UK local authority schemes have appointed eight law firms to a new nationwide framework agreement, allowing councils to reduce the cost of tendering exercises.

The new framework agreement, launched by Norfolk County Council in June last year, was supported by the administering authorities for the Lothian and Environment Agency pension funds and the schemes for Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Suffolk and London boroughs of Croydon and Hackney.

It is the latest in a number of national local government pension scheme (LGPS) frameworks, including ones for custodian and investment consultancy services, aimed at reducing the cost of the tender process.

Burges Salmon, DLA Piper, Eversheds, Osborne Clarke, Pinsent Masons, Squire Patton Boggs, Towers & Hamlins and Wragge Lawrence Graham were included in a framework covering all potential areas of legal advice for funds in England and Wales, while Pinsent Masons and Burness Paull were appointed to the framework for Scottish schemes.

Additionally, Maclay Murray and Spens and Sacker & Partners joined six others in being appointed to an investment services framework, with further agreements for legal advice on benefits administration and governance in both legal jurisdictions.

In other news, Pinsent Masons has also been named legal advisor to the £800m (€1bn) Unite Pension Scheme, created following the merger of the schemes run by the Transport and General Workers’ Union and Amicus, until 2007 one of the UK’s largest unions.