Masons has fought off opposition from Bird & Bird, Field Fisher Waterhouse and Nabarro Nathanson to win a beauty parade for the National Smartcard Project. Masons e-commerce partner Jon Fell will lead the team, providing all advice on legal and data privacy issues. "Masons won on price and quality," said John Defoe, the project manager in charge of legal and data privacy for the London Borough of Newham, who ran the beauty parade. The project aims to coordinate local authorities and Government departments across the country in order to develop a system that will enable any council to implement a smartcard solution wherever possible. A number of local authority smartcard schemes and initiatives are already in place and this project aims to pull them together. Smartcards may be used to make a number of local services more efficient, convenient and cost-effective. Bracknell Forest Borough Council is leading the project. Its residents currently use smartcards for many local amenities, including library services and for discounts in more than 100 local shops. The scheme could be extended to include council taxes, transport, e-purses, tourism, benefits and other council services.