Welsh government bodies name chosen few

Firms including Eversheds, Browne Jacobson and Hugh James have won places on the biggest public sector panel in Welsh history.

The new panel combines the legal spends of government bodies the Welsh Assembly, the Countryside Council for Wales, the Sports Council for Wales, the Arts Council of Wales, the Care Council for Wales, the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales and the Office for National Statistics.

The panel’s legal spend has not been confirmed, but is expected to top £10m a year.

As first reported on TheLawyer.com, the panel is split into sub-groups covering commercial, corporate finance, litigation, employment and environmental law (11 February).

The firms appointed are Bristol-based Bevan Brittan, Nottingham-based Browne Jacobson, Eversheds and Cardiff-based Geldards, Hugh James and Morgan Cole.

An overarching panel has also been created, which includes the same six firms plus Bristol-based Ashfords and London-based Beachcroft.

Members of this panel will be invited to tender for large cross-practice projects.

The firms were appointed for four years, with immediate effect.

A partner at one of the panel firms said: “This isn’t the beginning of the end, it’s just the end of the beginning.

“We might have got our names on the panel, but the next stage is going to be fighting among the other panel firms to get the [cross-practice] work. And we’re all just feeling our way at this stage.”

The groups

Property and commercial: Bevan Brittan, Browne Jacobson, Eversheds, Geldards, Hugh James
Corporate finance: Geldards, Hugh James
Environmental: Browne Jacobson, Eversheds
Employment: Eversheds, Geldards, Morgan Cole
Litigation: Eversheds, Geldards, Hugh James
Overarching panel members: Ashfords, Beachcroft