Local authorities are at the centre of our communities in delivering local services and have a key role in helping to generate economic growth, build new homes with relevant infrastructure, and protect the most vulnerable in our society.
However, local authorities are facing unprecedented challenges in terms of shrinking budgets and increased financial demands, whilst at the same time having to address the issues resulting from an ageing population and an increased demand for services.
Such pressures are resulting in councils exploring new and innovative ways to generate income and ensure long term financial sustainability. Local authorities are diversifying into new areas and developing complex structures to deliver services more efficiently.
Our local government experience
We have a multi-disciplinary team of highly experienced specialist lawyers with specific sector knowledge. Our lawyers work closely with local authorities to provide the full range of legal services to local government and ensure the delivery of key strategic projects. A number of our team have significant previous experience working as in-house lawyers and appreciate the governance requirements facing in-house teams. We understand the cultural and political dimensions of local government and the importance of transparency and reputation.
The team is experienced in dealing with the challenges arising from the local government ‘commercialisation agenda’. We provide advice on commercial diversification, setting up trading companies, investment property portfolios, alternative delivery models, joint ventures and the use of entrepreneurial methods of service delivery across a wide range of services.
We act for County Councils, Unitary Authorities, London Boroughs, District Councils and Parish Councils and provide comprehensive advice to local government, including in the following key areas:
- corporate governance
- planning, property and Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO)
- highways and rights of way
- housing and regeneration schemes
- intellectual property
- General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)
- environmental health and licensing
- health and safety
- commercial property and landlord and tenant
- construction (including litigation, mediation, adjudication and arbitration)
- local authority trading and charging powers
- local authority trading companies and joint ventures with the private sector
- shared services and service level agreements
- contracts and procurement, the EU Procurement Regulations and state aid
- employment, pensions and TUPE
- civil and criminal litigation and judicial review.
We understand the pressure on local government to deliver and we work collaboratively with our clients to ensure that objectives are achieved on time and to budget. Wherever possible, we aim to find a way through any statutory or regulatory constraints and will be proactive and practical in the delivery of our advice.
We appreciate that there may be occasions when because of lack of capacity or specific expertise within the in-house legal team, local authorities need to engage external lawyers to work alongside them. Alternatively and as appropriate, we will act as lead project lawyers on high profile commercial initiatives. Our team is client and solution focused and works seamlessly with councils to deliver pragmatic advice to ensure that the strategic requirements of our local government clients are achieved.