Councils share panels in bid to cut costs

Three councils in Birmingham and London have opened their panels to other local authorities in a bid to slash costs.

Birmingham City Council is in the process of reviewing its panel and has invited 17 other councils in the Midlands to make use of the list when it is completed.

The London Borough of Bromley is tendering for a panel on behalf of eight London boroughs, and Croydon Borough Council has opened its panel of barristers up to 10 other boroughs.

The move allows local authority lawyers to negotiate cheaper rates because of the large volume of legal work that comes from a place on a shared panel.

Birmingham shares its panel with several other large local authorities, including two county councils and three city councils.