Autumn leaves framing the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben
Overview

We have an extensive, cross-departmental team of central government lawyers experienced in providing legal advice to central government departments, agencies and NDPBs as well as suppliers to central government. A number of our lawyers have worked within central government.

Our lawyers understand the unique pressures placed on central government from both a legal and policy perspective. They also benefit from in depth knowledge of many of the key sectors that central government is responsible for.

This allows our central government lawyers to provide practical and tailored legal advice that takes into account central government’s unique requirements and responsibilities.

Areas of focus

Our support to clients includes advice on the following:

  • Public/administrative law.
  • Construction and facilities management.
  • Employment and pensions.
  • Property asset management.
  • Judicial reviews and commercial contractual disputes.
  • Major projects, including public/private collaborations and outsourcings.
  • Public procurement and state aid.
  • Policy development.
  • Planning.
  • IT/IP.
  • Privatisations/mutuals/social enterprises.
  • Defence and security.
  • Data Protection, Freedom of Information law.
  • International trade law.
Experience

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 Slough Borough Council on its behalf. This was only the second time that such a model was used for the provision of children's social services. We also advised on the first such model in Doncaster.

Advising Ministry of Defence on a range of projects, including day-to-day support to the MOD commercial/projects team on the outsourcing of search and rescue helicopter services in the Falkland Islands. We were involved in shaping the procurement strategy under defence procurement law and in supporting the MOD legal/project team in negotiations and evaluation.

Advising the Home Office on its disclosure and barring service BPO/IT procurement. It was run as a pilot to introduce the Cabinet Office's "Lean Procurement" initiative and is regarded as a 'pathfinder' project for future Whitehall procurements.

Advising the Department for Energy and Climate Change on the establishment of the oil and gas authority, the regulator responsible for regulating offshore and onshore oil and gas operations in the UK.

Advising Ascent (a 50:50 venture between Babcock and Lockheed Martin) on its competition on behalf of the Ministry of Defence for the £1.1 billion Fixed Wing package of the United Kingdom Military Flying Training System. Also advising on its competitions for Rotary Wing and Rear Crew services

Advising the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority on the procurement strategy for the management of NDA'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 procurement law 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. It has extensive relations with the Department for International Development and plays a very significant part in helping to deliver UK government’s development policy worldwide.

Advising the Foreign and Commonwealth Office services on the establishment of a new framework agreement for the delivery of confidential translation and interpretation services to the FCO, other UK Government departments, EU institutions, international organisations and the private sector. This includes the provision of translation services at the highest levels of government (including for and on behalf of the Prime Minister).

Acting for FirstGroup and First West Coast Limited on their successful bid for the award of the InterCity West Coast Railway Franchise. Following award we also acted for them in connection with Virgin Rail's challenge to the DfT's decision. We continued to advise in relation to the subsequent Laidlaw Review into DfT's actions and then Brown Review of Railway Franchising.

Meet the team
John Houlden

John Houlden Partner

  • Head of Public Sector
  • Head of Procurement and State Aid
  • Projects
Keith Beattie

Keith Beattie Partner

  • Projects
  • Aviation
  • Defence
Philip Beer

Philip Beer Partner

  • Real Estate
  • Transport
  • Energy, Power and Utilities
Euan Bremner

Euan Bremner Partner

  • Chair of Energy, Power and Utilities
  • Head of Scottish Real Estate
  • Head of Northern Irish Real Estate
Nick Churchward

Nick Churchward Partner

  • Head of Resource and Waste Management
  • Projects
  • Energy, Power and Utilities
Simon Coppen

Simon Coppen Partner

  • Rail
  • Transport
  • Projects
Marcus Harling

Marcus Harling Partner

  • Construction and Engineering
  • Construction Procurement
  • Infrastructure
Mark Paterson

Mark Paterson Partner

  • Defence
  • Business Transformation
  • Central Government
Matthew Ramus

Matthew Ramus Partner

  • Head of Education
  • Defence
  • Transport
Chris Jackson

Chris Jackson Partner

  • Head of Transport
  • Procurement and State Aid
  • Health and Safety
David Hall

David Hall Partner

  • Head of Dispute Resolution
  • Banking Disputes
  • Fraud and White Collar Crime
Ross Fairley

Ross Fairley Partner

  • Energy, Power and Utilities
  • Head of Renewable Energy
  • Environment
Ian Salter

Ian Salter Partner

  • Head of Nuclear
  • Projects
  • Environment
James Phillips

James Phillips Partner

  • Head of Oil and Gas
  • Energy, Power and Utilities
  • Environment
Michael Barlow

Michael Barlow Partner

  • Environment
  • Energy, Power and Utilities
  • Water
Brioney Thomas

Brioney Thomas Partner

  • Asset Finance and Asset Backed Lending
  • Commercial
  • Rail
Adrian Martin

Adrian Martin Partner

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

Michael Hayles Partner

  • Pensions
  • Public Sector Pension Schemes
  • Financial Services
Nick Graves

Nick Graves Partner

  • Corporate Advice
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Reorganisations and Demergers
Patrick Cook

Patrick Cook Partner

  • Banking
  • Business Transformation
  • Corporate
Lloyd James

Lloyd James Partner

  • Energy, Power and Utilities
  • Infrastructure
  • Construction and Engineering
Helen Scott-Lawler

Helen Scott-Lawler Partner

  • Commercial
  • Intellectual Property and Media
  • Sport