International firm Simmons & Simmons and City firm Bates Wells Braithwaite have made it on to the government’s new legal panel for finance and complex legal advice, it was announced today.

Members of the Crown Commercial Services (CCS) Finance and Highly Complex Legal Advice panel will advise the government and wider public sector on highly complex transactions including in finance, refinancing, capital markets and corporate transactions.

BWB won its place through its work as a sub-contractor for Simmons & Simmons and will provide additional public and administrative law expertise.

The CCS announced it was to set up a panel for finance and complex legal services earlier this year. Contracts for the panel, which replaced the finance and regulation panel, last two years, with the option to extend for two 12-month periods. It is one of several set up by the CCS to cut the cost of external legal advice. Membership of a rail modernisation panel was announced in June.  

Jonathan Hammond, head of the international financial markets practice group at Simmons & Simmons, said: ’This appointment will allow Simmons & Simmons to draw on both public and private sector experience to provide finance and complex advice to UK Government. Working for the public sector demands fresh thinking and innovation to achieve the best outcomes in the most complex and urgent situations.’

Melanie Carter, partner and head of public & regulatory team at BWB, added: ‘With the future regulatory landscape increasingly uncertain due to last year’s Brexit vote, this state of affairs calls for firms who have the scale and expertise to stay ahead of whatever changes lie before us.

'Today’s news not only underlines the hard work and dedication shown by all members of our public & regulatory and wider BWB team in demonstrating our ability to support Simmons & Simmons’ stellar UK government group to fulfil this role, but also underlines how we are seen as one of the legal sector’s go-to firms for public and administrative law.’