The Legal Aid Agency has opened the tender for civil, family and mediation contracts to start on 1 September 2018. If you want to do legal aid work after 31 August 2018, you must submit a bid by the closing date and time 10 November at 5pm. Details can be found here.
The contracts will run for three years with an option for the LAA to extend for two years. Existing contracts are being extended.
You need to bid using the LAA’s tendering portal here.
Apart from Housing Possession Court Duty Schemes (HPCDS) and the CLA telephone service, bids are not competitive. As long as you can demonstrate that you meet the LAA’s requirements, and submit a technically correct bid, you will get a contract. The details of the tenders for HPCDS and CLA contracts will be released soon.
Top tips for successful bids
- Read the Information for Applicants carefully. The answers are almost always in there somewhere
- Where they are not, submit a question through the message board on the portal – the LAA publishes all questions and answers received
- Read the FAQs carefully and submit your bid after the final ones are published; but comfortably in advance of the tender closing date
- Register your bids on the portal as early as you can and start completing the Selection Questionnaire (SQ) and the Invitation to Tender(s) (ITTs) you are interested in. You will know some of the answers straight away and can come back to the ones you need to go away and find information to complete
- Allocate a small team to the bid – say two people to complete it and a third to check it
- Make sure several people are registered to receive emails about the bid. Sometimes the LAA raises queries that need to be answered quickly. You don’t want to miss them
The Law Society is running tender workshops throughout England and Wales. They are recommended. Details here.
LAPG is also running workshops between 27 September – 3 October – details here – also recommended.