Veale Wasbrough hires Bristol City Council legal head

Veale Wasbrough Vizards has announced that it has hired Bristol City Council legal head Stephen McNamara as a consultant in its public sector department.

McNamara, who has led the legal services function at Bristol City Council since 1998, is set to join the firm on 7 January and will be working alongside Veale Wasbrough’s head of public sector David Hansom.

The move follows McNamara’s announcement earlier this year that he was to step down from the Bristol post in November after seeing through the elections of the city’s first elected mayor and police and crime commissioner. He is an expert in local authority issues and will be based out of the firm’s Bristol office.

His appointment follows the hire in July this year of Bristol City Council in-house legal adviser Edward Reynolds as an associate in the firm’s procurement team, covering both the firm’s Bristol and London offices (23 July 2012).

Last week the firm rehired former partner Sue Malthouse to boost its London commercial offering. She returned to the firm after spending 18 months at Clarks Shoes as group director of legal and company secretary (29 November 2012).

Bristol City Council has appointed Liam Nevin, who is currently trust secretary at North Bristol Pirmary Care Trust, to replace McNamara. He will begin his new role on 2 January. Nevin previously worked as a solicitor and monitoring officer for Stratford-On-Avon district council.

Commenting on his appointment, McNamara said: “Veale Wasbrough has a national reputation for its public sector work and it will be an honour to join the team. I’ve always had the greatest respect for the firm and its commitment to the public sector. I look forward to contributing to its continued growth and success.”

Veale Wasbrough managing partner Simon Heald added: “[McNamara] is well known across the sector as a highly influential local authority specialist. This appointment highlights our continued investment in the sector and ensures that we have the right people in place to deliver top quality, pragmatic advice to our public sector clients. This appointment is fantastic news for Veale Wasbrough’s growing public sector team.”