Local Government Lawyer
Editor's blog: Author of her own misfortune?

The case where a blogger, Jacqui Thompson, sued Carmarthenshire County Council and its chief executive for libel - only to have her claim dismissed and be ordered to pay £25,000 in damages following a successful counter-claim - makes for particularly fascinating reading. Read more...

Try our online training service, Local Government Law TV, for free. Courses include: Duties of consultation and disclosure owed in planningLicensing Update and Contact During a Placement Order.

Jobs just in: Brighton & Hove City Council is seeking an Employment and Local Government Lawyer for a 12-month temporary contract. Check out our database for some great locum roles too: Locum Head of Legal, Data Protection and FOI Legal Officer, Senior Contracts and Procurement Locum and Senior Legal Services Officer. Have you a vacancy to fill? Did you know that job advertising on the site costs from just £150 + VAT? Click here for more details.

What are the best - and worst - things about working as a lawyer in the public sector? Please complete our Careers Survey - it will take a maximum of ten minutes and all answers will be treated anonymously. You will also be entered into our draw to win a £50 John Lewis voucher.

Book now: Highways Law - Basic Survival Guide (29 April), Legal issues when buying and selling local authority land (multiple dates) and Contract drafting in the Public Sector (multiple dates).

News headlines

ProjectsBUDGET 2013: BY PRACTICE AREA Local Government Lawyer has identified some of the key areas for the sector arising out of this year's Budget. See also: BUDGET 2013: THE REACTION

Blogger who sued council and chief exec ordered to pay £25,000 damages Counter-claim by chief executive of local authority succeeded after claimant sued for libel

Council agrees libel payout over allegations in objection to licence application Local authority re-published untrue allegations from a neighour in its Temporary Events Notices

Council ordered to pay damages to parents in s. 47 enquiry dispute High Court judge rules that London borough's actions were unlawful in launching investigation into whether a six-year-old girl was suffering or likely to suffer harm

Judicial review of £320m outsourcing plan at Barnet kicks off Keenly-anticipated case begins at High Court as disabled claimant alleges insufficient consultation amongst grounds for challenge

Wild urges Legal Services Board to axe area test on charging charities Kent legal chief tells super-regulator that imposition by SRA of geographical restriction on forthcoming ability of local government solicitors to charge is an "error" that should be corrected 

Tribunal set to hear only second ever appeal over ICO fine for data breach Case centres on largest ever monetary penalty (£250,000) imposed on local authority

Councils face "deluge" of disputes from draft care reforms: MPs and peers Joint committee calls for independent resolution of disputes over decisions about care and support - and costs counting towards cap - through Care and Support Tribunal

First Planning Act 2008 scheme promoted by local authority gets green light Lancashire CC promoted Heysham to M6 link road scheme through infrastructure planning and consenting regime

First neighbourhood plan referendum in the country secures 'yes' vote Turnout of 33.67% but strong backing for adoption of proposals

Ombudsman tells council to review bailiff procedures after clamping incident

Regional strategies for East Midlands and North East next to go: Pickles

ALMO plays substantial damages to claimant brain damaged after pothole trip

Campaign group slams use by councils of private investigators

LGO attacks council for mishandling planning application for tyre centre

See all of our most recent news stories

New course on Local Government Law TV

Name Price (ex-VAT)   Description
Duties of consultation and disclosure owed in planning £35.00
You Save: 50.00%
This course looks at the duties owed by local authorities and other public bodies to disclose confidential information that informs decisions with an environmental impact and their duties to consult on such decisions.

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

NoonNeighbourhood planning under the Localism Act: the Daws Hill case
Suzanne Ornsby QC and Isabella Tafur explain the background to an important High Court ruling on the impact of the Localism Act on the planning system, and the areas covered by a neighourhood forum.

Lost to the system: 'Self-funders' and assessments of needs
Many 'self-funders' are being denied the assessment of needs to which they are legally entitled, argues MIchael Furminger. It will be beneficial for many self-funders to seek such assessments of need and local authorities should promptly agree to undertake them.

Notices to quit and undue influence
Jonathan Manning analyses a recent High Court housing case, where, amongst other things, it was claimed that a council had obtained a notice to quit by undue influence or unconscionable behaviour.

The cost of care: the position following the Tower Hamlets decision
Jacqui Thomas looks at the caselaw and policy around financing placements of children with family members.

Dancing to a different tune
In a ruling that will be of great assistance to licensing authorities, a High Court judge has dismissed an application for judicial review against a refusal to grant a sex entertainment venue licence for a lapdancing venue in a rural location. Josef Cannon explains why.

The need to refer cases to the Court of Protection
A recent case where the parents of a 21-year-old woman with Down's syndrome wanted her to undergo a sterilisation procedure highlights the need for medical practitioners to know when to refer cases to the Court of Protection, says the team at 39 Essex Street.

Localism in planning: myth or reality?
In a case involving Tewkesbury District Council, a High Court judge has considered the implications of the Localism Act on the role of the Secretary of State in planning decisions. Simon Goacher analyses the case and what it means for local authorities.

Inter-authority recoupment and special educational needs
New regulations are about to come into force covering whether one local authority should contribute towards the costs of a SEN statement for which another authority has responsibility. Rachel Kamm outlines the changes.

The latest blogs...
Hinkley Point C nuclear power station and Heysham to M6 Link road given consent by Angus Walker
This entry reports on the approval of the applications to build and operate the Heysham to M6 link road in Lancashire and the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset. 

Snap judgement: What's the best approach to libellous bloggers?

Ignore them and deny them the oxygen of publicity

Try to engage with them

Apply the full force of the law

Click here to vote now

And some you may have missed....

Adult Social Services: Taking a measured approach The Metropolitan Police recently failed in a bid to overturn a ruling that it had breached the common law, the Disability Discrimination Act and various articles of the ECHR in its handling of an autistic, epileptic young man. The team at 39 Essex Street examine the court's reasoning.

Children's Services: The Court of Protection and practice points from the Family Division The team at 39 Essex Street examine some recent practice points from the Family Division that are relevant to the Court of Protection.

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: The use of Teckal company structures in public service delivery: part 2 - mutualisation Amy Auton-Smith and Simon Thomas look at some of the legal issues arising in relation to using a Teckal company to kick-start a move towards public service mutualisation, with a focus upon private companies limited by shares as the preferred vehicle.

Governance: Data mining Eleanor Grey QCCatherine Dobson and Jennifer Thelen look at the latest information law cases, which range from time limits to striking out, and from personal data to Prince Charles' correspondence.

Housing: Income from lease extensions Charles Ward examines the increasingly likely prospect of tenants asking social landlords for an extension to their right-to-buy lease.

Licensing: The case of the taxi prosecution and the missing records A Magistrates' Court ruling on a council's apparent procedural failures has delivered a bombshell for taxi licensing authorities, writes Philip Kolvin QC.

Litigation: Tree roots and the section 58 defence Lorna Herring and Thomas Crockett report on a tripping case where a local authority successfully made out the defence in section 58 of the Highways Act 1980.

Management: Trading places Changing times, shrinking budgets and increased political focus are forcing all in local government to look well beyond their traditional turf. Nicholas Dobson examines some things you need to consider surrounding trading by local authority legal departments.

The amended scope of section 106 renegotiation procedures The government has overhauled the framework for the renegotiation of s. 106 agreements. Chris Slater and James Garbett consider the changes. 

Procurement: Too good to be true? Abnormally low tenders create serious risks - as was demonstrated by the collapse of Connaught plc in September 2010 - but the law about them is ambiguous. David Gollancz sets out the headline issues and arguments.

Property: Major works consultation: closing the section 20 bear-trap Ranjit Bhose QC and Hugh Flanagan discuss how a recent decision of the Supreme Court has overhauled the way Leasehold Valuation Tribunals will approach the question of whether to dispense with the consultation requirements for major works service charges.

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 building 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)

Employment and Local Government Lawyer
Brighton & Hove City Council is seeking a qualified Solicitor or Barrister to advise on employment law and local government law. This is a 12-month temporary contract to cover maternity leave.

Jobs of the week
Locum Head of Legal
This is a brand new opportunity for a Locum Lawyer specialising in the public sector/local government environment. Our client has an urgent need for cover for its Head of Legal Services role on a rolling contract with a minimum commitment of three months.

Data Protection and FOI Legal Officer
A public sector organisation in the West Midlands is looking for a Data Protection and FOI Legal Officer for a minimum of three months.

Senior Contracts and Procurement Locum
Our client, a local authority based in Kent, is recruiting a Senior Solicitor for its contracts and procurement team.

Commercial Contracts Locum
An excellent opportunity has arisen for a Contracts and Procurement Lawyer in Essex.

Interim Planning Solicitor
A fantastic opportunity has arisen in the West Midlands for a qualified locum Planning Solicitor to handle a busy caseload.

Employment Adviser
Our client is looking for a Senior Employment Adviser to cover their health clients across the South East.

Education Solicitor
We are currently recruiting an Education Solicitor to join a local authority on a locum basis in the Home Counties.

Judicial Review/Civil Litigation
Central Government department needs a Civil Litigation to run a caseload of judicial review claims.

Locum Prosecutions Lawyer
An opportunity has arisen for a Locum Lawyer in the Staffordshire area.

Other featured jobs

Senior Legal Services Officer
Working within the public sector my client requires an experienced planning lawyer.

Planning Locum Lawyer
An excellent opportunity has arisen for a Planning Locum Lawyer to join a local authority in the South West of England for at least three months.

Contracts and Procurement Locum
Assisting this large public sector body during a busy period, this role is expected to last around eight weeks but with the possibility of extension.

Planning Solicitor
This busy public sector body is keen to add an experience planning Solicitor to its legal team to assist with a particularly busy period.

Legal Executive
A public sector organisation in Brighton has an exciting opportunity for a Legal Executive/Paralegal to assist in the defence of claims.

Litigation Assistant
A large local authority is looking for a Legal Assistant to join its team covering an excess workload of personal injury and some civil litigation matters.

Childcare Legal Assistant
An opportunity has arisen for a Legal Assistant/Legal Executive with a CRB on a contract basis in Dudley.

Search all jobs 


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