NHSLA shuts its doors until 2007

Firms such as Trowers & Hamlins that were axed from the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) panel in 2001 will now be locked out of applying for the work again until 2007.
The NHSLA has said it will not conduct the planned review of its 15-law firm panel next January, so no other firms can tender until 2007.
The authority cut its panel from 90 to 15 firms in January 2001. At the time it told successful firms the next review would be in three years.
Trowers was one of the NHSLA’s ‘gatekeeper’ firms – its first port of call for defendant litigation; but unlike fellow ‘gatekeepers’ Kennedys and Weightman Vizards, it was not reappointed.
Now sources from the 15 panel firms say the NHSLA has told them next January’s review is unlikely to go ahead. “The NHSLA has been auditing us rigorously since the last review in 2001 and we don’t anticipate being asked to retender,” a source from one panel firm said.
A partner at another panel firm told The Lawyer: “I assume we’re all safe for another three years until 2007. The NHSLA thinks it’s got the costs of defending negligence claims under control.”
The 2001 panel firms were: Barlow Lyde & Gilbert, Beachcroft Wansbroughs, Bevan Ashford, Brachers, Browne Jacobson, Capsticks, Eversheds, George Davies & Co, Hempsons, Hill Dickin-son, Kennedys, Reynolds Porter Chamberlain, Vizard Oldham, Ward Hadaway and Weightmans.
The NHSLA was unavailable for comment.