Duty Contracts

A potential client rang me yesterday, keen to instruct us, if for no other reason than “everyone else in the area has already got a consultant”. If that is true I do not know who these consultants are – they are certainly not any of the names you would normally associate with Legal Aid*.

I had a spare 5 minutes so he described to me the preparation they had undertaken to date – which all made prefect sense. I then explained our current position. Having done this a few times now, and because I am still being regularly asked, I thought it worth repeating:

  1. We are not selling Duty Contract related services right now. Andrew Keogh is saying this bid round might never happen and it is a brave punter who gambles against Crimeline advice. If you can raise me on the “free advice line” I am happy to idly speculate with you however.
  2. When we have the full Duty Contract criteria we will be in a position to determine what support we can offer and properly price it.
  3. This will also give us chance to refresh the advice we have taken on conflict of interest. (We have, and will, explain this to all potential clients before they instruct us).

My guess is that there are some perfectly competent consultancies out there seizing this opportunity. I’d further hazard that they have good public-service procurement practice, but little or no legal services experience, let alone a Legal Aid background. Who can blame them however, and good luck.

When and if Duty Contract bidding becomes a reality feel free to give us a ring.

*Vicky Ling and DG Legal are voluntarily restricting the work they are taking on, because of potential conflicts.

About Author: SP

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *