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Exeter University to set up legal services panel for £800k-£1.4m advice

The University of Exeter has launched the procurement of a legal services framework estimated to be worth between £800,000 and £1.4m.

The university said it was looking to appoint a number of panel firms across four lots:

  1. Property and Estates
  2. Employment and Higher Education
  3. Commercial/Contractual and Intellectual Property
  4. Patent Services

The university said that for Lots 1-3, it intends to appoint two panel firms to whom work will be allocated at the discretion of its in-house team.

For Lot 4, the intention is "to appoint three panel firms, again, to whom work will be allocated at the Legal Services team’s discretion".

For higher-value work, Exeter may seek quotations from all firms on the panel for a particular 'Lot' to ensure best value.

The university said its key objectives in contracting for the provision of legal services are as follows:

  • to obtain high quality, pragmatic and commercially focussed legal advice from HE Sector experts to supplement the internal advisory services;
  • to ensure that legal advice is obtained at the right level of expertise, experience and at the right cost in the context of the HE sector;
  • to develop strong relationships with Panel firms and individuals through the provision of a dedicated team, leading to mutual trust, shared understanding of the University's business needs and risk-sharing;
  • to ensure that the University is considered a priority and prestigious client by its Panel firms and that Panel firms have the capacity to provide a consistently efficient, timely and cost-effective service;
  • to achieve flexibility in billing structures - e.g. through the use of fixed rates or capped rates in addition to discounted hourly rates, together with full, transparent and accurate monthly reporting to Legal Services on the level of costs and breakdown of work undertaken by Panel firms;
  • to provide 'added value' to Legal Services and the University more generally; and
  • to ensure that Panel firms have the appropriate brand and reputation to reflect the University's Global and National status

The contract is due to start on 8 January 2021 and run until 7 January 2025.