26 September 2023

Lawyers line up to serve APS

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The Attorney-General’s Department has unveiled the first Whole of Government Legal Services Panel.

The panel, comprised of more than 60 legal practitioners across the country with a broad range of experiences, has been appointed to provide the majority of legal services to the Australian Public Service until 2024.

Announcing the panel, Attorney-General, Christian Porter said the provision of external legal services to the Commonwealth was worth about $230 million per year based on spending in 2017-18.

“This panel brings together a range of providers to meet the diverse needs of Commonwealth clients and will help ensure Agencies can access the services they need, when they need them,” Mr Porter said.

He said 22 of the firms on the panel could be described as small, having less than 50 practitioners, 21 were mid-tier with between 50 and 250 practitioners, while 19 were large with more than 250 professional staff.

“The panel consists of a broad spectrum of firms, specifically selected to cater for the range of the Commonwealth’s needs, from specialist litigation to construction and infrastructure and workers’ compensation advice,” Mr Porter said.

“Commonwealth Agencies are now required to use the panel for the bulk of their external legal services.”

He said there would be some flexibility to engage off-panel providers for up to 10 per cent of an Agency’s external expenditure and where specific exemptions had been granted by his Department.

More information is available from the Attorney-General’s Department at this PS News link.

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