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18 January 2010 | By Luke McLeod-Roberts
30 November 2009
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The Five North East local authorities that make up the Tyne & Wear Metropolitan Authority have appointed their first joint legal panel.
Dickinson Dees, Eversheds, Pinsent Masons, Walker Morris and Ward Hadaway have all made it onto the roster.
They will advise primarily on commercial, regeneration and major projects work, including a Newcastle waste management project.
Head of commercial at Newcastle City Council John Softly said: “[The joint panel is intended] to provide expertise and capacity where we don’t have it in-house.
“The main reason was to achieve value for money in terms of our external spend through discounted rates from these providers.”
The member councils are Newcastle, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland.
The five councils have a joint in-house capability of around 120 lawyers.
Anonymous | 18-Jan-2010 10:44 pm
For one firm it is clear that putting barely concealed threats in the local newspaper has paid dividends...
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Anonymous | 12-Apr-2010 8:28 am
This exercise should have ensured best value legal services for Newcastle's taxpayers. Unfortunately the same Geordie's gentleman's club mentality kicked in and the same firms as usual won the work. In my view, if your brother is a partner in one of the firms or your married to one of the tendering organisations you are under a duty to step out of proceedings.
Anonymous | 3-May-2010 1:11 pm
I work in one of the councils and we are very uneasy about what has happened. "Keeping it in the family" does not sit well with value for money .
Anonymous | 23-May-2010 4:26 pm
The new Government would do well to look into what happened to select at least one firm listed above. This wasn't value for money. It's not fair when one firm is pre-selected. I'm waiting for an MP to ask a very difficult question. Heads will roll and it'll be seen that this process was like something from Get Carter.Or maybe one of the firms who missed out? Or maybe a disgruntled employee? Or maybe a journalist will scratch beneath the surface. The first comment is just the first layer in a process that means the Council Tax payers are forking out more for legal services than they should...
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