There are three legal services framework arrangements of particular relevance to the HE sector at present. These are described briefly, as follows.
LUPC/NEUPC (England and Wales)
A new national Legal Services Framework agreement, covering England and Wales, was introduced in May 2017, and will run to 18 May 2020. This arrangement includes a separate lot for each of the following areas of work:
- Property (estates)
- HR (including HR dispute resolution)
- Dispute resolution
- Governance (constitutional, charity, higher education, academic registry)
- Student matters
There is also a One-stop shop lot available, which covers the provision of legal services in all areas.
These arrangements may be accessed through the relevant procurement consortia, and contracts may be ‘called off’ by direct award, desktop exercise, or further competition.
APUC currently manage a framework agreement for HEIs in Scotland. This runs from December 2017 to 18 December 2020. We understand that the following lots are available to relevant institutions:
- Commercial Business
- Property & Estates
- People/HR Matters
In addition to their participation in the national arrangements described above, LUPC also operate a legal services framework agreement ‘developed with a particular focus on the needs of our Members outside the Higher Education sector, though it can be accessed by all LUPC Members, should others feel it better meets their needs’. Originally, this arrangement had been intended to complement the previous APUC framework agreement, which covered England, Wales and Scotland.
According to the Agreement Overview, this arrangement ‘does not have a lot structure, but rather the seven successful firms have been chosen for the quality and good value of their legal services in a range of areas, including employment, commercial and finance, litigation, property, constitutional and regulatory’.
We encourage subscriber institutions to consider using these framework agreements, where appropriate. The LUPC/NEUPC and APUC arrangements have been established specifically for the benefit of the sector, should offer competitive and consistent pricing and, in each case, represent the product of a considerable amount of work by the prospective suppliers, institution managers and other contributing parties.
As outlined above, HE Shared Legal will be happy to provide guidance and support in relation to the operation of the framework arrangements.