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CPC promises to shave £5m off annual college legal fees

The Crescent Purchasing Consortium (CPC), which develops collaborative contracts for the nation’s colleges to lower the cost of goods and services, has pledged to cut up to £5m off the sector’s annual bill for legal services.

The move from the CPC, which counts more than 430 colleges as members, will be the first time Further Education has applied the principles of collaborative buying to the legal market place.

CPC’s Ray Corner, who played a key role in running the EU tender exercise, said: "The response to the Consortium’s tender exercise was substantial and very competitive. There’s no doubt that by working together we have brought pressure to bear on law firms to improve the quality of their service and drive down their prices."

"Firms have shown a willingness to discount their fees significantly and I estimate the benefit to the sector to be in the order of £5m a year. Some colleges will make cash savings whilst others will benefit from better quality legal support than they’ve previously been able to afford."

The tender exercise received support from national and regional law firms including Eversheds, Mills and Reeves and DLA Piper.

Melinda Johnson, of The Department for Children Schools and Families’ Centre for Procurement Performance, said: "The Government welcomes this development which supports our objective of improving procurement efficiency across the public sector and specifically in education. This is a wonderful example of the significant savings to be made from buying collaboratively – savings which can be redirected to frontline services such as hiring lecturers or equipping classrooms."

Ray Poxon, Procurement Development Manager at the Learning and Skills Council, commented: "This is a perfect example of how colleges can collaborate and use their collective buying power to bring down prices. Colleges across the country are collaborating on a range of goods and services from catering to computers and saving millions of pounds in the process. Consortia like the CPC are helping to make that happen and we commend them for it."


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