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National Procurement Service plans "All-Wales" panels of barristers and solicitors

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The Welsh Government’s recently-established National Procurement Service has unveiled plans to set up ‘All Wales’ legal services panels.

In a prior information notice, the NPS said a legal services framework agreement would be made available to all 22 unitary authorities in Wales as well as universities, colleges, police forces, fire and rescue services, health boards and other public bodies.

This list also includes the National Assembly for Wales and the Welsh Government.

The NPS, which was launched by Welsh Ministers on 21 November last year "to make a lasting and substantial step change in Welsh public sector procurement", is to divide the agreement into services from barristers and solicitors.

For barristers, it said that key areas were likely to include but were not exclusive to:

  • Administrative;
  • Childcare/adoption and fostering;
  • Adult social services and community care;
  • Corporate governance;
  • Education;
  • Employment;
  • Housing;
  • Licensing;
  • Litigation (Civil);
  • Litigation (Criminal);
  • Mental health;
  • Planning;
  • Police;
  • Procurement;
  • Property;
  • Trusts and charities.

For solicitors, the key areas were stated to be:

  • Civil and criminal litigation;
  • Commercial conveyancing;
  • Corporate governance and ethical standards;
  • Education Law;
  • EU & procurement law;
  • General conveyancing;
  • General legal advice;
  • Major IT and commercial contracts;
  • PFI, PPP, company, trust and legal relationships;
  • Planning and environmental law;
  • Police authority work;
  • Social services law.

The prior information notice does not set out the estimated value of the framework agreement nor how long it is expected to last.

“Further information will be provided upon publication of the OJEU Contract Notice,” the NPS said.

The NPS added that expressions of interest could be made at this stage. It will not respond directly, but will invite those expressing interest to attend any supplier awareness events that may be held in relation to the procurement exercise.