Following a competitive process Severn Trent Water and sister company Hafren Dyfrdwy Cyfyngedig have appointed DWF as a retained provider of legal services to advise on a raft of practice areas including construction, commercial, employment, procurement law, regulatory, environmental, regulatory prosecutions, health and safety, disputes and litigation, data privacy, intellectual property, competition, renewables, planning and real estate portfolio management legal services. The remainder of Severn Trent’s work, which since 2010 has been handled on a sole provider basis by Eversheds Sutherland, has been split between two panels.

Severn Trent announced last year that it was to divide its work into three lots: Lot one is the retainer worth £3.4m. Lot 2 is a legal services panel worth £4m, and lot three, worth £500,000, is a panel for other Severn Trent companies such as Severn Trent Green Power. The total value of the contract is worth £7.9m.

DWF has been appointed to lot one, in a significant win that will be viewed as a vote of confidence in its managed services capability. Both DWF and Eversheds have been appointed to the other panels alongside Penningtons Manches Cooper and Shakespeare Martineau.

Initial contracts will run for three years, with further extension options of up to two years in total.

Commenting on the appointment, Ben McLeod, partner and co-head of water and utilities at DWF, said, “We are delighted to have been chosen to fulfil a key role in providing the legal services retainer for Severn Trent plc as well as panel appointments to work with its regulated and services businesses. Severn Trent’s legal team have an impressive reputation in the market and we now look forward to working with them to support the achievement of strategic objectives and common goals for our communities.”

Shazadi Stinton, head of legal for Severn Trent, said, “We are looking forward to working with all of our new partners as we enter our new operational period. It was a very competitive tender and we firmly believe we’ve picked the firms that can help us drive costs down for our customers while also offering us the benefits of their experience and innovative ideas. On top of that, we’re delighted to be working with them to promote inclusion and diversity in the legal industry which is something that we’re extremely keen to support.”

DWF’s win follows a five-year insurance and real estate managed legal services appointment by BT. The listed firm in January announced the acquisition of ALSP Mindcrest in an $18.5m deal.

Why are we particularly interested in managed services and retainers at Legal IT Insider? See editor Caroline Hill talking at SOLID London on why culture eats technology for breakfast: