Lawyer award winner joins private practice

A winner at this year's Lawyer Awards has left his local government job to join top public law firm Sharpe Pritchard.

John Harrison, deputy head of legal services at the London Borough of Southwark, will join the firm as a senior solicitor.

Harrison led the borough's team which won this year's Deal of the Year at The Lawyer Awards for work carried out on the Millennium Bridge project, the new pedestrian bridge over the River Thames.

Harrison says: “When you are acting in-house you are working for just one client. While Southwark has given me excellent experience, the time has come for me to broaden out. Local government legal services are undergoing enormous changes as we enter the new millennium and I need to be at the cutting edge. Sharpe Pritchard has an outstanding public authority client base.”

It is understood that Harrison will still act for Southwark on the high-profile Greater London Authority headquarters building, which is part of the planned u1bn development at London Bridge City.

Sharpe Pritchard planning partner John Sharland says: “John has worked on a number of big projects at Southwark which will be very similar to the work that he'll be doing here.

A spokesman for Southwark says: “John Harrison has been a member of the excellent team of lawyers at Southwark, who have delivered, an unrivalled service.”