The Victorian Government Legal Services Panel (the Panel) is a whole of government procurement contract that aims to provide access to high quality, consistent legal services for government departments and statutory agencies that represent good value for money. It also aims to strengthen and support pro bono work and equal opportunity briefing practices by those firms selected onto the Panel. Under the Panel arrangement, departments and agencies may not purchase legal services from law firms not on the Panel unless a case for going outside the Panel can be justified under the Panel’s exemption policy.
The Panel currently comprises 23 law firms appointed to 13 areas of law, for a term of three years and four months, from 1 March 2016 to 30 June 2019 to provide legal services to government departments and statutory agencies. The Victorian Government Solicitor's Office (VGSO) is able to compete for work across all Panel categories. The Department of Justice and Regulation (DJR), as the ‘Lead Department’, is responsible for the development and ongoing management of the Panel, which includes managing Panel firm performance and monitors the delivery of legal services according to the provisions of the Panel Contract.
The Victorian Government Legal Services Panel 2015-16 Annual Report contains data in respect of services provided under two Legal Services Panels – the previous Panel which expired on 29 February 2016 and the new Panel which commenced on 1 March 2016. Expenditure from the previous Panel is captured for the period 1 July 2015 to 29 February 2016, and expenditure under the new Panel was captured for the period 1 March 2016 to 30 June 2016.