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Kent County Council is sending a delegation to Inner Mongolia’s largest city Baotou in a bid to capture legal work related to future UK inward investment.
The local authority’s legal chief Geoff Wild, who pioneered the model of selling legal services to external clients, said Kent’s legal team is looking at ways to provide legal services in the autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China.
“The regional government is looking to invest in UK real estate,” said Wild. “Our local authority is pressing for this engagement and we’re hoping to pick up the legal work associated with that. If they’re going to be buying up land we’d be able to deal with all the issues that arise.”
Wild said that a “vital component” in the strategy was dual-qualified Chinese lawyer Pak Tim Fung, who is a member of Kent’s in-house team.
Wild said there were no plans to launch an office in Baotou any time soon.
Wild launched a legal function in Brussels earlier this year to target countries entering the EU, advising public bodies on EU contracting, procurement and employment law.
Kent was one of the first councils to use the private practice model to increase efficiency and generate revenue for the authority. Wild’s department generated £1.42m in external revenue in the 2008-09 financial year.