The five local authorities in West Yorkshire have launched one of the largest procurement exercises for a barristers framework to date, with the arrangement estimated to be worth between £5m and £10m.
The part B services procurement is being led by Kirklees Council as lead authority. The other local authorities interested in participating are Bradford Council, Calderdale Council, Leeds City Council and Wakefield Council.
The authorities expect the framework to commence in June 2011 and last for an initial two years, subject to earlier termination. Kirklees has also reserved the right to extend the agreement by a further two years.
The work will "follow the courts", so could include locations such as York, Newcastle and London as well as within the five local authority areas.
The estimated value of the contract is on the basis that all five authorities use the framework agreement. If just Kirklees uses it, the value is anticipated to be around £300,000 to £400,000 per annum.
The deadline for expressions of interest is 23 May 2011 at 12 BST.
The West Yorkshire Barristers Framework is the latest example of local authorities seeking to control their spend on counsel.
In July 2010 Southwark and Lambeth councils launched the tender for a £10m, four-year inter-boroughs framework agreement. Contract award is not expected to take place until later this summer.
A different approach was taken in October 2010 by the district council members of the Essex Legal Services Partnership, which has set up a database of practice and fee information for counsel.