The Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham have teamed up to establish a panel of external legal advisers for advisory work worth an estimated £3m over three years.
The panels are intended to complement the universities' in-house legal departments. Birmingham currently has five solicitors, one paralegal and three full-time secretaries. Nottingham has just one in-house lawyer, but there are plans to expand this capacity.
The universities said they would determine the number of service providers to be appointed to advise and/or represent them; “this may be a general appointment or it may be separate appointments for specific, specialist areas of law and practice”.
They added that they expected to appoint a panel rather than have a single source to fulfil all of their requirements and needs. Barristers and niche law firms will also continue to be instructed outside the panel, as necessary.
A maximum of 10 participants to the framework agreement is anticipated.