Blake Morgan and Browne Jacobson win big on £60m Welsh Government legal framework

Blake Morgan and Browne Jacobson have come out on top after winning the most seats within the Welsh Government’s £60m legal panel.

The National Procurement Service Framework is the first legal framework to cover all of Wales after previous panels covered North and South Wales separately.

A total of 18 firms have won places across the framework’s 11 lots with Blake Morgan emerging as the biggest winner after gaining seats on eight of the lots. Browne Jacobson will work within seven of the lots while, Bevan Brittan, Hugh James, Geldards and Weightmans have made it onto six. Conwy County Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council have also won spots on the panel.

Geldards’ lead partner Huw Williams said: “With the unremitting financial pressures on the public sector to get the maximum value for public money, collaborative approaches such as the NPS Framework are vital. Our tender sought to respond to this imperative and we are very pleased that our bid scored so highly both for quality and value for money.”

The new panel is run by the National Procurement Service, which aims to reduce public spending on procurement by 10 per cent. This was reflected in the panel’s awarding criteria which was weighted 60 per cent on cost and 40 per cent on the quality of the service provided.

Attempts to reduce public spending on legal services in Wales have been carried out in the past. The last major example of this was in 2011, which saw the formation of the North Wales Collaborative Framework.

The Collaborative Framework was comprised of six Welsh local authorities whiched aimed to reduce costs by effectively combining their purchasing power. At the time Bevan Brittan, Hugh James, Geldards and Weightmans all won multiple spots on the panel.

The new legal framework will run for four years but includes the option to implement a break clause after 24 and 36 months. The framework went live on 1 September 2015.

The full panel includes:

Lot 1 – Adult social services law

Bevan Brittan
Blake Morgan
Browne Jacobson
Hill Dickinson
Hugh James
Weightmans

Lot 2 – Children’s social services law

Hugh James
Conwy County Borough Council
Staffordshire County Council

Lot 3 – Civil litigation

Berry Smith
Bevan Brittan
Blake Morgan
Browne Jacobson
DJM Law
Dolmans Solicitors
Geldards
Staffordshire County Council
Weightmans

Lot 4 – Corporate governance and ethical standards

Acuity Legal
Bevan Brittan
Blake Morgan
Browne Jacobson
Dolmans Solicitors
Geldards
Weightmans

Lot 5 – Criminal litigation

Blake Morgan
Hugh James
JNP Legal
Weightmans

Lot 6 – Education law

Blake Morgan
Eversheds
Geldards
Hugh James
Weightmans

Lot 7 – Employment law  

Acuity Legal
Berry Smith
Bevan Brittan
Blake Morgan
Browne Jacobson
Capital Law
Dolmans Solicitors
Geldards
Staffordshire County Council

Lot 8 – Major IT and commercial contracts

Acuity Legal
Berry Smith
Bevan Brittan
Blake Morgan
Browne Jacobson
Capital Law
Eversheds
Geldards
Hugh James
Staffordshire County Council
Veale Wasbrough Vizards

Lot 9 – Planning & environmental law

Acuity Legal
Bevan Brittan
Blake Morgan
Browne Jacobson
DJM Law
DWF
Geldards
Staffordshire County Council
Weightmans

Lot 10 – Property Law

Acuity Legal
Berry Smith
Browne Jacobson
Clarke Willmott
DWF
Hugh James
Veale Wasbrough Vizards

Lot 11 – Specialist Welsh and UK higher education advice

Geldards