The firm won the work following a competitive tendering process at the beginning of March.
Tony Palmer, legal practice manager at Southampton City Council, said that once the advertisement was placed, he had responses from over 100 firms. “It was important for us to have a London firm who could cover all aspects of work that we’d possibly require, from social services to litigation or licensing, and Steele & Co has assured us it can do that,” he said.
Steele & Co, which has offices in Norwich and London, acts for other district councils, including Broadland District Council, as well as 14 London boroughs, including Croydon, Enfield, Lambeth, Waltham Forest and Westminster.
What stands the firm in good stead in acting for local authorities is that head of the public law team Richard Hewitt was an in-house lawyer at Enfield Borough Council from 1990-1996.
Steele & Co, which has three partners who are dedicated to public sector work, along with 27 fee-earners, has been retained as Southampton City Council’s main adviser, providing advice across the board, with local firm Moore & Blatch acting on property and planning matters.
Palmer said that the two firms have agreed to be flexible on pricing.
“The two firms we have retained have said that they would give discounts depending on the volume of work outsourced,” he commented.