We are the Commercial Legal Team, part of the County Council’s Legal Services Department.
Our highly respected commercial legal team provides practical, commercial, cost effective legal advice to all departments of the Council as well as external clients. As an “in house” team we can see the “bigger picture” and have insight into political sensitivities and policy and how they can impact on project delivery. We help you to devise risk strategies and effectively navigate the public procurement rules to deliver your business objectives whilst mitigating challenges which could be time consuming and costly.
We are a full service commercial legal team, providing comprehensive range of legal advice and support to our clients. We can take you through the procurement exercise from initial project scoping to delivery including advice on preparation of advertisements, selection and tender documents and new strategies through to issues such as evaluation methodologies and criteria, contract award, challenges and any post award matters such as contract variations, extensions or contractual disputes including any TUPE and pension, state aid or intellectual property issues to be considered along the way.
The team provides advice and guidance on public law, governance and decision making, procurement process and procedures, goods and services contracts, operating leases, state aid, corporate/company law, intellectual property rights, TUPE and pensions and construction contracts, to name a few and have extensive knowledge and expertise in all types of agreements.
We work very closely and have good relationships with other Council departments, for example Procurement and Contracts Services, Finance, Audit and Human Resources, all of which may need to work together on a procurement exercise.
Our team have been instrumental in:
the establishment of the Music Education Hub, a staff mutual that “spun out” of the Council forming their own charity;
the recently procured secondary school meals contract; and
strategic procurement advice and bespoke contract drafting for the new School Nursing and Health Visiting Services Contract.
Our construction specialists provide a service for a large number of different clients across the Council. We are at hand to advise you at all stages of your construction project from the selection of an appropriate procurement strategy, the tendering process and the construction stage through to project completion and any matters relating to construction litigation or claims.
We have a balance of technical and commercial skills to meet your requirements and provide comprehensive professional advice and support with:
extensive knowledge and experience in construction contracts; letters of tender acceptance, limited instructions, Pre-Construction Agreements, review of JCT/NEC standard form contracts (including drafting and advising on amendments to the standard form), negotiating collateral warranties, novation agreements and bonds/Parent Company Guarantees.
experience of delivering a quality customer focused service - the Council’s construction contracts are usually sizeable, of high value, complex and critical to some of the Council’s major projects e.g. the £120m suite of 5 new build Academy Schools, the Green Deal energy initiative and PropCo (strategic estate management allowing the Council to selectively acquire and develop property).
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