Editor's blog: Where now for shared services?
The development of shared legal services has come back firmly on the news agenda. This week we report on the decision by two district councils to merge their legal teams from the beginning of October. In last week's newsletter, we covered how Harrow and Barnet will formally implement their deal on 3 September.
The issue is a key element of Local Government Lawyer's 2012 Management Survey, which we have just launched in association with Kennedy Cater. If you are a head of legal, it would be great if you could complete the survey here - it should take no more than 15 minutes. The aim is to get a picture of the latest developments and build on previous research we have conducted since 2009. Read more...
Jobs latest: Merton and Richmond's shared legal service is now looking to recruit two Assistant Property Lawyers to its Business Improvement Team. There are meanwhile only a few days left to apply for the position of Corporate Legal Adviser (salary: £71,564 to £81,763) at the Local Government Association. The closing date is 31 August (noon). Don't miss out!
We are also looking for procurement specialists employed in the public sector to complete a survey we are conducting in association with Bevan Brittan here.
Get 60% off the cost of courses before 5th September and don't forget that your first course is free! Click here to see the full catalogue.
Local authority faces judicial review over gipsy site selection process Claimants argue that process is "fundamentally flawed"
Two authorities in Midlands back shared legal service plan Cabinets approve proposal to merge legal teams from end of September
Supreme Court to hear key case on food labelling and 'use-by' dates Important case for regulatory authorities and food industry
Council agrees £43k payout after delay in providing services to disabled man Ombudsman report finds "significant injustice"
Council takes ICO to Information Rights Tribunal over cameras in taxis Appeal against enforcement notice issued by Information Commissioner in July
Islington set to be in advance guard in implementing late night levy Commitment to introduce levy set out in new licensing policy. Consultation on specific issue to be held once legislation comes into force
DCLG cuts threshold for publishing spend data to £250 New approach expected to apply to councils from the Autumn
Charities and agencies face £1,000 fines under new street fundraising regime Public Fundraising Regulatory Association launches framework after 12-month trial
Browne Jacobson targets public sector growth with new office in South West Takes 25-strong defendant insurance litigation and employment team from Veitch Penny
High Court rejects bid to halt academy conversion Judge refuses permission to bring judicial review proceedings
Train public in how to resolve anti-social behaviour, says RSA report Call for police to train frontline public servants
Scottish Government to consult on package of procurement reforms
Law Commission consults on reforming "out of date" wildlife law
Police commissioners to be required to swear oath of impartiality
Irwin MItchell becomes largest law firm to net ABS status
See all of our most recent news stories
New articles on Local Government Lawyer
No turning back?
Julie Prior looks at the lessons to be learned for contracting authorities from a recent High Court case on the timing for bringing a claim during a tender process.
Buildings or structures - the Woolley Chickens case
A High Court ruling over whether mobile poultry units were development under the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 is a significant one, writes Martin Goodall.
Attempts to prevent eviction
Following a recent judgment, Andrew Lane, Simon Allison, Dean Underwood and Laura Tweedy discuss the increasing use of public law and Article 8 arguments in attempts to prevent eviction in mandatory possession cases.
What can local authorities do to tackle social care debt?
Caroline Sanders and Jacky Edwards consider the growing issue of escalating debt in respect of unpaid care contributions and consider what local authorities can do about the problem.
Commercial prejudice and redaction
An Upper Tribunal ruling serves as a reminder that organisations seeking to rely on the commercial prejudice exemption under FOIA must be as precise as possible, writes Robin Hopkins.
Partnership is still the key
Andy Woods looks at a couple of recent cases and reminds both the trade and the responsible authorities that the partnership approach remains the key ingredient for promoting the licensing objectives under the Licensing Act 2003.
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Managing Major Change Nicholas Dobson outlines the major corporate governance challenges facing local authorities as the government goes about cutting the apron strings from local government, and looks at the role that lawyers have to play.
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Snap judgement: Is your authority likely to increase its use of ADR in the foreseeable future?
Yes, as much as possible
Yes, but only in limited cases
No, we're not familiar with the process
No, public bodies should conduct their business in public
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No, the other side usually want their day in court
And some you may have missed....
Adult Social Services: The Mental Health Act 1983 - setting aside the nearest relative Derek Jones
examines the role of Approved Mental Health Professionals and setting aside a patient's nearest relative.
Children's Services: SEN and academies: the Upper Tribunal has its say
The approach of academies to admitting children with special educational needs has been controversial. James Cornwell
analyses an important Upper Tribunal ruling.
Community Safety: Aiming at the target
The issue of clusters of betting shops appearing on high streets has risen up the licensing agenda. Gerald Gouriet QC
sets out a possible way forward.
Employment: In sickness and in health
The Court of Appeal has clarified aspects of the law on sickness and holiday rights but some uncertainties remain, says Huw Rolant Jones
Governance: Chief exec, head of paid service or both? Nicholas Dobson
examines the recent judicial review proceedings between a city council and its former chief executive.
Healthcare: The validity of advance decisions
The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Street
look at the first reported case upon the validity of advance decisions.
Housing: Altered images
Can landlords be held liable for defects in a property created by tenant damage or alterations? Sian Evans
analyses a recent High Court ruling.
Licensing: At your station
The sale of alcohol at petrol station forecourts has been a vexed issue for years. Jeffrey Leib
looks at recent developments.
Litigation: EL Trigger - the fallout
The Supreme Court ruling in the employer's liability 'trigger' litigation was a welcome one for local government but a number of issues remain outstanding, writes Henry Bermingham
Planning: A changing landscape?
After all the claims and counter-claims in the media, Richard Wald
analyses the real impact of the Sea & Land Power wind farm case.
Procurement: Finding value Anna Sweeney
and Jessica Cumming
examine a recent briefing note on Best Value Guidance and the Compact issued by the DCLG and Compact Voice.
Projects: Screen test
The Court of Appeal has confirmed the correct test for screening decisions in relation to environmental impact assessments, writes Polly Reynolds
Property: Give me a break Julie Roberts
looks at recent court cases that examined the obligations imposed by break clauses.
Regulatory: Selective approach
The Court of Appeal has ruled that there should be "severe" sentences for Selective Licensing offences, but no confiscation under proceeds of crime legislation. Matthew Paul
analyses the case.