Shoosmiths on Government Procurement Service Legal Services Framework Agreement

Shoosmiths on Government Procurement Service Legal Services Framework Agreement


Author: Alastair Gray

Shoosmiths has been appointed to the Government Procurement Service Legal Services framework agreement.

The national law firm becomes one of only seven firms appointed to the panel that can now handle work for public sector bodies concerning Property, Planning and Estates matters where the legal spend is £100,000-plus.

Graham Bennett, partner and head of Shoosmiths' national public sector practice, said:"Being appointed to the GPS legal services panel helps cement our strong credentials for this type of big ticket work in the public sector. "

A property and estates specialist, Bennett has significant experience in development and urban regeneration and their related planning, public procurement, environmental, and financing issues.

He and the public sector team have acted for public authorities, developers and financiers for many years, building up considerable knowledge of the legal structures and associated requirements.

Shoosmiths advised the government-funded South East England Development Agency for 12 years, and helped put together the legal structures required for delivery of the London 2012 Olympic Games Marina, at Portland, near Weymouth.

To win its GPS legal panel place, Shoosmiths completed a rigorous, two-stage process that included a pre-qualification questionnaire and invitation to tender.

Bennett said: "We were successful because we could draw on the specialist knowledge of legal advisers from across the firm - including in planning, construction, corporate, banking, procurement, state aid, commercial, health and safety, regulatory, employment and environmental as relevant to supporting this type of Property, Planning and Estates work - something that also helped illustrate our strength in depth."

GPS - formerly Buying Solutions - is an executive agency of the Cabinet Office providing procurement savings for the public sector. Its remit covers central and local government, health, education, emergency services, defence, and not-for-profit organisations.

Its services are delivered by more than 2,000 suppliers and it works with over 14,500 organisations. In the financial year 2011-12, it managed £8.4bn of customer spend through procurement arrangements and services.

Shoosmiths previously held legal panel places on the former Office of Government Commerce and Treasury Solicitors' Lit-Cat panels, both of which the GPS replaces.

The firm is also currently on other public sector legal panels, including the Consortium of London, which comprises 15 London borough authorities; as well as the London Universities Purchasing Consortium, a not-for-profit buying group made up of 56 universities, colleges, libraries and museums, including the Natural History Museum and The British Library.