19 October 2010 | Angeline Albert
London universities and colleges will save £2 million-a-year collectively on legal services as a result of a deal negotiated by the London University Purchasing Consortium (LUPC).
The 60-strong LUPC membership will be able to use the framework deal, which is expected to save 20 per cent of the £10 million spent on lawyers each year.
The deal is focused on nine areas – employment, commercial, litigation, property, education and student matters, constitutional and regulatory, medical and corporate finance, investment and taxation. The ninth area is made up of firms that can deliver all legal requirements.
Thirteen firms have signed the three-year agreement, with an option to extend the term for a further 12 months.
The legal services deal was created along with four other framework agreements addressing an annual £20 million spend on business travel, a £10 million spend a periodicals, a library supply deal (excluding books) to tackle a £2 million spend, and a specialist arts deal for a £200,000 annual spend.
LUPC director Andy Davies said: “We didn’t have a legal services agreement in place before for higher education (HE) in England, Wales or Scotland. Although legal help with employment, property and commercial issues may be needed by any kind of organisation, potential problems specific to HE institutions such as student welfare, plagiarism and medical law are also offered.
“The agreement also offers our members free training when new laws come into force such as the equality law. It has attracted interest from organisations who want to become members because of this agreement.”
As well as HE institutions, other LUPC members benefiting from the agreement include the British Library, Victoria & Albert Museum, Natural History Museum and the British Film Institute.
The LUPC was established in 1968 and has 62 framework agreements, some shared by England’s three other HE purchasing consortiums.