Fieldfisher has been named Firm of the Year for Public Sector in the Legal 500 UK Awards 2014.
The Legal 500 UK is an annually published law guide aimed primarily at buyers of legal services and the Legal 500 website is visited by four million users every year. This award pays testament to the quality of legal advice provided by the firm's Government and Public Services sector group, led by Neil Palmer, which incorporates expertise from practices across the firm.
Fieldfisher's re-appointment to the Crown Commercial Service's legal panel, which Government departments and other public bodies are encouraged to use for all of their legal requirements, confirmed it as a go-to law firm for the public sector. The firm boasts a number of public sector experts in various fields.
Partner and Head of the Government and Public Services sector, Neil Palmer has "a can do attitude balanced with clear legal direction when required". He advises a range of public sector bodies, and is acknowledged as an expert on the implementation of public service mutuals.
Outsourcing specialists James Buckingham and Paul Barton also have impressive records of work in the public sector. In 2013, James Buckingham advised the Cabinet Office on a £1bn joint venture with a leading provider of IT-enabled business services. Paul Barton regularly acts for government departments and advised National Savings and Investments on a £660m business process outsourcing agreement last year.
John Cassels, who is a partner in the Competition and EU Regulatory Group, advised the Department for Transport on its UK Search and Rescue Helicopter Service procurement and is currently advising it in connection with South West Trains rolling stock (plans for a new £210m fleet of trains) and franchise projects.
Real Estate partner Ramatu Banga – recommended in Legal 500 UK 2014 - is head of the firm's Real Estate Public Sector practice and has advised central Government departments and non-departmental public bodies for years.
Fieldfisher's Public and Regulatory group is described in Legal 500 UK 2014 as having "outstanding industry knowledge", being "able to deliver pragmatic advice to a difficult client in a very professional way", and possessing an ability to "take on the bigger firms at a fraction of the cost".
Group head Sarah Ellson "understands her clients", and Tom Rider and senior partner Matthew Lohn are noted as having "a wealth of public law experience". Matthew Lohn and Martin Smith are both listed as leading individuals.
Neil Palmer commented:
"We are absolutely delighted to have been named Firm of the Year for Public Sector. Fieldfisher has long provided a strong, cross-practice offering in this area, and it is very satisfying that Legal 500 has recognised our market-leading status with this award."
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