Burnley appoints new head of legal

Solicitor Freda Sharkey has been appointed as head of legal services at Burnley Borough Council.

Sharkey has had an extensive legal career which began at Liverpool City Council while she was studying to become a solicitor. She will replace Roger Hutchinson who is retiring from the Lancashire council.

She was articled at Chelmsford Borough Council, working there for five years before joining Ashfield District Council in Nottinghamshire as principal legal officer.

She will oversee all the council's civil and criminal legal work, dealing particularly with major contracts, planning and employment law.

Birmingham City Council senior solicitor Jerome O'Ryan has been made principal solicitor of its legal services department, while the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea solicitor Bernie Ryan, who joined the council as a trainee in 1992, has been appointed its senior litigation solicitor.