we’re legal and governance
Specialist advisory and trusted election and democratic services that appreciate your challenges
Our dedicated public sector Legal and Governance services give you access to all the specialist expertise you need to smoothly run your legal and governance activities. Lexcel-accredited for excellence in practice management, client care and quality of service; our well-established ways of working and focus on technology can enhance your work, streamlining decision-making.
This is in no small part due to the wealth and variety of experience at one source. As one of the UK’s leading public sector shared service arrangements, we aren’t just about Legal and Governance: we also work alongside our colleagues in one source Exchequer & Transactional Services and ICT. All giving us a deep understanding of the complex legal framework and practical issues behind everything you do.
Shared services are most often known for volume legal and electoral processes. However, we actually offer a vast range of specialist services, for example helping exchequer teams escalate debt collections, supporting asset management, and advising on procurement contracts. Our respected advisers and advocates can also help with governance, employment, procurement, property, planning and regeneration as well as education or social care matters.
From the process-driven public sector operations we provide to Newham and Havering, to more informal consultancy for other Local Authorities, 90%+ of our customer ratings are good or excellent. We’re here to help you at every stage of any legal or governance process, so you can provide a better service to your employees, communities, residents and customers.
We’ve a long-standing reputation for helping enhance local government decision-making. Working in partnership with your members and senior managers, we improve governance so you can take effective decisions in an open and transparent way.
Our Head of Democratic Services, along with the rest of the team, provides procedural advice and guidance on constitutional or statutory matters, whilst managing operational matters from report clearance to minute publication.
Procurement has always been a complex area for public sector bodies – and will likely become even more so as we exit the EU and develop our own statutory regime. As an in-house advisor to two busy authorities with diverse portfolio of services and companies, we understand your needs and can provide tailored solutions to meet your commercial needs. We work closely with our procurement colleagues to ensure the smooth handling of processes end-to-end.
Our specialist Property, Planning and Regeneration lawyers have been at the heart of Newham’s and Havering’s post-Olympic housing and commercial expansion. Unrivalled in the UK, it includes the Newham Mayor’s Affordable Housing Programme (on track to deliver 1,000+ social housing units) and Havering’s developments in Beam Park and beyond.
We are also uniquely placed to work with our one source Asset Management colleagues to advise on virtually all commercial and residential matters: from the complete reimagining of town centres, to small projects with unique legal aspects, and even sales of individual council houses.
Your legal duty to your community is paramount – and rarely affects lives so deeply as with housing, civil and employment actions and regulations. With a range of front-line and back office legal services, we can ensure you always have best practices in place, and can smoothly adjust processes as the law evolves. We also represent your interests, for example we’ve recently obtained a high-value settlement from RBS for Newham over their management of LOBO loans.
As well as handling more unique or individual cases, our Electoral Services team have developed a shared service for Newham and Havering Councils.
After successfully delivering five elections in two years – for over 600,000 people – we have a deep understanding of the practicalities of running such community-wide operations, so can save you time and money. We can also add value throughout the election cycle: we are currently implementing Boundary Reviews in Newham and Havering. The Boundary Commission accepted the vast majority of our proposals on new wards and our suggestion to increase the number of councillors.
Be it major regeneration projects, planning policy, development controls, highways, parking, CPOs, planning enforcement or litigation, our experience and knowledge can be a valuable asset to helping you reach your goals. Newham, in particular, has some of the UK’s most ambitious renewal projects in motion, with specialists from every discipline relying on our legal teams for support.
Whether you deal with high-value contracts regularly or need help with a specific procurement challenge, our expert lawyers can help with advice, assessments, negotiations and legal processes – ensuring you meet all the relevant governmental or industry regulations.
We can also handle the legal work relating to your pension schemes – as well as more usual management duties – and we also regularly take on other company matters such as share management.
We provide Local Government Officers to a wide range of customers and, together with our enforcement experts, our legal teams deliver every aspect of licensing and regulatory advice and representation, as well as support throughout criminal litigation – expertly handling initial prosecutions as well as any challenges or appeals.
We provide an independent, professional service for administering school admission appeals and independent review panels in line with the latest codes and guidance. Our deeply experienced team currently manage appeals and exclusion review hearings for Havering’s community schools, as well as a number of academies and voluntary aided schools elsewhere.
With experience across so many areas, fuelled by the wider one source portfolio, our legal experts have been involved in some truly groundbreaking projects and cases. Some recent highlights below.
Please do get in touch if you’d like to discuss any particular project or service – every public sector challenge is unique and calls for an equally unique solution.