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CALLING ALL CHILDCARE LAWYERS: We have some superb opportunities so apply today:
MAKE YOUR MOVE: Join the busy and friendly legal team at Welwyn Hatfield: Legal Services Manager (to £63,000), Principal Litigation Lawyer (to £48,151) and Senior Litigation Officer - Planning & Regulatory (to £40,181). Closing: 10 February (SUNDAY). For these and other great roles go to Public Law Jobs:


Academy wins action against council over education, health and care plan
Academy trust, which cannot be named, successfully challenges council in High Court over whether it should have been required to take boy with learning and behavioural problems

Council and Jewish housing association defeat challenge over allocations
Case concerning lawfulness of housing association letting homes on basis of religion could go to Court of Appeal after Hackney-based Agudas Israel Housing Association won Divisional Court case

Resident wins Court of Appeal battle over suitability of accommodation
London borough fails to properly assess whether accommodation was suitable for resident with disabilities, Court of Appeal rules
Claimants win battle over decision by council that mother was not destitute
High Court quashes decision by London borough that mother of two children - who was also full-time carer for her niece and had no recourse to public funds - was not destitute

Council to hold independent review after information given to ex-partner
Borough council commissions independent review of procedures after being told by Ombudsman to apologise to woman for wrongly giving information about her family to her ex-partner

Council updates member and officer relations protocol amid social media concerns
District council to update its member and officer relations protocol for first time in 18 years in part to take account of potential attacks on officers on social media

Council did not do enough to protect young child from harm: Ombudsman
Young child was left with life-long injuries after council missed opportunities to protect him from his mother’s violent partner, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman investigation finds; local authority also disregarded court order
MUST-READ: The High Court on the Uber app and plying for hire
The High Court has held that use of the Uber app does not amount to plying for hire. Philip Kolvin QC explains why a council's appeal was rejected.
The legal world’s “perfect” solution to paper-based working that is anything but!
In the legal world PDFs are often seen as the ideal replacement for paper-based systems. But as many have discovered digital workflows underpinned by PDFs come with their own set of challenges....(Sponsored editorial)


Seven councils in legal action against major bank over LOBO loans
Group of local authorities take legal action against Barclays Bank over claims that they were mis-sold loans worth more than £500m

Brokenshire issues directions to two councils over Local Plan failure
Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government issues directions to two local authorities on preparations for their Local Plans

Pub operator faces £51k fine over advertisement on side of building
Operator of pub in Gateshead ordered to pay more than £51,000 after ignoring demands to remove illegal advertisement on his building and being taken back to court

Javid unveils legislative changes to tackle unauthorised encampments
Home Secretary announces series of legislative amendments aimed at improving effectiveness of enforcement against unauthorised traveller encampments

Welsh watchdogs to procure suppliers of external legal advice
Wales Audit Office and Auditor General for Wales are to appoint two suppliers to provide external legal advice on range of topics and issues relevant to their statutory functions (on Public Law Today)
MUST-READ: MCA breaches: paying the price?
Gill Weatherill, Paul McGough and Sarah Woods look at the lessons to be learned from a High Court case where breaches of the Mental Capacity Act led to the award of more than £20,000 in damages.
CALLING ALL PLANNING SPECIALISTS: No 5 Chambers is holding its Annual Planning Seminar on 25 March - book your spot now.
Visit the LexisNexis Hub

DPS - Practice management software for local government including ABSs

Judge in England to determine application for child placed for adoption in Scotland
Family Court judge concludes that adoption application in respect of child placed for adoption in Scotland with Scottish adopters can be determined in England

Ministry to pilot expansion of legal aid for early advice in social welfare law
Government to pilot expansion of legal aid to cover early legal advice “in specific area of social welfare law”, MoJ announces; means test for those with parental responsibility to oppose placement or adoption orders in family law proceedings will meanwhile be removed and legal aid made available for these proceedings; MoJ also to spend £3m on support for litigants in person

Anti-fracking campaigner loses challenge over refusal by inspector to adjourn
Campaigner against fracking fails in High Court claim that planning inspector’s refusal to adjourn inquiry was breach of rules of natural justice

Bevan Brittan hires partner to head information law team
Law firm hires NHS Trust head of legal as partner to lead its specialist information law team (on Public Law Today)

See all of our most recent news stories
LAST CALL: The closing date for the role of Head of Legal (up to £81,000) at Cornwall is 09:00 on 11 February (MONDAY). Chelmsford is also hiring a Legal & Democratic Services Manager (to £80,000). Don't miss out on these or other superb opportunities - SIGN UP TO RECEIVE JOB ALERTS. TOP LOCUM ROLES: Senior Regeneration Projects Lawyer (London), Planning Lawyer (Yorkshire) and Education Lawyer - SEN experience (East Anglia).

Spending watchdog criticises government over “underperforming” planning system
Planning system is underperforming and cannot demonstrate that it is meeting housing demand effectively, National Audit Office warns

Ministry sets up chief executive network to aid Brexit preparations
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government sets up network of nine local authority chief executives across England as part of preparations for UK leaving EU

Children's Commissioner calls for compulsory home education register
Anne Longfield calls for compulsory home education register and strong measures to tackle ‘off-rolling’

CPS secures first conviction for FGM
Mother of three-year-old girl becomes first person in England and Wales to be convicted of FGM offences since practice was criminalised in UK in 1985

System for consumer protection “on verge of collapse”, claims Which?
Current structure for consumer enforcement is far too reliant on “increasingly overstretched” local authority Trading Standards Services and is “on the verge of collapse”, report from consumer rights group claims
MARKETPLACE: Kennedy Cater
Welsh watchdogs to procure suppliers of external legal advice
Scottish councils to procure £4m+ legal services framework
Bevan Brittan hires partner to head information law team
Planning barrister boosts Hardwicke property team


This week's analysis

What to do about poor air quality?
The Court of Appeal recently decided that the Communities Secretary was not obliged to call in a planning application for a development that might affect air quality. Simon Ricketts analyses the ruling.

State aid and regeneration projects
Edward Reynolds identifies some solutions to the key issues around state aid and local authority regeneration projects.

PDRs and telephone kiosks
The High Court has clarified the extent of permitted development rights for telephone boxes. Saira Kabir Sheikh QC and Mark Westmoreland-Smith explain the significance of the ruling.

The scope of litigation privilege and ‘purely commercial discussions’
‘Purely commercial discussions’ within an organisation regarding settlement of a dispute prior to litigation are not protected by litigation privilege, the Court of Appeal has clarified. Nicola Hollick considers the implications.

What's next for UK projects?
Steve Gummer, Nicola Sumner and Roseanne Serrelli look at the ramifications of the Chancellor’s decision to bring an end to PFI and PF2.

Finding a national housing policy – Shelter from the storm?
Paul Butterworth considers the key findings of the Shelter Commission's report on social housing and examines two key policy areas that need addressing.


This issue, which can be viewed here, includes:
  • The challenges to local authorities posed by the shortage of mid-level lawyers, and the strategies teams can adopt in response.
  • An interview with Suki Binjal, President of Lawyers in Local Government , on her varied career at public sector organisations across the country and how LLG has evolved.
  • How local government lawyers can make the most of management roles.
  • Hilary Irving on the reasons why the first ABS in the North of England, First North Law, was set up.
The first area under the spotlight in this issue is Child Protection. Julien Foster looks at the pitfalls in public law proceedings and how local authorities can avoid them, while Graham Cole calls for action as more and more child care lawyers suffer from stress, anxiety and burnout.

We also look at current issues around Place, including analysis by Cornerstone Barristers’ Matt Hutchings QC of the role of local authorities in housing supply, and Chris Plumley of Trowers & Hamlins on what can be done to unlock stalled development sites.

Click here to access Insight. Also available to download as a pdf.
Catch up on recent articles on Local Government Lawyer and Public Law Today:

Adult Social Services: Restricting contact without court authority
The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers report on a recent judgment that reinforces yet again how thin the legal ice is where public authorities take steps to restrict contact without seeking the authority of the court.

Adult Social Services: Risk tolerance in practice
A recent judgment of Senior Judge Hilder does not lay down any new principles of law but is an interesting example of the decision on the facts balancing toleration of risks against P’s wishes and feelings, writes the Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers.
Careers: A chance to make a difference
Hesitant about taking on management responsibilities? V. Charles Ward explains how it gave a real boost to his career, and gives some pointers for those taking their first steps. (on Public Law Today)

Children: Local authorities and s.38(6) assessments
The Court of Appeal has issued a timely reminder in a case where a judge had ordered a local authority to fund a s.38(6) assessment, writes Rebecca Cross. (on Public Law Today)

Children: s20: Some welcome guidance from the Supreme Court
Kella Bowers analyses the Supreme Court’s guidance on s20 of the Children Act provided by its decision in Williams v London Borough of Hackney. (on Public Law Today)

Children: Taking the strain?
Local authority child care lawyers are being overwhelmed by the rise in care proceedings and a crisis could be looming. Graham Cole calls for more to be done on staff well-being. (on Public Law Today)
Community Safety: Gang injunctions, human rights and standards of proof
The Court of Appeal recently rejected a legal challenge brought on human rights grounds over a gang injunction obtained by Birmingham City Council. Jonathan Manning and Ayesha Omar explain why.

Dispute Resolution: Not so taxing after all
The Court of Appeal has held that additional hours provided by a university by way of reasonable adjustments for disabled students should be included in consideration of exemption from Council Tax. Catherine Meenan analyses the judgment.

Dispute Resolution: Recent developments with Part 36
Part 36 is the provision that keeps on giving - or taking away…, writes John Appleyard.

Education: SEN update
There have been a number of important decisions regarding children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) likely to be of interest to schools and colleges. Erin Smart provides a helpful summary.

Education: Ofsted and its complaints procedure
Ofsted has successfully appealed a ruling that its complaints procedure was unfair for some schools. Katie Michelon looks at the lessons to be learned.

Education: Home schooling in England and Wales
Legal changes are afoot in relation to home schooling. Dr David Sykes and Dr Samantha Davey look at the issues for local authorities and analyse what is in store.

Employment: Good Work Plan – some legal changes confirmed
The Government has now published the draft legislation which will bring some of the commitments made in the Good Work Plan into force. Phil Allen explains the key points.

Employment: Good Work Plan - changing employment law
The Good Work Plan moves us a step closer to the implementation of the reforms recommended in last year's Taylor Review. Phil Allen explains what is involved.

Employment: Serious misconduct: undertaking an effective conduct investigation
John McArdle provides some top tips for an effective conduct investigation concerning serious misconduct.

Governance: Not just back to the future
Jonathan Goolden analyses the key findings in the Committee on Standards in Public Life’s report on local government ethical standards.

Governance: Practical tips for local government re-organisation
Local government re-organisation and the transition from two tiers of local government in to a single tier unitary authority is a big undertaking, which necessitates looking at numerous practical considerations. Karl Edwards looks at some of the practical considerations to consider when looking at moving to a unitary model.

Governance: Through the looking glass
Rosalee Dorfman Mohajer looks at the implications of the Cliff Richard judgment against the BBC and South Yorkshire Police for local authorities when they share information with the press. (on Public Law Today)

Health: The NHS Long Term Plan - Procurement and Competition
The NHS Long Term Plan raises some interesting issues for anyone involved in procurement and bidding in the health sector, writes Mary Mundy.

Health: The NHS Long Term Plan
The NHS Long Term Plan has now been published following several days of snippets being fed to the media on the benefits which the Plan will seek to introduce. Gerard Hanratty gives a legal overview.

Health: The inherent jurisdiction, deprivation of liberty and conditional discharges
Rebecca Fitzpatrick analyses a case that considered whether the High Court’s inherent jurisdiction can be used to authorise a deprivation of liberty of a patient with capacity who is subject to a conditional discharge under the Mental Health Act 1983.

Health: Community treatment orders, conditions and deprivations of liberty
Do responsible clinicians have the power to impose conditions in a community treatment order (CTO) which have the effect of depriving a patient of his liberty? The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers analyse a Supreme Court ruling.

Housing: Damages and Article 8
The High Court has dismissed a claim for damages in respect of accommodation provided under section 17, Children Act 1989 which was alleged to be in breach of Article 8. Clare Cullen reports.

Housing: The PSED and possession
When it comes to the public sector equality duty in possession proceedings, context is everything, write Andrew Lane and Ruchi Parekh.

Housing: HMOs and self-contained flats
Stuart Jessop reports on a case where a landlord was prosecuted by the London Borough of Camden under section 72 of the Housing Act 2004, alleging that the property was a house in multiple occupation, requiring to be licensed under part 2 of the Act but which was not so licensed.

Housing: The role of local authorities in housing supply
Matt Hutchings QC considers how local authorities can boost housing in their areas through their roles as house builders, planning authorities and through the use of local housing companies. (on Public Law Today)

Information Law: Making GDPR British
New regulations set out the UK’s post Brexit data protection landscape. Ibrahim Hasan sets out the key points.

Information Law: Revised s.45 Code of Practice under FOI
Ibrahim Hasan highlights the key points from the new version of the s.45 FOIA Code of Practice.

Licensing: Cross-border hiring
Philip Kolvin QC examines Uber’s successful appeal against Brighton and Hove City Council's refusal of a licence.

Licensing: Limited life licences: the verdict
Philip Kolvin QC reports on the outcome of a case where a licensing sub-committee decided to grant a licence for a shorter period than the applicant had requested.

Management: Striking out in a new direction: Setting up an ABS
What does it take to set up a legal services alternative business structure? Hilary Irving of North Yorkshire County Council outlines the risks and rewards. (on Public Law Today)

Management: Local authorities: getting started with legal apprenticeships
One of the great privileges of working with councils to deliver apprenticeships is observing the different approaches legal departments take to deploying and developing apprentice staff, writes Noel Inge.

Planning: Viability: speed of delivery matters
Ralph Kellas examines a planning inspector's decision on the weight to be given to the Draft London Plan and whether a late stage review was justified.

Planning: Self-builds, CIL and commencement notices
A council has won a High Court ruling over whether a self-builder was liable to pay the Community Infrastructure Levy. Hashi Mohamed explains why.

Planning: A cautionary tale concerning the use of POCA in planning
Michael Dempsey discusses the growing trend in the use of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 by local planning authorities to obtain confiscation orders against those committing planning offences and examines a recent case that serves as a reminder that POCA should not override or unduly influence other planning decisions.

Planning: Noises off
The noise effects from adjacent industrial premises have lead the High Court to quash a residential planning permission. Jenny Wigley explains why.

Procurement & Contracts: What does a 'deal' or 'no deal' mean for you?
Nicola Sumner and Juli Lau consider the practical steps contracting authorities should consider taking in preparation for Brexit, 'deal' or 'no-deal'.

Procurement & Contracts: Contractor woes and living wills
Are ‘Living Wills’ the answer to contractor financial instability? Juli Lau and Allan Owen consider the benefits.

Procurement & Contracts: Urgent procurements for Brexit – ferry contracts in the spotlight
Emily Heard considers the procurement issues raised by the Government’s award of ferry contracts ahead of a possible no-deal Brexit.

Projects: The importance of Place and revenue growth for local government
Judith Barnes and David Hutton outline how local authorities can - and must - utilise their Place-making roles to ensure their future financial viability. (on Public Law Today)

Projects: Guarantors and awards of damages
The High Court has awarded damages against a guarantor over contracts to build solar plants. Justin Mendelle, Juli Lau and Alexandra Bellis look at the lessons to be learned.

Projects: Local Heat Projects
Nicola Sumner, Steve Gummer and Juli Lau set out the key considerations when it comes to localised heating projects.
Property: Unlocking stalled development sites
Chris Plumley explores some of the most common traps in relation to stalled development sites and suggests some effective solutions. (on Public Law Today)

Property: A market snapshot
Nathan Holden and Clive Pearce look at the lessons to be learned from recent topical legal cases and other changes in the real estate market of relevance to local authorities. (on Public Law Today)

Property: Compensation under the Asset of Community Value regime
More substantial claims are beginning to be made against authorities over the listing of assets of community value. Christopher Cant analyses a recent tribunal ruling.

Regulatory: A valuable alternative to prosecution: the Environment Agency and civil undertakings
Civil sanctions in environmental law: what are they and why do they matter? Tim Green and Gus Baker explain.

Transport & Highways: Transferring interests in highways
The Supreme Court has handed down a ruling in a dispute between two London councils and Transport for London on the extent of the transfer of a 'highway'. David Elvin QC explains the outcome.

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Legal & Democratic Services Manager

Leicestershire County Council
Leicestershire County Council
Commercial Solicitor
Childcare Solicitors x2

Gloucestershire County Council
Gloucestershire County Council
Various opportunities
Senior Lawyer Advocate

Oldham Council
Oldham Council
Legal Assistant - Corporate

National Legal Costs Manager

Southwark Council
Southwark Council
Senior Property Lawyer

Luton Borough Council
Luton Borough Council
Solicitor - Contracts & Procurement

South London Legal Partnership
South London Legal Partnership
Procurement/Contract Lawyers


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