Eversheds has signed partnership agreements with Lancashire and Nottinghamshire county councils and is in the process of making a similar arrangement with Buckinghamshire. It is also in talks with around a dozen other councils.
The agreement will provide the councils' in-house legal team with specialist legal support, including training sessions, secondment and use of Eversheds' library.
It will also help them to comply with the new best value scheme, included in the Local Government Bill, which requires councils to prove that they are not wasting money.
The move does not guarantee that Eversheds will be given fee-earning legal work by the councils, but it will give the firm stronger links with the public sector, enabling it to keep up with the latest local council developments.
Stephen Cirell, head of Eversheds' public sector unit, says: "We can help them get better legally and they can help us by telling us what type of services councils want."
The partnerships will also enhance Eversheds' reputation as one of the leading local government law firms.
Eversheds has over 300 local authorities among its clients.