Anglia, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Surrey, Kent and Essex.