Specialised local government legal qualification on the cards

Talks are being held to forge a brand-new qualification for lawyers specialising in local government work.

The talks promise to revolutionise the way local government specialists are hired and promoted, and could lead to voluntary assessments beginning in as little as 15 months’ time.

Local government law chiefs at firms including Bevan Brittan, Pinsent Masons and Trowers & Hamlin have expressed their support for the idea, while further talks are being held with other sector big-hitters, including Nabarro Nathanson.

The idea is the brainchild of the director of law and democratic services at the London Borough of Hackney, Meic Sullivan-Gould.

Sullivan-Gould is currently chairing the Association of Council Secretaries and Solicitors (ACSeS), which has 450 members across the country. He met with the association on 15 July to discuss the scheme.

He commented: “We’re looking at an academic qualification for local government lawyers and those working in the private sector in government law and administration. At the moment there’s nothing that acknowledges accomplishments in those areas.”

The plan has the support of the Bar Association for Local Government and the Public Service.