Local Government Lawyer
Editor's blog: Breaking the tape

Perhaps the most welcome aspect of the decision this week by the SRA board to approve a rule change allowing local government solicitors to charge charities is the greater understanding the regulator is showing about the realities of local authority legal practice. Read more...

Just in: The award-winning shared legal service at Merton and Richmond Councils is looking for a Planning Lawyer and Commercial Property Lawyers.

Don't delay: You have until 5 pm today (28 February) to apply for the unique opportunity to be Programme Support Officer for the Local Government Assocation's legal team. The closing date is fast approaching for these roles: Solicitor to Herefordshire Council (4 March) and Senior Legal Advocate at Gedling Homes (5 March). Other top positions on the site include Head of Legal Services at Tameside MBC, while the following locum roles are available: Planning Lawyer, Public Law Litigator, and Interim Contracts Solicitor. Don't forget to tell them you saw the advert on Local Government Lawyer.

If you have vacancies to fill, job advertising on the site costs from just £150 + VAT. Click here for more details.

Book now: The Town & Village Greens Roadshow 2013 in Preston on 15 March; the Solicitors in Local Government Weekend School at the University of Warwick from 21-24 March; and The Equality Act and Possession Proceedings on 26 April.

LGL in figures: 22,151 unique visitors last month (up 33% on January 2012).

News headlines

ProjectsSRA Board approves rule change allowing charging of charities Amendment to Practice Framework Rules to go before Legal Services Board along with other red tape initiative reforms. Geographical restriction retained - for now

Information Commissioner orders disclosure of advice from lawyer in trading standards team Chartered legal executive had given advice to company involved in a dispute

Land Registry in prototype for digitised central register of local land charge info Seven local authorities to take part in scheme to provide local land charge searches alongside title register and plan

Last case under old local government standards regime comes to an end London borough understood to have withdrawn appeal to Upper Tribunal

Justice system "not ready to support 26-week time limit for care cases": Resolution Association of family lawyers warns of risk of greater focus on meeting deadline than on needs of the child

Father wins Supreme Court appeal after judge changed her mind in care case Judge had named father perpetrator in oral judgment, but reached different conclusion in later written 'perfected' judgment

First-Tier Tribunal refuses NHS trust permission to appeal ruling on ICO fine Trust, which had advanced four proposed grounds for appeal to Upper Tribunal, will now have to apply direct

Institute of Licensing members lukewarm over minimum unit pricing plans Response to Home Office Alcohol Strategy consultation also reveals concern over introduction of public health objective

Staffordshire, LGL shortlisted for first Halsbury Legal Awards Council nominated in Development of Talent category, Local Government Lawyer up for Legal Journalism award

Harwood, Coppel and Isaacs among barristers to be appointed QC 

Suffolk CC head of legal appointed as a deputy district judge

Council and campaigners keep up pressure on Hunt over hospital downgrade

County to set up legal services framework advising in-house insurance team

Crackdown by London borough sees almost 300 council properties returned

Owner of shisha bar to pay £5,000+ after 'humidor' defence fails

See all of our most recent news stories

New course on Local Government Law TV

Name Price (ex-VAT)   Description
Contact During a Placement Order £35.00
You Save: 50.00%
Having studied this course, the viewer will have gained a broad overview of when and how contact orders are made, who can apply for them, the responsibilities they bring to bear on LAs and adoption agencies and when they can be suspended or revoked.

Other recent courses on Local Government Law TV

Name Price (ex-VAT)   Description
Mental Health and Community Care £50.00
You Save: 50.00%
Made up of three presentations, this course looks at effect of the mental health legislation on community care law from three important perspectives: the duties owed by under s.117 of the MHA, Deputyship and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.
Local Authorities and Commercial Contracts £50.00
You Save: 50.00%
This course provides an overview of local authorities' common law obligations when entering into any private arrangement with a contractor.

All courses are CPD-qualifying. Your first course is FREE.

Departmental subscriptions from £495 + VAT for 12 months unlimited access.
Click here for details.

New articles on Local Government Lawyer

NoonWhen a house is (arguably) not a home
When does the use of a dwelling house for commercial holiday lettings amount to a material change of use? Ian de Prez and Estelle Dehon explain the background to a key ruling by the Court of Appeal.

Why not change the rules on judicial review?
David Cameron's remarks on judicial review, and the consultation report that followed, need a thoughtful response and local authorities will find much to be pleased about if they dig a little deeper into the proposals, believes Graeme Creer.

Development management under the Localism Act
A significant High Court ruling has shown that the Localism Act changed nothing when it comes to the fundamentals of the development management system, writes Martin Goodall.

Information caselaw update
Eleanor Grey QC provides an overview of the most significant developments in information caselaw over the past month.

Reasons - to be cheerful?
The importance of licensing sub-committees providing reasons for their decisions has been re-confirmed by the High Court, writes Michelle Hazlewood.

Telling tales out of school
A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal case involving a school dinner lady raised the issue of the balance between public authority employees' duties of confidentiality and their right to freedom of expression. Paul Greatorex analyses the ruling.

Comparison or evaluation?
Jenny Beresford-Jones analyses a recent procurement case where a property developer sued a council over the introduction of a 'Plan B' proposal.

Flexible tenancies, security and succession
Alec Samuels considers the background to the new flexible council tenancy and the phasing out of security and succession.

Playing catch-up
The employment law applicable to employee behaviours has been slow to adapt to social media, writes Kevin Lynch.

The latest blogs...
Are peers fracked off for the wrong reasons? by Angus Walker
The House of Lords is to start the 'report stage' of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill, the first of three such days and an opportunity for amendments to be debated. 

Snap judgement: Do you think that the Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis's comments that monitoring officers are providing poor advice to their authorities underlines the need for monitoring to be legally-qualified?

Yes - A proper understanding of the law is essential to do the job to the required standard

No - A focus on legal technicalities can prevent MOs from taking a wider view

Click here to vote now

And some you may have missed....

Adult Social Services: Mid-Staffs NHS Trust - the lessons for local authorities Olwen Dutton and Peter Keith-Lucas consider the important lessons for local authorities arising out of the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust inquiry report.

Children's Services: TIme for a rethink A High Court judge has recently ruled that a prospective adoptive child will not be taken from a blind woman, for now. Richard Mumford analyses the case, which saw the woman apply for an injunction against the local authority that took steps to remove the child.

Community Safety: An effective enforcement tool - or a sledgehammer to crack a nut? Paddy Whur looks in detail at s. 53A of the Licensing Act 2003, focusing on the key elements that should be considered prior to this type of review being launched, as well as the other relevant stages of the process.

Employment: Religious discrimination: lessons for the future? Susan Belgrave looks at the impact of recent landmark decisions from the Employment Appeal Tribunal and the European Court of Human Rights on religious discrimination claims in the employment arena.

Governance: Disclosable pecuniary interests - what did the Government intend to capture? Paul Hoey examines the limited circumstances in which the Government intended disclosable pecuniary interests to arise and explains what this means for monitoring officers.

Housing: Deficient homelessness decisions and the impact on the applicant The Court of Appeal recently considered how the courts should deal with a plainly deficient homelessness decision when the deficiency has had no adverse consequences for the applicant. David Lintott analyses the ruling.

Licensing: The case of the absent premises licence holder and the summary review Paddy Whur discusses recent summary review hearings that he has been involved in, where the premises licence holder has been the landlord.

Litigation: Departing from the costs budget The Court of Appeal has handed down a crucial judgment in relation to costs budgeting in litigation. Adam Welsh outlines the key points.

Planning: The rule against s. 289 leave appeals The Court of Appeal has declined to overturn the rule that no right of appeal lies against refusal of leave to appeal a planning inspector's decision on a s. 174 enforcement notice appeal. Mark Lowe QC, Estelle Dehon and Jack Parker examine the ruling.

Procurement: When does the clock begin to tick? Andrew Lancaster reports on an important social care case which centred on time limits in procurement disputes.

Property: Academies - a local authority guide to conversion Since the Academies Act 2010 came into effect Hertfordshire County Council Legal Services has administered 71 academy conversions. Adeola Sonola looks at the practical issues commonly encountered in a conversion, including in relation to property.

Regulatory: State of play David Merson analyses a High Court ruling on rarely used powers for local planning authorities to act in cases where land and buildings are adversely affecting on the amenity of the neighbourhood.

Local Government Law.tv

We are pleased to announce the introduction of an annual corporate subscription that will provide access to a full year of CPD accredited legal training for your lawyers and your client departments

What is included

  • unlimited access to the full library of webinar content for 12 months
  • the option to purchase DVD copies of the webinar training
  • discounted rates offered to attend LGG training courses
 Who can take the training?
  • lawyers and other professionals within your team, each of whom will be provided with personal login to enable them to earn and keep a record of their individual CPD credit.
  • members of your client departments, such as the child protection team, trading standards officers, planners, procurement professionals or social workers. On purchasing a corporate subscription, a client account login will be provided for use by your client departments to view online content at no extra charge.
What is the cost?
  • the cost relates to the numbers of individual registered users per authority, excluding those who use the client account.  These users will be registered for the full year of the subscription with the option to replace a registered user if somebody leaves the authority during the year of subscription.  Option 1 below
  • a DVD option will supply a DVD for every webinar booked – Option 2 below
  • in addition to option 1 a DVD can be purchased for an individual webinar at an additional £15 + VAT if required.  This can be ordered when booking the webinar
  • for a shared legal service serving more than one authority area, references to the number of registered users are to the combined aggregate number of users from the relevant authorities
  • registered users of a corporate subscription will benefit from discounted offers to attend LGG training events during the 12 months.
  Option 1
Online only
Option 2
Online + DVD
Individual subscription £199 (+VAT) £349 (+VAT)
Local authority with up to 10 registered users £495 (+VAT) £945 (+VAT)
Local authority with 10 – 30 registered users £995 (+VAT) £1750 (+VAT)
Local authority with more than 30 registered users £1295 (+VAT) £2295 (+VAT)
Law firms with up to 20 registered users £995 (+VAT) £1750 (+VAT)
Law firms with 20+ registered users £1500 (+VAT) £2495 (+VAT)
 How to register for a corporate subscription
Individual subscriptions can be purchased online at www.localgovernmentlaw.tv.
To set up a corporate account please contact Derek Bedlow on 0207 239 4917 or derek.bedlow@localgovernmentlaw.tv giving details of your authority, the number of users you would like to register and if you would like to take the DVD option for all booked webinars.
We will then contact you within 24 hours to confirm this subscription has been set up.  The corporate subscription members will then be able to register on the site and instantly access the webinar training.
Alternatively, if you would like to pay-as-you-go for webinar training by setting up a corporate pay-as-you-go account for your authority a monthly invoice will be produced and a 10% discount will be applied to all purchases by members of your authority.
There is also the option to take a free trial of a webinar (which includes CPD credit).  Register as a user on www.localgovernmentlaw.tv  and add your preferred course to the cart. During the checkout process, enter FREE TRIAL in the box where indicated (don't forget to click 'Submit'), and the cost of your course will be reduced to zero. Complete the process and your course will be instantly available to view and you can watch it as many times as required for 30 days, from any computer or most mobile devices.

Click here to see all courses on Local Government Law.tv (102)

Head of Legal Services, Tameside MBC. To £70,000.

Programme Support Officer, LGA

Jobs of the week

Merton and Richmond Shared Legal Service
We need lawyers to drive innovative legal and commercial strategies whilst delivering increased efficiencies from the authorities’ legal activities. We want positive, adaptable people who relish working in a challenging, exciting environment and who are willing to engage and contribute fully to the continuing success of the service as it develops. We are recruiting experienced practitioners to the following posts:

Planning Lawyer

Commercial Property Lawyers

Solicitor to the Council
As Solicitor to Herefordshire Council, you will ensure excellent, creative and cost effective legal services. CLOSING DATE: 4 March.
Senior Legal Advocate
Gedling Homes, part of the New Charter Housing Trust Group and 7th in The Sunday Times' Top 100 Best Not for Profit Companies to work for, is recruiting a qualified Housing Solicitor, Barrister or Chartered Legal Executive. CLOSING DATE: 5 March.

Interim Contracts Solicitor
An exciting opportunity for a highly experienced commercial lawyer to take part in a large scale project for a period of approximately six months.

Criminal Litigator
A well regarded local authority in the Kent area requires a Criminal Litigator for a caseload with a strong focus on trading standards.

Planning Lawyer
A friendly local authority in the South West is seeking a Planning Locum Lawyer for a period of at least four months.

Regulatory Solicitor
An in-house client requires a Regulatory Solicitor in the North West for an interesting project expected to last between three and six months.

Social Care Lawyer
A highly regarded borough in South London is seeking a social services lawyer for an ongoing duration.

Commercial Contracts NQ
A leading firm with a national presence and a sizeable team offering services to the public sector is looking for a Commercial Contracts Solicitor.

Legal Services Manager
An exciting opportunity has arisen for an Interim Legal Services Manager, with previous experience of planning law matters, to join a local authority in Surrey.

Other featured jobs

Housing Locum
An excellent locum opening has arisen for an experienced Housing Lawyer to join a new Anti-Social Behaviour team.

Childcare Solicitor
An opportunity has arisen for a Childcare Solicitor to join a reputable local authority in North Wales.

Public Law Litigator
Government department seeks civil litigator to run an extensive and varied caseload for up to one year.

Property Solicitor
We are currently recruiting a Commercial Property Solicitor to join a local authority in the Greater Manchester area. 

Childcare Solicitor
An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Childcare Solicitor to join a local authority in the South West.

Public Sector Locum Solicitor
An immediate opportunity has arisen for a qualified Locum Solicitor to join a public sector body in the South West. Varied caseload.

Search all jobs 


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