Hicksons has been a trusted advisor to public sector clients across Australia for more than five decades.
We have extensive experience
in helping government and other public sector clients achieve sustainable value for money
and accurate outcomes
associated with procuring, contracting, delivery of goods and services and dispute resolution where issues arise with vendors.
An integrated service, multiple legal units can be brought together
to respond to clients’ exacting needs for integrity, accountability, quality, transparency and cost restraint – all of which are at the heart of our approach when working with government and other public sector agencies.
Our government team, which has successfully completed major commercial
transactions for the NSW government valued at almost $3 billion
over the past three years, represents a diverse range of departments and authorities,
including the NSW Department of Education
for NSW, the NSW Police Force, the NSW Food Authority and the Department of Family and Community Services.
We provide high-quality legal services and advice that builds and maintains trust in government and contributes to strong and sustainable budget management, encouraging innovation
for better services and a reduction in red tape.
Core to our success is:
- superior negotiation skills - all Hicksons commercial negotiators are Harvard-trained and follow a clear and structured approach, focusing on removing uncertainty for all parties to agreements;
- analytical and financial modelling skills - senior members of the team have analytical and financial qualifications at a tertiary level, enabling us to perform commercial modelling and advise government agencies on current and projected savings and the best approach for commercial arrangements. Incorporating these skills within the legal team results in savings in money and time;
- a rigorous project management approach - all members of Hicksons government and public sector team are trained in legal project management, ensuring we have the skills to control budgets, manage milestones and ensure the timely delivery of target outcomes, even for the most complex, multiparty transactions; and
- creating sustainable value - Hicksons is nationally recognised for negotiating outcomes that consistently enhance each client’s position, ensuring progress without delay, that obligations are fulfilled and relationships between clients and other parties strengthened.
Tendering and procurement
Hicksons can advise on the right steps to take throughout the entire procurement lifecycle
(including probity and training), using a structured approach across six stages:
- plan (document requirements, market analysis);
- develop strategy (market approach type, i.e. under existing contract or prequalification scheme);
- prepare (documentation, evaluation plan, consider conflicts of interest);
- engage market (including briefing sessions and addenda);
- evaluate and award (including price and non-price requirements and contract negotiation); and
- managing contract lifecycle (Government information public access disclosure, contract implementation and management, planning for renewal or otherwise).
Funding agreements and grants contracting
We advise government on the structure and continuing management of funding program such as those for vocational education
, preschools, and to Aboriginal communities for local decision making.
We also advise on funding and grants to State and Commonwealth governments.
Licences and commercial contracts
We can advise on the drafting and negotiation of all licences, from simple to the complex
, taking into account the critical issues of procurement compliance (including ICAC guidelines and strategies for direct negotiations), competitive neutrality, linking payments to delivery of value and reporting and reducing compliance costs.
The team also advises government agencies on community use agreements such as local markets, cafes, car parking and co-location arrangements in hospitals.
Hicksons advises government on contracts for commercial products and services, disposal of surplus equipment, distribution, reseller and agency agreements (e.g. public transport-related technology, education services and software), joint ventures, shareholder collaboration agreements and alliances, including international collaborations for education
We also advise government clients on sponsorship agreements for government programs and competition terms, and on corporate governance for government corporate shareholding.
Memorandums of understanding and inter-agency agreements
Trusted relationships with senior department representatives enables us to resolve inter-agency issues expeditiously while negotiating agreements that are always in the state’s best interests.
Clients value our ability to achieve target outcomes, while enhancing their inter-agency relationships by working collaboratively on projects
Hicksons extensive hands-on experience
working with the government clients enables us to provide a comprehensive “user experience-focused” template drafting service for government agencies.
Workers compensation & workplace relations, employment and safety
Across our range of integrated legal units
, Hicksons can offer expert guidance to public sector clients on workers’ insurance
, workplace relations
, safety and discrimination matters. Our teams include specialists in the health
sectors focused on creating sustainable value for our government clients.