Bucks backs new legal deal

  |  Published: Jul 1st 2016

Buckinghamshire County Council last month became the latest council to join HB Public Law – the local government commercial practice first set up by Harrow and Barnet Councils in 2011.

Together with these founding authorities, the practice’s diverse portfolio includes the London Borough of Hounslow and district council, Aylesbury Vale.

With Buckinghamshire’s legal staff joining the Harrow-based practice from 1 July, HB Public Law becomes the largest local authority legal practice in the country - employing more than 150 lawyers.

Hugh Peart, Shared Service Director, said: “HB Public Law’s success shows that it’s possible to improve the quality of service and the satisfaction of both clients and staff while also reducing costs.

“Our model is the right choice in difficult times, but is no austerity option – Buckinghamshire will receive a service with the best features of in-house support; strong working relationships and lawyers that understand their local patch, but also ones that can draw on the kind of expertise and specialist knowledge that innovative councils need to drive improvement.”

Buckinghamshire’s move to join HB Public Law complements existing shared service arrangements with Harrow Council. It provides Harrow with Organisational Development services and agreements are in place to share HR services too. Buckinghamshire expects to realise up to £2million savings per year to 2019/20 through shared service arrangements. 

Cllr John Chilver Buckinghamshire’s Cabinet Member for Resources said: "We want to find ever greater efficiency from back office functions on top of the considerable savings we’ve already made by sharing senior posts and support services. We’re delighted that HB Public Law can now contribute to this ongoing commitment to save taxpayers thousands."

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