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West of England councils name 12 firms, 20 chambers to framework

A consortium of local authorities in the West of England has appointed 12 law firms and 20 barristers’ chambers to a four-year legal services framework agreement.

The framework agreement was concluded by North Somerset Council. The other consortium members were Bristol City Council, Bath & North East Somerset Council and South Gloucestershire Council.

The agreement has established four law firm panels covering childcare, planning, property, and public law and procurement. The eight barristers panels’ cover adult social care, childcare, contract disputes, employment, judicial review, planning, prosecutions and village greens.

Nicholas Brain, Head of Legal and Democratic Services at North Somerset, told Local Government Lawyer that it was the first time that the four authorities had worked together to form a legal panel.

He said it was difficult to estimate the total contract value, as it would depend on what work is commissioned from the panel firms which in turn depended on what support the councils' frontline services would require and the projects they are engaged in. However, the savings target for the framework agreement is between £100,000 and £250,000.

The successful law firms were:

  • Ashfords (childcare, planning, public law and procurement)
  • Beachcroft (property)
  • Bevan Brittan (property, public law and procurement)
  • Bobbetts Mackan (childcare)
  • Burges Salmon (planning, property, public law and procurement)
  • Charles Russell (planning)
  • Clarke Willmott (property, public law and procurement)
  • Davitt Jones & Bould (planning, property)
  • Foster & Partners (childcare)
  • Hugh James (childcare, public law and procurement)
  • Kirby Sheppard (childcare)
  • Sharpe Pritchard (planning)

The successful barristers’ chambers were:

  • Albion (childcare, employment, prosecutions)
  • 36 Bedford Row (adult social care)
  • 4 Brick Court (adult social care)
  • College (adult social care, contract disputes)
  • 12 College Place (adult social care, contract disputes, employment, judicial review, planning, prosecutions)
  • 39 Essex Street (planning, village greens)
  • Francis Taylor Building (village greens)
  • Graham Kean (childcare)
  • 14 Grays Inn (adult social care, childcare)
  • Harcourt (adult social care)
  • Landmark (judicial review, planning, village greens)
  • 11 Kings Bench Walk (village greens)
  • Old Square (employment)
  • 3 Paper Buildings (childcare, contract disputes, employment, judicial review)
  • Portal (judicial review, planning, prosecutions, village greens)
  • Queen Square (childcare, contract disputes, employment, judicial review, prosecutions)
  • Rougemont (contract disputes, employment, planning)
  • St Johns (childcare, planning)
  • Unity Street (contract disputes, judicial review, village greens)
  • Walnut House (prosecutions)

Philip Hoult