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local authorities


Local authorities are facing increasing challenges. Re-organisations and structural reform, financial pressures, community engagement and the need to remain dynamic and fair through political, social and economic change; all are complex tasks heightened by intense public scrutiny and media attention. Our teams work across all council service areas and are able to provide the expertise and resource sought by local authorities. We deliver expert advice to support you in delivering your evolving roles and objectives.

what we do...

  • Our clients – over 200 local authorities across England and Wales.

  • Our experience - externally endorsed by legal directories 'demonstrating our insight into legal issues faced   by local authorities', appointments to public sector consortia.

  • Dedicated team of over 100 lawyers - based in Nottingham, Birmingham, London, Manchester and Exeter.

  • Providing excellent value - through delivery of expert legal advice together with our innovative and comprehensive supporting services such as research facilities, bespoke client portals, training and insight.

  • Experts in our field - adult and children’s services, Public Private Partnership projects, governance, procurement and constitutional issues, regeneration, shared services, State Aid, civil and criminal litigation, planning, highways, environmental, property and employment.

  • Thought leaders – authors of reports on the issues surrounding shared services and mutual and more recently devolution, our monthly public sector newsletter - Public Matters, blog and delivering seminars in person and on-line.


focus on...

Legal updates

Vesting of highways and ownership of the land

The recent case of London Borough of Southwark and the City of London v Transport for London [2017] EWCA Civ 1220 has provided a timely reminder of the limited vertical extent of highways vested in a highways authority under section 263 of the Highways Act 1980 (The ‘1980 Act’).

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Legal updates

Procurement, not-for-profit organisations and remedies...

Following our last update in July 2016, a further decision has been reached in the case of Perinatal Institute (PI) and Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP)[2017] EWHC 1876 (TTC).

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Legal updates

What does the Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims mean for the public sector?

The Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims came into force on 1 October 2017. It applies to public bodies (including businesses) seeking to recover payment of a debt from an individual (including sole traders).

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Legal updates

The European Court of Justice confirms when a publicly owned company will be a contracting authority

In 2013, VLRD ran a procurement process, in accordance with its own Interim Procurement Regulations. The claimant in the case, LitSpecMet UAB submitted a tender and was awarded a contract for some (but not all) parts of the procured contract.

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what our clients say....

what the directories say...

recent experience

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Richard Barlow

Richard Barlow

Partner and Head of Public Sector

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