25 Jul Newsletter – Summer 2014
Newsletter May 2014
Welcome to our May’s Newsletter. We are covering 1 topic today:
Local Authority Legal Consortium Web Portal
Since the end of 2010 one of our best kept secrets has been the The North West Legal Consortium. The Consortium started life as four Local Authorities coming together to purchase legal services that it was unable to undertake with their in-house legal teams, at reduced consortium rates. The Consortium has now grown to thirty six authorities and over five hundred fee earner users commissioning work from thirty law Firms and twenty barristers chambers. The website was initially an information site but working with Tricostar LLP evolved into a fully functional Portal to assist Local Authorities’, Police Commissioners’, and a National Park’s quest for greater efficiencies and cost savings.
The product was subsequently taken up by a London based consortium of local authorities administered by Kennedy Cater (www.kennedycater.com). Recently the North Wales Legal Consortium was also contracted to implement a multilingual version for English and Welsh.
The core features of the application include:
- The ability to publish securely Solicitors and Barristers rates – making it easier for Authorities to commission required work and identify best value before awarding work.
- Local Authorities can individually and confidentially request estimates for work from participating Law Firms and Barristers, and it is proposed in the future also from other Local authorities.
- Ability for Barrister’s and Law Firms to confidentially submit estimates within a secure area of the web application to the commissioning Authority.
- The ability to define:
- Estimate type – fixed, variable or capped
- Estimated number of Hours
- Special terms for Fixed or Capped
- Attach documents
- Notes /text
- Discussion forums for Local Authority lawyers and ‘Special Interest Groups’ to share ideas /best practice
- Training course advertising and a course booking and management feature
- The ability for Authorities to advertise jobs
- News area and notice area plus monthly E Bulletin
- A central directory of Lawyers/Fee earners within the Consortium
- A private and public area for document management giving Member Authorities the ability to share precedents pertinent to the organisation
- Secure Members Site Areas
- Management reports
- Visibility 24/7 365 days a year.
Jayne Hammond, Assistant Director-Legal and Democratic Services at Bury Council and Chair of the North West Legal Consortium Management Board said ‘We identified early on the need to make fee earners in Authorities aware of the benefits of the Consortium and worked closely with Tricostar LLP to develop the Portal over a number of phases.’
Following a full EU procurement process we now have a system that allows Authorities to procure individual commissions through the Portal and benefit from the Consortium framework contract.
The rates that have been procured as a Consortium from Law Firms and agreed with Barristers Chambers give Authorities substantial savings on normal rates and show best value.
Since Tricostar was formed in 1998 it has been delivering innovative technology solutions to the market to reduce costs, increase revenue and make more efficient use of resources. It has focused on variants of time recording, case management and innovative web site building for the public sector as well as one of the world’s leading IT and service desk management for the both the public and private sector. Since 2002 these products have been fully 100% web based. For more information please go to About or call us on 0208 292 2660 for more information on all the products covered today.