‘Sack’ in haste, repent at leisure

So, Meic Sullivan-Gould, the energetic borough solicitor at the London Borough of Hackney, has left (see page 5). Hackney portrays Sullivan-Gould’s departure as an amicable split. But when one of your staff is given just five days to move on (including the weekend), it doesn’t quite wash.

Sullivan-Gould left as part of a management shake-up led by chief executive Penny Thompson, who also took the scalp of his predecessor Claer Lloyd-Jones.

Thompson may soon regret both decisions. As anyone familiar with the local government legal recruitment market is aware, these are tough times.

Outgunned by private practice when it comes to pay, local authorities face further difficulties through their own downgrading of the status of the local government lawyer: once dominant, now the whipping boys for chief executives with business backgrounds.

Factor in the brevity of both previous legal chiefs’ tenures, and Hackney’s prospects for finding a decent full-time replacement for Sullivan-Gould anytime soon are slim.

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