The University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University are joining forces for the first time to create a joint legal panel.
As part of this unusual collaborative move between two rival institutions, interested firms are being asked to provide innovative billing options.
They will tender for constitutional and regulatory, estate management and development, HR, student-related, IP and commercial exploitation, commercial law and collaborative activities.
It is likely that there will be more than one firm advising per sector.
The universities are understood not to have a fixed number of appointees in mind for the final roster.
Contracts will be awarded by the beginning of August for a maximum four-year term, although this may be split as a two-year term, with options to extend annually.