At Browne Jacobson, we are thought leaders providing world-class advice on current and complex matters of government. Our years of expertise in business and society give us a unique insight into both public and private bodies. This, coupled with our ability to forge strong relationships with governmental organisations, puts us at the centre of public sector modernisation; while our market-leading work in organisational change, the drive to carbon neutrality, digital transformation, regeneration and more, puts us at the forefront of society’s biggest issues.
We offer the full range of legal services to local authorities, central government departments, devolved national governments, social housing providers, emergency service providers and arm’s length bodies.
As testament to our commitment to local authorities, central government, and wider public sector bodies, we’re on all major public sector procurement frameworks – meaning that you can have instant access to our services, at a fair price and without the need for any additional due diligence.
We’re advising on the first cross-county, mayoral-led combined authority devolution deal in the country. The project, co-led by Nottinghamshire County Council, Nottingham City Council, Derby City Council and Derbyshire County Council provides a unique and unprecedented opportunity for the authorities to come together to deliver much-needed investment into the region.
We’re acting for Folkestone and Hythe District Council on all aspects of Otterpool Park, a flagship garden town project with an estimated gross development value of £2.8bn. The new town, set to be developed on a 770-hectare site adjacent to the M20, has the long-term potential to deliver up to 10,000 new homes plus employment space that could support up to 8,000 jobs.
We advised the Department of Health and Social Care on the sourcing and contracting of a new information management systems and services function – which underpins the Department’s core and critical information and management systems upon which many parts of the UK health service rely. We supported them throughout the contract building and ITT launch phase and worked closely with their subject matter experts to draft the complex service descriptions, service level regime, critical implementation plan and financial model.
We provided legal support to three of the five founding members of the recently incorporated East Midlands Development Corporation. We advised on the company's constitution, governance, membership, and funding arrangements and assisted with the negotiation and drafting of all documents to support the establishment of the vehicle.
"The team are always available and provide support on urgent matters."
"Our experience has been that Browne Jacobson are able to balance black letter law in terms of regulatory requirements with commercial understanding and practicality."
"Very good understanding of issues relevant to local government."
"Browne Jacobson LLP is a delight to do business with. They can be relied on to perform consistently and to a high level of quality for both prolonged engagements as well as for urgent matters where speed and precision are of the essence."
Law firm Browne Jacobson has collaborated with Wiltshire Council and Christ Church Business School on the launch event of The Council Company Best Practice and Innovation Network, a platform which brings together academic experts and senior local authority leaders, allowing them to share best practice in relation to council companies.
In the Autumn Statement delivered on 17 November, rises to the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates were announced, to take effect from 1 April 2023:
Announced in September but scrapped on 17 November the investment zone proposals were very short lived. The proposal has now morphed into the proposal for a smaller number of clustered zones earmarked for investment.
Settlement agreements are commonplace in an employment context and are ordinarily used to provide the parties to the agreement with certainty following the conclusion of an employment relationship. There are already restrictions on the extent to which personal injury claims can be settled by a settlement agreement. There have also been numerous consultations about the use of non-disclosure agreements and confidentiality clauses, particularly where allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination have been raised. In any event, it is clear that settlement agreements should not be used to prevent an employee from raising a protected disclosure.
On 2 November 2022, the Supreme Court handed down its judgment in the much awaiting case of Hillside Parks Ltd v Snowdonia National Park Authority  UKSC 30. The Court’s judgment suggests that the long established practice of using drop-in applications is in fact much more restricted than previously thought. This judgment therefore has significant implications for both the developers and local planning authorities.
Across the UK, homelessness is an urgent crisis, and one that is set to grow amid the rising cost of living. Local authorities are at the forefront of responding to this crisis, but with a lack of properties that are suitable for social housing across the UK, vulnerable individuals and families are often housed in temporary accommodation.
Updates include UK Shared Prosperity Fund, contracts, Subsidy Control Bill, data controller liability, Government Covid-19 procurement and Highway Code revisions.
The complex and rather nebulous transitional subsidy control regime set out in the UK-EU Trade and Co-operation Agreement and the UK’s wider international commitments has made it difficult for public authorities and those working with them to proceed with certainty where subsidies are involved.
Investment zones have been introduced by the Conservative party to get the United Kingdom (UK) ‘working, building and growing’. They are to be designated sites which provide time-limited tax incentives, streamlined planning rules and wider support for local growth to encourage investment and accelerate the development of housing and infrastructure that the UK needs to drive economic growth. Processes and requirements that slow down development will be stripped back with the intention of attracting new investment.
Created at the end of the Brexit transition period, Retained EU Law is a category of domestic law that consists of EU-derived legislation retained in our domestic legal framework by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. This was never intended to be a permanent arrangement as parliament promised to deal with retained EU law through the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill (the “Bill”).
It is clear that the digital landscape, often termed cyberspace, is a man-made environment, in which human behaviour dominates and where technology both influences and aids our role in it — through the internet, telecoms and networked computer systems, which are often interdependent. The extent to which any organisation is potentially vulnerable to cyber-attack depends on how well these elements are aligned.
Three months on from the commencement of the new statutory Integrated Care Systems (ICS) Anja Beriro and Gerrard Hanratty reflect on the main themes and issues that have come from the new relationship between local government and health.
The Procurement Bill (the Bill) has now been with us for about four months, during which time there have been a huge number of amendments proposed in the House of Lords (circa 320). Lately, there has been less mention of it — unsurprising, really, given everything else going on in politics recently — but here’s a summary of some of the key issues and themes so far.
Browne Jacobson has been named as a supplier on Crown Commercial Service’s (CCS) Public Sector Legal Services Framework on Lot 1a – full-service provision (England and Wales) and Lot 2a – general service provision (England and Wales).
Welcome to our September edition of Public Matters, our monthly round-up of legal updates, news and insights for the public sector.
Since the UK left the EU and are now able to move away from the EU data protection regime, the UK government have implemented a national data strategy with the aim of reducing the burden on organisations but maintaining a high data protection standard.
The Chancellor’s recent mini-budget provided a significant announcement for business as it was confirmed that the off-payroll working rules (known as “IR35”) put in place for public and private sector businesses from 2017 and 2021 will be scrapped from April 2023.
Devolution is the transfer of powers in areas like transport, housing and skills in England and since the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016 has been a much-discussed topic.
In this article we look at local authority companies and whether they are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000. And for those that are, what information are they legally obliged to submit.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has published a consultation on proposals to require Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) administering authorities (AAs) in England and Wales to assess, manage and report on climate change risks.
The concept of Legal Project Management (“LPM”) is increasingly relevant to the delivery of legal services, both in-house functions and private practice law. This is unsurprising, LPM is crucial if lawyers are to add value by controlling budgets, communicate pro-actively on risk mitigation and costs, and manage time by resourcing to deal with pinch points in the project.
Welcome to our August edition of Public Matters, our monthly round-up of legal updates, news and insights for the public sector.
On 31 August 2022, the Court of Appeal handed down the Judgment in respect of the appeal case of HXA v Surrey County Council and YXA v Wolverhampton City Council .
This month, HM Treasury issued a consultation on Administrative Control Process for Public Sector Exits with draft guidance. They’re proposing to introduce an expanded approvals process for employee exits and special severance payments, and additional reporting requirements. If approved, the proposals will impact public sector bodies and those that do not have a specific right to make exit payments.
The focus on the Levelling Up agenda and the availability of grant funding, means there are numerous important regeneration schemes actively being pursued across the country. With ever-escalating project and building costs, in many cases, applications that were made for grant funding were based on costs contingencies that have already been exceeded.
The Government has recently published its response to the consultation on Subsidies and Schemes of Interest and of Particular Interest under the Subsidy Control Act 2022. In this article, our subsidy control experts discuss some of the key points coming out of the response, and their impact for public authorities.
Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards was due to transition to Liberty Protection Safeguards in October 2020 but delayed due to the pandemic. While the public consultation has now closed and we’re still unclear of what the final legislation and code will look like, it’s worth noting and keeping a watching brief.
In November 2021, The Civil Justice Council’s published its interim report on proposed changes to the current Pre-Action Protocols, which included a mandatory Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) gateway. In this article, we look at proposed reforms and consider what this could mean for your case.
The use of social media platforms and applications can have overwhelmingly positive benefits for public bodies. However, regulatory action recently taken by the Information Commissioner, has highlighted various pitfalls that public bodies should seek to avoid if allowing staff to use social media as a communication tool.
A Register of Overseas Entities was first proposed in 2016. Whilst progress over recent years has been slow, its establishment was given fresh impetus by the current tragic events in Ukraine.
Browne Jacobson has been appointed on to London Borough’s Legal Alliance (LBLA) legal services framework after successfully bidding for their core legal work. The new three year contract which has a one year option to extend and is worth potentially £16m in fees, commenced on 8 July 2022. It replaces the Boroughs’ existing panel arrangement. The appointment will see the firm advise on areas such as regeneration, litigation, commercial and real estate.
Our immediate future shows a renewed focus on foster care. We’re going to see a new nationwide-drive to recruit foster carers and the implementation of a more robust, and potentially financially-generous system for encouraging friends and family to care for their relatives (both when extended families cannot cope or provide care for any reason).
When carrying out a mix of activities it can be less clear if it is 'economic'. We look at the impact on local authorities & charities.
In the rapidly moving new world of subsidy control law, there’s been several major developments over the last few weeks, as Government looks to start providing more detailed assistance to public authorities in navigating the new legislative regime established by the Subsidy Control Act.
As of 21 July, two separate pieces of legislation came into force which seeks to mitigate against strike action. It should come as no surprise that this is a direct response to the rail strikes, which have dominated the news in the last couple of months.
The Government has referred to the greater “clarity” provided by the Supreme Court’s decision in Uber BV and others v Aslam and others, considering it appropriate to allow the impact of this decision to take effect, before considering further intervention.
By the time PFI really got into its stride in the early 2000s, standard form contracts had pretty much nailed down the terms and anticipated anything that might happen, good or bad, during the course of the 25 years it covered.