AWS drops Prettys in favour of Shoosmiths

Shoosmiths has triumphed over a host of firms to advise Anglian Water Services (AWS) on all of its self-insured public liability and property damage litigation, elbowing out previous adviser Prettys Solicitors in the process.

AWS appointed Shoo-smiths last month following a tender process launched in November. As well as beating off competition from former litigation adviser Prettys, it also won out against a host of other firms, understood to include Cobbetts and Greenwoods. The appointment is for a two-year term.

AWS dispute resolution head Geoff Blackwell, who oversaw the tender, said the water company was aiming to “regularise” its relationship with external lawyers. “Shoosmiths’ emphasis on the client relationship, its understanding of our needs and use of technology won the day,” Blackwell told The Lawyer.

Shoosmiths has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with AWS, already advising on construction, IT and EU procurement work. However, the win marks the first time that the firm has acted for AWS on insurance claims matters.

The firm will work in tandem with claims handling group Willis Claims. The bulk of the work will be run out of Shoosmiths’ Northampton office and will be led by partner Michael Murray.

AWS provides drinking water to nearly six-million customers across East Anglia, the East Midlands and the North East and has an annual turnover of £750m.