HE Shared Legal, the new national shared legal service for the UK higher education sector, is a pilot project borne out of a HEFCE and JISC Advance backed feasibility study conducted in 2010.
Since the service was launched on 1 May 2012, it has gained eleven HE subscriber institutions, published more than 170 items of generic guidance, and attended to over 85 individual legal enquiries.
Authorised subscriber representatives now have direct access to the members’ area of the service website, which contains guidance notes, newsletter articles and FAQs, together with a dedicated enquiry page. Individual subscriber institutions have benefited from savings of between £500 and £3,500 on the guidance they received in relation to specific queries (in comparison to the potential cost of the work from an external law firm) and several have saved a total sum exceeding the annual subscription.
HE Shared Legal has provided specific guidance and support to institutions on a variety of topics – many of a substantial and/or complex nature – from the more predictable employment and contractual matters to detailed transaction planning, case preparation and governance.
The service is seeking further subscriber institutions, in order to implement the proposed transition in the funding of the service from HEFCE grant to a full subscription basis, or to a suitable alternative, such as a VAT cost sharing group. Further information is available at hesharedlegal.ac.uk, or by contacting the service on 0141 548 4312 (telephone), 0141 548 4316 (fax) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.