Cardiff University follows Welsh Government’s lead in panel revamp

Cardiff-based Hugh James has landed a place on Cardiff University’s revised legal panel alongside Eversheds, Geldards, Morgan Cole and SGH Martineau, which have all been reappointed.

The list of names is almost identical to the slimmed-down panel advising the Welsh Government, which re-appointed Eversheds, Geldards, Hugh James and Morgan Cole to its main advisory panel in February last year (8 February 2012).

While the latter dropped Ashfords, Bevan Brittan and DAC Beachcroft from its list of advisers during its panel review process, no firms on Cardiff’s list were dropped.

The university’s legal panel does not appear to have altered much since the early noughties, when The Lawyer reported that Eversheds, Geldards and SGH Martineau were its main three legal advisers (11 February 2002). Morgan Cole is also understood to have worked with the university for over 20 years.

However, the longstanding advisers were still required to pitch for the three-year contract, which will be effective from February 2013.

“This was a competitive process involving the usual tender submissions following a pre-qualification questionnaire and then a day of interviews,” Morgan Cole’s relationship partner Philip Jardine told The Lawyer.

According to Christopher Turner, the director of student services and governance at Cardiff, the university’s annual expenditure on legal services varies between £250,000 and £290,000.

This year’s newcomer, Wales’slargest law firm Hugh James, has been working on a pro-bono scheme with Cardiff University’s Law School since 2007.

Notable work that firms on the panel have advised Cardiff on over the years have included a legal battle with a law student in 2009. Eversheds partner Wayne Davies was called in to advise the university after the student argued that she had been awarded low marks because she had had disputes with two of her tutors (28 August 2009).