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Can Legal sign contracts for me?

Members of Legal Services are not authorised to sign contracts on behalf of the University. The only exception to this is approved settlement agreements which can be signed by Legal Services.

The Contracts Directory provides information on who to contact for specific contracts and any information you may need to prepare or standard templates to be used.


Can I sign contracts on behalf of the University?

Staff are not authorised to sign agreements on behalf of the University unless an express delegation has been given to do so. 


Who will pay for legal advice?

There is [normally] no charge for internally provided legal advice. 

Where external legal advice is required and relates to a project, this advice will be a project cost and you will need to provide us with the relevant project code or WREN number so that Legal Services can raise a purchase order. We will agree external costs estimates with the budget holder before doing so. 

Most other ad-hoc external legal costs are met by the Legal Services budget, on approval of the Chief Legal Officer and Director of Planning, Governance and Legal, but where external advice is needed for matters that do not relate to core University business, Schools and Functions may be required to meet this cost. 


What do we mean by University trade marks?

Trade marks can include words, phrases, sounds, logos, symbols, or colours, and any combination of these. The primary purpose of a trade mark is to identify and distinguish the source of the products and/or services of one party from those of others. By University trade marks we mean, the University name and crest, the University's brand and logo, the Henley Business School brand and logo and any trade marks that are created by any University of Reading School or Department, member of staff or student, any University subsidiaries, or any University partners or suppliers, if created in relation to University business and activities. Certain exceptions will apply in some cases. Please speak to the Legal Services Department for clarification. 


How long will my work take to be completed?

Legal Services are a small team and our resources are limited. Therefore, we will prioritise work that is core to the objectives and strategic aims of the whole University. Please note that whilst Legal Services will work with you to meet any required deadline / timescale, our ability to do is dependent on early involvement, timely responses and clear instructions. 

Where appropriate, Legal Services may choose to implement an expedited process for certain contracts, which is a faster process requiring Legal Services to review only specific contractual clauses. The Contract Owner will be responsible for reviewing the remaining contractual clauses and ensuring that they can meet the contractual obligations.

In exceptional circumstances, Legal Services may have to decline work. In such instances, we will arrange for external legal advice to be provided. 


What do I need to do to assist Legal?

In order to deliver an effective service, we require you to: 
• Provide us with a fully completed request for legal services form
• Work collegiately with us 
• Ensure, where required, that you have the necessary internal approvals to proceed with your project / matter, particularly where it involves third parties 
• Respect the internal processes and professional standards with which we are required to comply
• Not seek legal advice from external solicitors without first seeking the written approval of Legal Services. 
• Involve and, where and when necessary, seek approval from Head of School / Function and any other required stakeholders prior to engaging with us to ensure they have endorsed any activity or arrangement that you wish to enter into with third parties. 


What should I do if I get a Freedom of Information Request?

The Freedom of Information Act, and for environmental information the Environmental Regulations, entitles individuals and third parties to request information from public authorities. If you receive a request for information under the FOI Act or EIR, please forward it onto IMPs at as soon as possible as the FOI Act require that a response to a freedom of information request is provided within 20 working days from receipt. 

To find out more about freedom of information, please click here





Contact Legal Services

Legal Services