Trade Law Panel

Specialist legal advice and support for international trade law, disputes, and negotiations. Available to central government departments and devolved administrations.


This agreement is for customers who need to access specialist trade law advice and support. We created this agreement in partnership with the Department for International Trade.

Our suppliers provide specialist services in areas of international trade law and trade disputes, and negotiations across a range of jurisdictions.

These services include:

  • advice on all stages of international trade disputes
  • compliance with the law of the World Trade Organisation (WTO)
  • legal advice on the implementation of trade agreements

This allows buyers to access worldwide legal expertise through a simple route to market.

Designed to work alongside the following legal agreements:

The purpose of this agreement is to assist with international trade law, disputes and negotiations.    

You can buy from this agreement in one of two ways (depending on your timescales and needs). These are:

  • further competition (including accelerated competitions)
  • direct award

This agreement will run for a period of 4 years, with no options to extend.


  • specialist scopeaccess to several different legal specialisms (services) in relation to international trade law and trade disputes and negotiations
  • flexible route to market using further competition or direct award
  • competitive rates and alternative fee arrangements (AFAs) – delivery of cashable savings through competitive rates (which offer reductions against market rates)
  • flexible terms and conditions –  based on the public sector contract (including alternative pricing models and the ability to set your own liability caps up to a maximum level)
  • volume discounts – many suppliers have provided discounts to their maximum rates (when the hours worked per call – off contract is more than 500 hours)
  • access to further value benefits –  such as, secondments, sharing or transferring knowledge and collaboration
  • access to an initial consultation of up to 2 hours at the beginning of each call-off contract at no extra cost 
  • regular contract management activities including annual auditing of quality, benchmarking, quarterly Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and monthly gathering of management information

Carbon Reduction

All suppliers for this agreement have committed to comply with the Procurement Policy Note 06/21: 'Taking account of Carbon Reduction Plans in the procurement of major government contracts' as required. If a supplier is required to publish a carbon reduction plan, you can find it on their individual supplier details page.

Products and suppliers

There are 18 suppliers on this agreement

Lot 1: International Trade and Disputes
  • advice and services for the mitigation and conduct of disputes under the World Trade Organisation
  • trade agreement dispute settlement mechanisms 
  • advice and services on compliance with international law relating to trade


15 suppliers

Lot 2: International Trade and Negotiations
  • advice and services for the negotiation and implementation of trade agreements and trading relationships
  • advice and services on compliance with international law relating to trade


11 suppliers

How to buy

Before using this agreement, you will need to read the RM6183 Buyer Guide. This document will help you to select the right award procedure for your needs.

You can buy services under this agreement in two ways:

  • further competition (including accelerated competitions)
  • direct award

You will need to complete Framework schedule 6 (order form template and call-off schedules) before taking part in either a further competition or direct award.

Apart from Framework schedule 6, there are no templates that you need to complete as part of your call-off procedure. You may use your own internal tender documents as part of your bid pack.

You can use our eSourcing tool to run your further competition or direct award. If this is your first time using the eSourcing suite, you will need to register an account. If you have already registered, you can log into your eSourcing account. 

You should check your own internal policies and processes to make sure they follow your standard operating procedures.

Further competition

To award a call-off contract through further competition you should:

  1. develop your specification and identify the suppliers who can meet your needs 
  2. use Framework schedule 6 to refine your contract deliverables (what you need).
  3. develop your further competition award criteria 
  4. invite all identified suppliers to submit a tender in writing – this could be by email or through your preferred e-Sourcing tool (contact details for each supplier representative can be found in the supplier contacts document)
  5. set a time limit for the submission of tenders, (take into account the time needed to create and submit tenders and the complexity of your needs)
  6. keep each tender confidential until the time limit set out for the return of tenders has expired
  7. apply your published award criteria to each submitted tender 
  8. award your call-off contract by sending a completed and signed Framework schedule 6 to the successful supplier (this can be done electronically)
  9. provide unsuccessful suppliers with written feedback on why their tenders were unsuccessful
  10. publish your contract on contracts finder for transparency purposes


Accelerated further competition

Where an accelerated competition is needed, the steps outlined above will need to be followed, however:

  • your time limit for tender returns will be shorter and will be driven by the urgency and / or complexity of your needs
  • your award criteria should be appropriate to your timelines and you should consider simplifying your evaluation questions or applying restrictions to tender submissions (such as limiting the number of words / pages used)
  • you must clearly state in your tender documents that your procurement is being run using the “accelerated competition” process

Direct award

To direct award under this agreement you should:

  1. develop a clear specification of your needs
  2. use the supplier prospectuses to establish which supplier provides the most economically advantageous solution – use these to apply the direct award criteria and to make sure that they are capable of meeting your specification 
  3. award the call-off contract by sending a completed and signed Framework schedule 6 to the successful supplier (this can be done electronically)

Direct awards will be priced based on maximum agreement rates. You should consider whether you can get better value for money through an accelerated competition before awarding a direct award.