Kent Legal Services claims record year as £3.7m pumped back into council

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  • How does Geldards fit into all this? I know some of their partners are part of the organisation that includes KCC.

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  • Well done to the team at Kent in showing the way forward here. The fact that they can do the work well, turn a 20% net profit and produce efficiency savings too shows what can be achieved in comparison to the use of over-priced (and, in some cases, not particularly specialist) 'public sector' lawyers in private practice.

    It can't be long surely before this model is replicated very widely throughout all local authorities and, where it is not, authority Chief Executives and local taxpayers should be asking very hard questions of their authority heads of legal.

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  • How do you make a profit by selling your services to your own employer? Only in the public sector would you get away with categorising it like that.....

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  • This is very strange.

    Do they act on legal work for the council? If so then doesn't the council just pay the fees and then the legal outfit just passes it back to the council as "profit".

    Or do they also do external work? If so why is a public authority selling legal services. It actually means there is overcapacity in the legal department and so another way to reduce costs would be to reduce that overcapacity.

    Do they occupy their own offices or their old council offices? If the latter do they pay full market rent for the accommodation?

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  • the pressure will start when Kent Council ask Geoff for £4.5 million next year - and so the cycle begins

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  • I broadly welcome this. However KCC are claiming to be a state organisation when they pay their staff, but then the staff are being applied to the external law firm. For this to be compatible with EU law, staff time needs to be paid for at a market rate by this company.

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  • Local authorities have far, far too many lawyers. They probably have 8-10 times too many. Q

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  • Brilliant, they are saving money by selling services to themselves at a profit. Milo Minderbinder would be proud of that one.

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  • This is interesting from a powers, European procurement and state aid viewpoint.

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  • It would be good if the Lawyer could actually interrogate stories like this instead of recycling the PR. The options here seem to include:

    (a) Win for everyone except private practice lawyers, trebles all round
    (b) Good way of delivering services to the public sector, provided you can navigate conflict and LA governance issues (seems a bit fraught if the director of governance is also responsible for turning a "profit")
    (c) Wide open to a state aid challenge
    (d) [others]

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