DLA Piper advises Cabinet Office on creation of joint venture

DLA Piper and Field Fisher Waterhouse have advised the Cabinet Office on the creation of Shared Services Connected Ltd (SSCL), a joint venture between HM Government and Steria, a provider of IT-enabled business services, a contract potentially worth in excess of £1bn over 10 years.

SSCL will serve approximately 150,000 customers initially across 13 organisations to provide shared procurement, finance and HR services with potential for the service to be expanded to other public and private sector bodies in future.

The Department of Work & Pensions (DWP), the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Environment Agency, UK Shared Business Services and nine other public sector customers joined on 1 November, transferring approximately 1,200 staff into SSCL.

Legal support on this project was delivered by a combined team drawn from Cabinet Office in-house lawyers, the Treasury Solicitor’s Department (TSol), Field Fisher Waterhouse and DLA Piper.

The Cabinet Office’s in-house advisers were responsible for the overall project management and for procurement and public law advice. TSol provided and managed the provision of employment and pensions law advice.

The team at DLA Piper was led by Richard Bonnar (partner) and Sarah Bell (partner), with core assistance from Andrew Dyson (partner), Amanda Pilkington (senior associate), Gemma Cowap (senior associate), Maria Fitzpatrick (associate) and Jennifer Deakin (associate).

Mark Chidley (partner), worked on finance aspects of the deal, while Guy Lamb and Kate Payne (both partners) advised on HR and pensions aspects respectively. Zac Clayton (associate) assisted with real-estate matters.