Legal Services Office
The University engages external lawyers to work on particular matters when considerations such as specialised subject matter, costs and resource make it appropriate to do so. If external lawyers are needed, the Legal Services Office will determine with you which law firm or barrister is to be used. In some cases, external solicitors may be appointed by the University's insurers.
Depending on the level of expenditure involved, the use of external lawyers must be authorised either by the Registrary under delegated authority or by the Council (through its Executive Committee). The Council requires that, unless there are exceptional circumstances, members of the University should not contact external lawyers concerning University business without involving the Legal Services Office.
This reflects guidance on good practice issued by HEFCE and the Association of Heads of University Administration, which recommends that an internal legal officer or equivalent should be consulted before external legal advice is sought, unless there are very strong reasons to do otherwise.
The Deputy Head of Legal Services (David Parsons) is responsible for the selection, instruction and management of external lawyers.
Where the need for external advice arises specifically in connection with the affairs of a single University institution or a small group of institutions, the costs will normally be borne by that institution or group (see 'Costs').