England’s second-largest unitary authority Leeds City Council has received more than 200 applications for places on its new legal panel.
The work includes both civil and employment litigation, education, planning, housing, commercial property, debt recovery and data protection work.
While the majority of applications have come from private practice, the London Borough of Brent has submitted a bid to do Leeds’ freedom of information, data protection and its Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act work.
Brent’s borough solicitor and monitoring officer Terry Osborne explained: “We feel we have a specialism in that area. Obviously we’re quite a long way away from Leeds and wouldn’t normally think it appropriate to do work for an authority so far away, but felt that this is the kind of work we could do from a distance.”
Brent’s legal team already undertakes work for external clients Stonebridge Housing Action Trust and Brent Housing Partnership, the arm’s length management organisation that looks after the borough’s housing stock.
Ian Spafford, Leeds’ head of community services and litigation, said: “We’ve received 210 completed questionnaires, which we’re in the process of evaluating. We hope the contracts will be in place by January.”