Cyril Dixon

A FORMER trainee solicitor with Southwark Council has been appointed to the top legal job with the authority.

Julie Belvir becomes borough solicitor and secretary following the departure of Dr Clive Grace to a chief executive's post in south Wales.

Belvir qualified in 1988 and began her career as an articled clerk with Southwark nine years ago, rising to the post of principal solicitor then assistant director five years ago.

In her new job, which she took up on 11 September, Belvir will head the law and administration division of the south London council.

The section, currently gearing up for competitive tendering, employs 200 people, including 40 lawyers.

Belvir was made head of legal services at the borough earlier this year.