Nottingham universities set up joint legal roster

The University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University have completed a joint procurement process, as a number of ­universities revamp their panels ahead of planned public sector spending cuts.

Nicola Hart
Nicola Hart

The two East Midlands institutions began the process a year ago (The Lawyer, 18 May 2009), with Freeth Cartwright, Eversheds, Martineau, Mills & Reeve, Pinsent Masons and Shoosmiths all appointed.

They are advising across a range of areas, including constitutional and regulatory, estate management and development, HR, ­commercial law and collaborative activities.

One partner involved in the process said: “They wanted to do a joint ­exercise while staying independent. It was important to make cost savings – they thought it might encourage firms to come in at cheaper rates on the basis that they might get work from both.”

This comes as the University of Manchester has also completed a review following the arrival of general counsel Chris Petty last year. DLA Piper has been replaced by Mills & Reeve, while ­Eversheds and Pinsents have both been reappointed. ­Pinsents partner Sara ­Sawicki has been seconded to the university to advise on employment matters.

The London School of Economics and Political ­Science has also appointed Pinsents as a principal adviser. The firm will advise on all matters, including constitutional, governance, employment, estates, IP, international joint ventures and student work.

Head of Pinsents’ universities group Nicola Hart commented: “Universities are under a lot of pressure in the current difficult funding climate and we’ve been pulling out the stops to look for more imaginative ways of supporting our clients.”