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Purchasing services from the legal services multi-use list

The Legal Services Multi-Use List (LSMUL) will expire on 30 June 2018.

Transitional arrangements apply to the procurement of legal services by Commonwealth entities subject to the Legal Services Directions.

The replacement procurement arrangement for government legal services is anticipated to commence in early 2019.

Arrangements prior to 30 June 2018: Commonwealth entities should now ensure they have access to necessary legal services until the new arrangement commences.

In accordance with the Legal Services Directions 2017, entities must source a provider from the LSMUL prior to its expiry on 30 June 2018.

Agencies are encouraged to include extension options in the initial approach to the LSMUL and in the resulting contract.

Arrangements from 1 July 2018: LSMUL requirements no longer apply to external legal services and accordingly, the procurement is akin to an ordinary procurement done in accordance with the Commonwealth procurement framework (including the Commonwealth Procurement Rules and guidance issued by the Department of Finance).

Each agency ordinarily has a central procurement area as part of their Chief Financial Officer or corporate services area, which can advise agencies on standard procurement processes.

More comprehensive information on the LSMUL transitional arrangements is available to Commonwealth entities upon an email request to legalservicespanel@finance.gov.au.

Current list of service providers as at 4 January 2018

Guidance material on the list

Guidance material on the list provides in-depth information for departments, agencies and service providers.

The guidance material must be read in conjunction with the relevant Australian Government financial framework policies, including the Commonwealth Procurement Rules, and the Legal Services Directions 2005.

Commonwealth Contracting Suite

From 1 January 2016, the Commonwealth Contracting Suite (CCS) applies to all non-corporate Commonwealth entities (NCEs). Corporate Commonwealth entities are encouraged to apply this policy.

NCEs must use the CCS when purchasing goods or services valued under $200,000 (including GST) except for specific situations. Exceptions include procurements from a mandated whole of government arrangement, such as the Legal Services Multi-Use List. As a result, the CCS is not to be used when purchasing legal services from the LSMUL.

For legal services not covered by the LSMUL, particularly the engagement of counsel, Resource Management Guideline 420 provides that use of the CCS is optional when industry practice uses different terms and conditions.


The Attorney-General may grant an exemption to the requirement for an Agency to use the LSMUL, in whole or in part. If an Agency wishes to seek an exemption from use of the LSMUL broadly, or in relation to a particular matter or class of matters, the Agency may seek an exemption by providing a written request to OLSC.

Requests for exemptions will be considered based on merit on a case-by-case basis.

Consideration will be given to whether the request for exemption demonstrates that there is an exceptional circumstance.  Examples of exceptional circumstances which may warrant and exemption can be found in the Legal services multi-use list guidance material.


The following request for quote and list order templates are provided for your assistance.

Use of these templates is optional and agencies may edit them or use their own agency-specific forms.

Terms and conditions of order

An agency may use the default terms and conditions in schedule 4 of the deed. It can also choose to use its own terms and conditions, under an agency specific agreement.

The default terms and conditions may be used by an agency when a contract is created by the issue of an order to a service provider.

Agency specific agreements are subject to a number of standard clauses in the default terms and conditions that must, at a minimum, be used.

Relevant clauses in an agency-specific agreement must be no less favourable than the identified clauses in the default terms and conditions (clauses 4, 5, 8, 10, 13, 14, 16.1, 16.2 and 16.8).

The default terms and conditions are available below:

Establishment of the list

The Australian Government established the list to improve the management and delivery of government legal services. This was in direct response to the recommendations from the Blunn Krieger and Gruen reports.