The former head of the London Borough of Merton's legal department, Peter Large, has joined Brent's core lawyers service, which provides in-house legal advice for the council's corporate affairs.
He said he wanted to move away from the management role he had at Merton and start practising law again.
Large was articled with Westminster City Council in 1978. He then left the public sector to become a professional chess player before joining Tandridge district council in 1982 and Hammersmith and and Fulham council in 1984.
He said: "I moved to Brent because it is an interesting authority. It has a unique structure and has some challenging legal problems to sort out."