Attorney-General Martin Pakula today announced the appointment of 23 law firms to the new Victorian Government Legal Services Panel, following a comprehensive tender process led by the Department of Justice and Regulation.

The appointments will be part of a new State Purchase Contract allowing legal firms to provide advice to government departments in 13 key areas of law including general commercial, planning, administrative law, public inquiries and construction and infrastructure projects.

Firms on the new Panel have committed to deliver a record average of 20% of professional costs earned from the Panel arrangements to pro bono work in the community. The government had lifted the minimum pro bono requirement to 10%, from a minimum 5% under the existing Panel.

The new panel includes more mid-tier firms which offer good quality services at reasonable prices, as well as a number of smaller firms and a regional Geelong-based firm.

Once contracts with the firms are finalised, the new panel arrangements will commence on 1 March 2016.

Mr Pakula said the panel provided government departments with access to high quality legal services at reduced costs by consolidating purchasing arrangements.

The firms will provide legal advice to seven government departments and 23 Victorian statutory agencies that have opted into the arrangement.

Quotes attributable to Attorney General Martin Pakula

“The Andrews Labor Government is proud to have appointed a panel that will make a record pro bono contribution within the community.”

“The Legal Services Panel will deliver significant benefits due to its competitive pricing, high quality services and reduced administrative overheads.”

“The new panel also has a number of mid-tier firms which offer good quality services at reasonable prices, as well as smaller and regional based firms.”

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