City firm Denton Hall has teamed up with a local firm of solicitors to win an appointment to the panel of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.
In the first deal of its kind for Denton Hall, Kenneth Elliott & Rowe, an 11-partner practice in Romford, will focus on commercial conveyancing work, calling in Denton Hall for specialist back-up for complex projects such as private finance initiatives (PFIs).
The double-act is only one of about a dozen legal specialists that the borough has appointed to its panel for a three-year term.
But the team claims to be the only one offering a service across all eight legal categories - development and planning, partnership and procurement, commercial conveyancing, civil litigation, housing, general public law and waste management.
Denton Hall already had a contract with Barking and Dagenham council to advise on partnership law, development and planning, and procurement.
The two firms plan to pay for a three-way ISDN link so they can provide a cheap, seamless service and report back to the London borough quickly.
Sandra Banks, head of planning and public law at Denton Hall, hopes the partnership will provide the blueprint for collaborations with smaller firms to provide an economical, seamless service.
"The idea occurred to us because it makes a lot of sense for the council to have the best of both worlds. We hoped it would provide a solution for other councils in a similar position," explained Banks.