Local Government Lawyer
Editor's blog: The wrong kind of growth?

The deadline for submissions to the Ministry of Justice's 'engagement exercise' on reforms to judicial review closed on 24 January, amid claims that there was barely a single response in favour. It is also difficult to tell what public bodies think of the plans. Read more...

Don't delay, apply today: The closing date (11 February) for the roles for lawyers at various levels of seniority at HB Public Law and for an Assistant Solicitor at Derbyshire Dales is fast approaching.

Other great jobs on the site today include: Senior Contracts Lawyer - Ealing (to £53k); and Commercial/Procurement Lawyer - Staffs and West Mids Probation Trust (to £39k). And don't forget all the locum roles on our searchable database such as these roles for a Litigation and Prosecutions Solicitor, a Legal Services Manager, and Public Lawyers for an urgent government project. Please let them know you saw the advert on Local Government Lawyer.

Book now: Advocacy skills for family lawyers - 15 March or A modern obstacle race: Major works consultation and dispensation - 27 February.

News headlines

ProjectsCouncil fends off £43.5m claim for procurement breaches and deceit Local authority plans to pursue recovery of £4m legal costs as property developer mulls appeal

Minister weighs into monitoring officer advice on disclosable pecuniary interests Letter from Brandon Lewis to all local authority leaders on council tax and disclosure in Budget debates

Watchdog sees huge rise in data protection enforcement cases Number of new data protection enforcement cases taken on by ICO in 2012/13 almost 50% up on whole of previous year - and three months still to go

Tougher test on use of experts in family cases comes into force Changes to Part 25 of Family Procedure Rules apply to existing proceedings and those starting after 31 January 

High Court judge rejects judicial review challenge to council tax rebate scheme Haringey case was one of five legal actions being brought by Irwin Mitchell against local authorities

Cabinet Office issues reminder on public sector equality duty and procurement Policy note highlights cases where service to which PSED applies is contracted out, and where a public function is being contracted out

Social value law comes into force amid calls for legislation to be strengthened Leading lawyer warns against tick-box approach

Watchdog accuses council of unlawful £20m transfer from pension fund Wales Audit Office says transaction must be recorded in accounts, while Swansea denies illegality

Law Society and Bar Council attack judicial review reforms Right to bring judicial review is "too important to be impaired by hasty reforms", Chancery Lane says

DWF completes acquisition of bulk of Cobbetts after administrators appointed Cobbetts had sought interim statutory moratorium to enable sale after poorer than expected trading in November and December

Councils urge Home Office rethink over bar on access to communications data Letter highlights cases where data was essential to protecting consumers

LGO attacks council for "serious flaws" in approval of planning application

Regulators hope fourth time is lucky as revised timing for QASA unveiled

Ministers target planning administration in latest Red Tape Challenge

TfL agrees payouts to drivers after faulty info persuaded them to change vans

See all of our most recent news stories

New courses on Local Government Law TV

Name Price (ex-VAT)   Description
Licensing Update £50.00
You Save: 50.00%
Prof Roy Light reviews and analyses the major changes to the licensing regime being implemented or proposed by the government, and the effect of judicial decisions on the day-to-practice of licensing authorities and the lawyers that advise them.
Disclosure in Commercial Litigation £50.00
You Save: 50.00%
This course is made up of two presentations examining the law and practice surrounding the rapidly-changing disclosure process involved in commercial litigation, with a particular focus on e-disclosure.
Adoption Orders - Tips and Traps £50.00
You Save: 50.00%
This presentation looks at the process of applying for an adoption order and outlines the practical issues that often occur along the way through the analysis of recent case law and recent amendments to the Adoption Agencies Regulations.
Package: Supporting Young People £125.00
You Save: 50.00%
This package comprises courses on Age Disputes, The Duty to Provide Accomodation under the Children Act, Responsibilities towards to those leaving local authority care and Inter-authority disputes.

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

NoonOn taking care - cautionary tales and lessons to be learnt
A growing number of authorities have lost court cases with care home providers over the fees they are prepared to pay. Stephen McNamara analyses why.

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 in the employment arena.

Automatic suspensions and cross undertakings in damages - is the time right?
Ruth Smith examines a recent attempt to obtain a cross undertaking in damages before a court hearing on whether an automatic suspension should be lifted.

Standards: rules of the local authority road
Nicholas Dobson takes a look at the purpose of the standards regime and the degree to which 'standards lite' is adequate.

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.

Access to council housing information under FOI
The tribunals have issued a number of important rulings on freedom of information requests relating to council properties. Ibrahim Hasan reviews the main judgments.

Lowering the bar?
Employees are more likely to be considered to have a disability following an Employment Appeal Tribunal decision on the impact of the Equality Act, writes Louise Singh.

Go West
Karl Anders looks at a recent Court of Appeal decision that confirms that an Article 8 defence to a possession claim will only succeed in a small number of cases. The decision will be met with much relief by social landlords.

Parking rights - easements or licences?
Avril Thain considers how the courts have approached tenants' parking rights.

Planning control and advertisements
Polly Reynolds and Mary Tate consider the important role that local planning authorities have in relation to the control of advertisements. 

The latest blogs...
Red tape challenge targets planning regulations by Angus Walker
Last week the searchlight of the 'red tape challenge' reached planning regulations, including infrastructure planning. What does that mean? 

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: Ordinary residence and public services David Lawson reports on the most recent case on ordinary residence. He then goes on to give a summary of the current position and the key starting points for practitioners advising on the question.

Children's Services: Disclosure of social work records and litigation Those dealing with questions about sensitive records, in particular in relation to social work, need to take notice of a significant Court of Appeal ruling, writes Robin Hopkins.

Community Safety: Dealing with anti-social behaviour - the proposed new tools Following publication of the draft Anti-Social Behaviour Bill, Donna McCarthy looks at the tools that are to be made available.

Employment: Zero sum game Are zero hours contracts a flexible solution or a false economy? Graham Richardson considers the key issues and sets out some of the traps organisations need to avoid.

Governance: Two standard problems Stephen McNamara looks at solutions to thorny issues relating to disclosable pecuniary interests and members wishing to express strongly held views before regulatory committees or attend campaign meetings. 

Housing: Prayers answered The Court of Appeal has concluded that the rule in Monk is compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. Andy Lane and Dean Underwood, who opposed the 'leapfrog' appeal against a possession order, explain why.

Licensing: 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.

Litigation: The inherent jurisdiction - where are we now? Alex Ruck Keene looks at the status of the High Court's inherent jurisdiction after the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and examines the uncertainty caused by recent rulings.

Planning: The LPA as landowner and how to tackle s106s Caroline Bywater discusses the quagmire that surrounds securing s. 106 obligations where the local planning authority is the landowner.

Procurement: Fair deal or no fair deal The Fair Deal is one element of public service pension provision under review by the Government following the Hutton Report's recommendations in March 2011. Zoe Lynch reviews the latest developments.

Projects: Son of PFI Will PF2 give a new boost for infrastructure? Craig Elder assesses key aspects of the Treasury's new model, including the procurement guillotine and proposals on reward sharing. 

Property: Due diligence on property disposals How should public sector organisations disposing of sites approach replying to buyers' enquiries? Phil Lawrence outlines some of the issues that need to be considered.

Regulatory: Relying on an unlawful act to found a prosecution Can a public authority rely on its own unlawful act to found a criminal prosecution? David Merson reports on a recent High Court ruling involving a caravan site.

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)

Jobs of the week

HB Public Law is among the vanguard of a new wave of local government legal practices. The service, which is hosted by Harrow Council, is looking to recruit lawyers at various levels of seniority and across a range of practices, including social care and education, planning and regeneration, housing, litigation, property and contracts. CLOSING DATE: 11 February.


Assistant Solicitor
Derbyshire Dales District Council is looking for an enthusiastic and capable Solicitor to deal with legal matters across the whole of the authority's legal services. CLOSING DATE: 11 February.

Commercial/Procurement Solicitor or Barrister
Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust is looking for a solicitor or barrister with a minimum of three years' experience in procurement and contract law. 15-month fixed term contract. Salary: £34,677 to £39,424.

Senior Contracts Lawyer
Are you an experienced and highly skilled contracts and procurement lawyer looking for a new challenge? If so, the London Borough of Ealing wants to hear from you. Salary: £50,931-£53,796 pa inclusive.

Litigation and Prosecutions Solicitor
This friendly public sector organisation in the North West is looking for an ambitious solicitor to join them on an ongoing basis.

Public Lawyers
An urgent government project requires public lawyers for short to mid-term contracts. Contact us if you have statutory interpretation, project management and broad public law experience.

Interim Senior Contracts Locum
Our client, a local authority in Kent, is looking for a Senior Solicitor to join the commercial contracts and procurement team.

Litigation Locum
Our client, a county council based in the Midlands, is looking to take on a general litigation locum for a one-month period initially.

Legal Services Manager
An exciting opportunity has arisen for an Interim Legal Services Manager to join an authority in Surrey.

Public Law Solicitors
A public body in Central London requires Public Law Solicitors to join them immediately for initially three months.

Childcare Locum
A local authority in the East Midlands requires an experience Childcare Solicitor.

Housing Lawyer
An opportunity has arisen for a Housing Lawyer to join a local authority on a contract basis in the South East.

Other featured jobs

Housing Solicitor
Joining this London organisation on a locum basis, you will be responsible for a varied housing litigation caseload.

Senior Social Services Lawyer
A well situated London borough is seeking a senior lawyer.

Legal Officer
An excellent opportunity has arisen for a Legal Officer to join an in-house legal department within a public sector organisation in Suffolk.

Planning or Landlord & Tenant Solicitor
A public sector body in the North West is looking for a lawyer with experience working in local government.

Commercial Property Legal Officer
We are looking for a Commercial Property Legal Officer to join a local authority in Yorkshire.

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

Commercial Property Locum
An opportunity has arisen for a Property Solicitor in South East London. You will have recent local authority experience.

Planning and Highways Locum
We are recruiting a Planning and Highways Locum to join a local authority in the Home Counties.

Locum Solicitor, Cumbria
This part-time, fixed-term contract is to oversee all regulatory, legal and compliance matters. The role will last until the end of July 2014.

Locum Conveyancer
An excellent opportunity has arisen for a Legal Executive, Conveyancer or Paralegal to join a local authority in the Middlesex area.

Search all jobs 


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