MOD edges closer to panel announcement

It has been a long time coming, but the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is finally thought to be just a fortnight away from finalising its protracted panel review.

MoD commercial lawyer Andrew Fox had mooted turning to the central government panel and scrapping the department’s dedicated roster entirely but a combination of conflicts and the need for specialist expertise saw the process kicked back into action this summer.

Around 30 tenders later, the department is understood to be aiming at 10 appointments by 22 December, with current advisers such as Fieldfisher, Simmons & Simmons and Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co potentially in line for spots.

Although there is no guarantee of work for panel firms, the MoD’s burgeoning legal spend is sure to have kept things competitive. The department spent £7m more on external lawyers in 2012/13 than the previous year despite bulking up its capability in-house.

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