The Victorian Government’s LSP is a State Purchasing Contract (SPC) negotiated by the Department of Justice and Regulation on behalf of the Victorian Government. The purpose of the LSP is to secure high quality, cost-effective legal services for the Victorian Government. One dimension of the LSP’s cost-effectiveness is the reduction in procurement administration, because the LSP removes the necessity of tendering to the open market. The negotiation of a whole of government contract has also enabled the government to secure below-market rates for legal services from the successful providers. A Victorian LSP has been operating since July 2002 with subsequent new panels established in July 2009 and March 2016.
Benefits of the Legal Services Panel
The key objectives of the Legal Services Panel are:
- the provision of high quality, cost competitive and consistent legal services to government clients;
- the reduction of administrative effort for clients by engaging law firms through a panel arrangement; and
- the provision of social justice benefits including pro bono services, equal opportunity practices in the work place and the briefing of women barristers.
Deed of Standing Offer for the Provision of LegalServices.pdf
Schedule 5 to the Deed
Department of Justice and Regulation
Conditions of Use
Who can access this SPC?
Departments that are mandated to use the LSP and Agencies which have elected to participate in the LSP are listed in the Deed of Standing Offer for the Provision of Legal Services (the Deed) in Schedule 5 Clients.
Agencies that are mandated to use the LSP and Agencies which have elected to participate in the LSP are listed in the Deed of Standing Offer for the Provision of Legal Services (the Deed) in Schedule 5 Clients.
Departmental Contract Managers
Clients using the LSP need to nominate an Agency Contract Manager for their department or agency. The role of the Agency Contract Manager is to:
- be the main point of contact with the Service Providers and Contract;
- communicate operating arrangements for the Panel within their agency;
- assist their agency staff in the procurement of legal services under the LSP and
- facilitate the completion of client satisfaction surveys.
Note: Government clients are obliged to engage either LSP providers or the Victorian Government Solicitor's Office (VGSO) for their legal service requirements across the 13 Areas of Law listed above, unless the matter is covered by the exemption policy (see Annexure 2 of Deed). Where the relevant work is “VGSO exclusive” then the VGSO must be used. See Schedule 3 of Deed for list of VGSO exclusive services.
Twenty three law firms have been appointed to the Legal Services Panel entitling them to provide legal services to departments and participating statutory bodies. See the attached list below of panel firms.
Victorian Government Legal Services Panel Table
What you can buy from this SPC
The areas of law that are covered by the LSP are as follows:
- Administrative law
- Employment, Industrial and Equal Opportunity
- Construction and Infrastructure Projects
- General Commercial
- Contracts and Procurement (includes contract management)
- Intellectual Property and Information Technology
- Planning and Environment
- General litigation
- Public inquiries
- Personal injuries
- Coronial inquiries
See Schedule 2, of the Deed for more details under the areas of law.
RULES OF USE: How to use this SPC
This Deed covers the rules of use of the Legal Services Panel. Annexure-C Service Level Agreement.pdf The Service Level Agreement provides for minimum service standards, key performance indicators and reporting requirements for Panel firms and roles and responsibilities of the parties to this SPC.
Clients using this SPC are required to consider at the outset, the likely legal cost of the engagement. Clients are required to obtain value for money legal services and to encourage competition within the panel arrangement. They may do so by:
- applying existing procurement requirements within their department or agency;
- using the transaction guidelines referenced in the table below; or
- demonstrating through reports on their legal procurement that value for money has been achieved.
Estimated Matter Value (inc. GST)
Minimum one written quotation to be obtained
Minimum three written quotations to be obtained
All firms for the relevant Area offered an opportunity to quote or submit a tender
Panel firms are required to comply with the:
- Pro Bono guidelines (Schedule 7)
- Model Litigant Guidelines (Schedule 8)
- Victorian Bar Equal Opportunity Model Briefing Policy
Clients wishing to proceed with engaging a Panel firm may use the template Legal Services Order template (Annexure A to the Deed).
The Exemption Policy (Annexure 2 to the Service Level Agreement) sets out the criteria and process for approval to engage a non-panel firm.
The engagements of regional firms for less than $25,000 are permitted where the services are delivered outside the metropolitan area and a regional provider offers the same or better value for money as panel firms. Such engagements do not require approval under the Exemption Policy.