First council to provide legal services to NHS

By on 20/09/2011 in News

The city council's legal services department could work on contracts worth up to £9m, after it was the first local authority in the country to be appointed to work for the NHS. 

Beating off competition from some of the highest profile law firms in the country, the city council's lawyers successfully bid for the Health Trust Europe Legal Services Framework Agreement.

The agreement will see the department provide legal services in employment; contract and commercial; and other law for up to 70 NHS trusts in the Midlands and South East for an initial three years, with an option to extend for 12 months.

Already offering advice, support and assistance to a number of neighbouring local authorities, plus councils in the London area and the Home Office; the legal services department has been undergoing a 'quiet revolution' during the last 12 months to open up opportunities for partnership working with the wider public sector.

Director of Legal & Democratic Services, David Tatlow, said: “We are determined to continue to find efficiency savings for both the council and the wider public sector through very competitive charging rates – due to our low cost base and pricing compared to private sector firms. We are particularly pleased to be assisting and working in partnership with the NHS.”

Deputy Leader Paul Tilsley said: “We will build upon our reputation for excellence in legal services and continue to embrace new ways of working with the public sector to reposition the council to reflect the needs of a changing society.”

At a time when budgets are being squeezed and the need to deliver efficiencies has never been more acute, the department is keen to offer its value-for-money legal services to other public sector organisations such as schools, universities, housing associations, fire authorities etc.

Assistant Director John Wynn, who is leading on this project, said: “To add value to organisations we work with and facilitate real efficiencies to the public sector we are launching LSB Law; our legal services trading arm, and LSB Law Conferencing, our dedicated training division for lawyers, officers, and other professionals. It is expected that both will become synonymous with excellence in the legal sector.”

Notes to editors:

1. Closer working relationships have already been forged with neighbouring local authorities including, Sandwell MBC, Stratford on Avon District Council, Coventry City Council.

2. The department consists of 250 full-time equivalent staff and will shortly be moving into dedicated modern offices in the city centre. Lawyers work in dedicated specialist legal teams, within two divisions and have a wealth of experience between them. They come from both private and public sector backgrounds and some have acquired national reputations in various disciplines.  

3. The department beat off significant competition to become ranked first and second for the following areas of law:  Employment (2nd), Contract and Commercial (2nd) and Other law (1st). These areas of law will be worth approximately £8.8 million based on historic values for each lot, working for 70 member Trusts based in the Midlands and London region.

Tags: , ,


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.