Powerful housing and regeneration quango, the Homes & Communities Agency, has chosen its legal advisors for a four-year contract from 1 April 2010.
The 15-strong panel is divided into a national and three regional panels:
National: Berwin Leighton Paisner, Eversheds, Pinsent Masons, Trowers & Hamlin
North: Forshaws Davies Ridgway, Pannone, Walker Morris
South: Ashfords, Bond Pearce, DLA Piper, Denton Wilde Sapte, Hammonds
Central: Browne Jacobson, Denton Wilde Sapte, Hewitsons
The firms replace the 21 legal firms inherited from predecessor bodies, English Partnerships and The Housing Corporation, which merged in December 2008.
Head of HCA legal services, Judith Roberts, said: "We believe this streamlined panel will allow us to operate more effectively and achieve efficiencies on costs. As a new agency we are facing new challenges and initiatives that have inevitably involved our acquiring additional skills and expertise, which is why the make up of our panel is different from its predecessor. While we have divided the panel into national and regional teams, we expect the firms to work together on a collaborative basis, sharing knowledge between themselves and with our in-house legal team."