The government's vision for public sector efficiency means public services are now expected to do more for less, adapting to reduced budgets through better engagement and choice over how services are delivered. As a result, important changes often need to be made quickly, with no detrimental impact on delivery.

Our market-leading public sector lawyers are recognised for providing strategic, commercially-focused advice on public sector law. We deliver intelligent solutions to complex, innovative and high profile projects, inquiries and challenges (including those with political, newsworthy or public interest dimensions). 

We have an in-depth understanding of the status, powers and functions of Departments and other Central Government bodies (including NDPBs, executive agencies and trading funds), as well as the devolved powers of the Welsh Assembly, Scottish Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly and sub-national devolution.

Our public sector law team comprises former senior civil service lawyers, local government lawyers and secondees, offering significant first-hand experience of the public sector and its complex regulatory frameworks.

Crown Commercial Service Supplier

Reflecting our expertise, Burges Salmon is one of 17 firms appointed to the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) General Legal Services Framework (RM6179).

We are also appointed to Lots 1 (full service), 2 (general service) and 3 (rail) of the Wider Public Sector Legal Services Panel (RM6240). We are one of the preferred suppliers for government.

We, together with our consortium partners ArentFox Schiff LLP, are also appointed to the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) (RM6183) Trade Law Panel framework, under which we advise the UK government on the negotiation of free trade agreements (FTAs). 


For more detail on our capability, you can view our CCS Supplier Prospectuses from the links below.


KCS Procurement Legal Services Supplier

Continuing the firm’s historic success of being appointed to public sector panels, Burges Salmon has also been awarded a position on the national framework for the provision of Legal Services Y21012, for Kent County Council via KCS Procurement Services.

The Supply of Legal Services Framework Agreement covers the provision and ability to provide a full range of Legal Services and is available to all public bodies (NB for central government and their arm’s length bodies all instructions should be put through the RM6179 framework).

For more information about our capabilities and services please click here to view our KCS prospectus.


We act for public sector organisations (including central/local government, and NDPBs and other public sector bodies) and private sector businesses engaging with or supplying the public sector.

Our expertise in public sector law includes the following:

  • Procurement and Subsidy Control. 
  • Projects (including PFI/PF2, PPP and alternative financing models).
  • Judicial reviews, inquiries and other dispute resolution.
  • Competition and regulatory.
  • Administrative and public law.
  • Freedom of information and data protection.
  • Outsourcing and service transformation.
  • Corporatisations and governance of public sector bodies.
  • Banking and finance.
  • Technology and intellectual property.
  • Employment and pensions services.
  • Planning and compulsory purchase.
  • Development and regeneration.
  • Property and facilities management.

Advising Welsh Ministers (acting through Transport for Wales) on the £5 billion procurement of the Wales and Borders rail service and South Wales Metro.

Advising the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in its defence of a £120 million+ damages claim arising from the procurement of an approximately £6 billion contract for the decommissioning of 12 nuclear power stations.

Advising the Department for Education on the establishment of an independent corporate vehicle to deliver children's social services and related functions of the local authorities in Slough, Doncaster, Birmingham, Sandwell, Reading and Sunderland.

Advising Ascent (a 50:50 venture between Babcock and Lockheed Martin) on the financial close of the £1.1 billion fixed wing package of the United Kingdom military flying training system.

Advising Ascent on its competitions for Rotary Wing and Rear Crew services.

Advising Bristol City Council on bringing its outsourced waste collection contract in-house.

Advising Babcock on its successful bid to provide learning and achievement services to children and young people in Worcestershire.

Advising Eunomia, and in turn its client Pembrokeshire County Council, in relation to the creation of a first of a kind framework agreement and call-off terms for the treatment of residual waste.

Advising on the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority's purpose-built national archive facility at Wick in Scotland to provide long-term storage for an estimated 30 million records and other archive material from all civil nuclear sites in the UK.

Day-to-day advice to support Crown Agents activities in the UK and across the globe. Crown Agents is an international development company that partners with governments, aid agencies, NGOs and companies in nearly 100 countries.

Advising on a procurement challenge against Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. The procurement was for non-emergency patient transport at the Royal Free and subject to the Public Contracts Regulations 2006.

Advising on a range of projects, including day-to-day support to the Ministry of Defence commercial/projects team on the outsourcing of search and rescue helicopter services in the Falkland Islands.

Advising on the establishment of a new framework agreement for the delivery of confidential translation and interpretation services to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, other UK Government departments, EU institutions, international organisations and the private sector.

Acting for FirstGroup and First West Coast Limited on their successful bid for the award of the InterCity West Coast Railway Franchise.

Advising long term client Translink, the Northern Ireland public sector bus and rail provider, on the procurement issues associated with two of its highest profile projects: the redevelopment of the Victoria station and transit hub and the procurement of a new fleet of vehicles to operate on the Belfast rapid transit system that is currently under construction.

Advising Ministry of Defence on its negotiations with BAE Systems for the construction of Astute Class Submarines and the Successor Class Submarines.

Acting for Isle of Anglesey County Council in connection with its response to the proposed development of a new nuclear power station at Wylfa, along with a new 400 KV grid connection, both of which are considered ‘Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects'.

Meet the team
John Houlden

John Houlden Partner

  • Head of Public Sector
  • Head of Procurement and Subsidy Control
  • Projects
Matthew Ramus

Matthew Ramus Partner

  • Head of Education
  • Defence
  • Transport
Keith Beattie

Keith Beattie Partner

  • Projects
  • Aviation
  • Defence
Mark Paterson

Mark Paterson Partner

  • Defence
  • Business Transformation
  • Central Government
Headshot of Adrian Martin

Adrian Martin Partner

  • Head of Employment
  • TUPE: Business Transfers and Outsourcing
  • Restructuring and Redundancy
Michael Hayles

Michael Hayles Partner

  • Pensions
  • Public Sector Pension Schemes
  • Financial Services
Philip Beer

Philip Beer Partner

  • Real Estate
  • Transport
  • Energy and Utilities
Lloyd James

Lloyd James Partner

  • Construction and Engineering
  • Energy and Utilities 
  • Infrastructure
Chris Jackson

Chris Jackson Partner

  • Infrastructure
  • Procurement and State Aid
  • Transport
Graham Soar

Graham Soar Partner

  • Banking and Finance
  • Derivatives, Debt Capital Markets and Securitisations
  • Project Finance
Gary Soloman

Gary Soloman Partner

  • Head of Planning and Compulsory Purchase
  • Regeneration and Highways
  • Compulsory Purchase and Compensation
Julian Boswall

Julian Boswall Partner

  • Energy and Utilities
  • Infrastructure
  • Planning and Compulsory Purchase
Michael Barlow

Michael Barlow Partner

  • Head of Environment
  • Head of Water
  • Head of ESG
Nick Graves

Nick Graves Partner

  • Head of Corporate
  • Corporate Advice
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
Nick Churchward

Nick Churchward Partner

  • Head of Resource and Waste Management
  • Projects
  • Energy and Utilities
Helen Scott-Lawler

Helen Scott-Lawler Partner

  • Head of Food and Drink
  • Commercial
  • Intellectual Property and Media
Ross Polkinghorne

Ross Polkinghorne Partner

  • Built Environment
  • Development and Regeneration
  • Infrastructure
Chris Chesterman

Chris Chesterman Partner

  • Commercial
  • Projects
  • Defence

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