Solicitors and law firms are expected to go head-to-head this year after the Government revealed plans to set up a £650 million marketplace for the public sector to procure legal services.
It forms part of the public sector’s plan to cut down on the costs of external legal advice.
The Crown Commercial Services (CCS) said it wants to set up a “commercial vehicle” to provide commercial legal services, which will cover more than 35 “legal practice sectors” and 75 smaller “practice areas” – ranging from banking and finance to competition and EU law.
Bidding firms must “be able to demonstrate the capacity and capability within the bid entity to fully provide at least one of the ‘Practice Areas’,” it said.
“The Crown Commercial Service is looking to set up a commercial vehicle or vehicles for the provision of a comprehensive range of commercial legal services to all UK public sector contracting bodies, to include central Government departments and their associated bodies including Devolved Administrations — Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Wider Public Sector including Health and Education bodies, Local and Regional Government organisations, Emergency Services and Third Sector organisations,” the CCS said in its prior information notice.
“Presently, there are two commercial vehicle types being considered, a dynamic purchasing system, and/or a framework. The choice of commercial vehicle(s) will be decided after the results of in-depth market and customer engagement sessions currently being planned.
“The Scope of services provided by the vehicle(s) is envisaged to cover more than 35 ‘Legal Practice Sectors’ with subsets of more than 75 smaller ‘Practice Areas’.”
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