How to buy

Date: 18 Dec 2019 - 20 Jan 2021
Updated: 20 Jan 2021
Type: Whole of government

Who can use the panel

All agencies eligible to purchase from NSW Government contracts are able to purchase legal services from the panel.

Agencies are responsible for managing the transition of existing matters to the panel. The agency contract manager for each agency will manage this.

Buying legal services from the panel is strongly encouraged. You get the benefits of a number of administrative arrangements such as management and reporting, including reporting on savings. The off-panel engagements guideline PDF, 52.63 KB explains when you can use firms outside the panel arrangements.

There are reporting obligations for agencies that use off-panel firms.

How to use the panel

Each agency should appoint an agency contract manager who is the person who usually manages legal services procurement. The agency contract manager is responsible for ensuring there are appropriate arrangements in place for engaging firms from the panel.

Some clusters will appoint an agency contract manager for the whole cluster, rather than for each agency. Contact the agency contract manager for your cluster's central agency to confirm the arrangements for your cluster.

How to engage a supplier

Agencies should contact a firm appointed for the appropriate area of law for the legal services to seek an estimate. Alternative pricing arrangements may be requested and will be a matter for agreement between the agency and panel firm. The panel rules PDF, 608.69 KB (PDF,119KB) govern whether competitive quotes must be obtained. The process is covered in clauses 6 to 8 of the deed PDF, 1035.76 KB. (PDF,1.01MB) The firm will provide an estimate or project outline, as requested. Instructions should be provided using the legal services order form DOCX, 38.8 KB.(DOCX,36.2KB)

Questions about using the panel should be directed initially to agency contract managers (list available soon). The agency contract manager will contact the panel manager if necessary.

Performance evaluation

The panel manager is developing arrangements for panel users to provide feedback on the performance of panel firms. It is intended that this will be available online in the near future.

Panel firms are required to provide regular reports. These reports are set out in the service level agreement PDF, 175.45 KB which is Annexure C to the deed.

Tools and templates

Under the NSW Government Procurement Framework, the panel rules govern the purchase of legal services from the panel. Transport for NSW executed the deed to establish the panel as a whole-of-government arrangement. Any agency eligible to purchase from a government contract may purchase from this panel. In this context, the deed establishes the panel within the Procurement Framework. That is, while the deed and service level agreement govern the legal relationship between agencies and panel firms, agencies are subject to the panel rules in accordance with the Procurement Framework established under the Public Works and Procurement Act 1912. Without setting any order of precedence, this is how the documents are related:

The documents have been uploaded separately for ease of access, rather than as a single pdf file.

FAQs for buyers

Who are the panel firm relationship managers?

The panel firm cluster relationship partner list XLSX, 1247.16 KB sets out panel relationship partners and cluster relationship partners.

How are responsibilities for the panel shared?

The service level agreement PDF, 175.45 KB (annexure C to the deed) sets out the roles and responsibilities for managing the panel. See section 4 of the SLA.