Sunderland Health Au-thority has dropped its legal adviser of 30 years' standing in favour of an NHS accredited firm. High street firm Mortons lost the £100,000 per annum contract to medical healthcare specialist Hempsons, which will now provide Sunderland Health Authority with all medical legal work. Mortons was one of four firms to tender for the contract. But Philip Dyer, senior partner at Mortons says: "It was not a surprise we didn't win - it was a disappointment." The NHS Litigation Au-thority (NHSLA) reviewed its panel last April (The Lawyer, 7 April 1998) cutting 90 preferred firms down to just 18. Bill Hackett, board secretary at Sunderland Health Authority says: "There has been a move for health authorities to use NHS accredited firms." However Dyer says Mortons has been used by Sunderland Health Authority for over 30 years, stating: "It is the same thing that has been happening to smaller law firms up and down the country."