Berwin Leighton leads the way in Govt work

Berwin Leighton is the leading external supplier of legal services to Government departments, according to a National Audit Office survey.

In 1999-2000, Central Government outsourced £2.2m of work to Berwin Leighton. Nabarro Nathan-son, Eversheds and Bird & Bird each earned £2.1m. Denton Wilde Sapte also featured, billing £1.8m.

The Government spent £67m on legal services, representing 11 per cent of its total outsourced work. According to Government departments, the increase is due to a growth in litigation and new legislation. Expenditure on the Treasury Solicitor was £4.9m.

The report, ‘Purchasing Professional Services’, says that £45m could be saved with better-negotiated deals, and a further £12m by competitive tendering and improved forms of contract.

Berwin Leighton’s current clients include the Department of Transport and the Environment, the HM Treasury, the Ministry of Defence (MoD), and the Foreign and Commonwealth Offices, as well as several agencies including English Partnerships and discrete constitutional entities such as the Corporate Officer of the House of Commons.

Head of the finance department Simon Allan says: “Broadly speaking, we’d expect the volume of Government-related work to be static in the coming 12 months as against the last 12, although the mix will change and this position will be dependent on whether any major new tenders emerge from the Government.”

Bird & Bird advised the Central Computer & Telecommunications Agency of the Office of Government Commerce and the Department of Social Security.

Denton Wilde Sapte’s energy team has spent three years advising Ofgem on the New Electricity Trading Arrangements, which came into force in March. It was closely involved in separating licences for electricity distributors and suppliers under the terms of the Utilities Act.