Merged Cornwall councils rejig legal

Cornwall County ­Council will revolutionise its legal team when the Cornwall Unitary Authority is launched in April 2009.


Merged Cornwall councils rejig legalCornwall ;County ­Council will revolutionise its legal team when the Cornwall Unitary Authority is launched in April 2009.

The new ‘super council’ will unite six district authorities and the county council with 110 lawyers from the seven councils. They will work under county legal chief Richard Williams.

Williams is planning to offer the enlarged legal team’s services to other regional bodies, creating what will in effect be the largest law firm in Cornwall.

Cornwall County Council currently ;employs ;21 ­solicitors at its Truro base.

Cornwall is the second local authority to follow the model pioneered by Kent County Council legal chief Geoff Wild, where in-housers work for outside clients to generate income. The Kent practice made more than £1m this year.

Williams ;said: ;“The ­Unitary Authority switch has given us the opportunity to look again at how we provide legal services. It’s a very exciting and challenging time.”

Lincolnshire County Council, meanwhile, is launching an 80-lawyer
standalone legal team with neighbouring councils (The Lawyer, 26 May).