Kent council sets up practice in Brussels

Kent County Council (KCC) is set to take the unusual step of launching a legal practice in Brussels.

Head of legal Geoff Wild, who pioneered the model of selling local government legal services to external clients, is planning to relocate one of his team to Brussels within a year.

The practice will target countries entering the EU, advising public bodies on EU contracting, procurement and employment law.

Wild said: “We’ve got a Brussels office, which we’re looking at to establish a foothold in emerging European nations.”

KCC has had a base in Brussels since the 1990s, using it for lobbying on behalf of local organisations and businesses.

Wild’s department generated £1.42m in external ­revenue in the 2008-09.

Kent was one of the first councils to use the private practice model to increase efficiency and generate revenue for the authority.

The Cornwall Unitary Authority and Lincolnshire County Council have since launched similar schemes.