Durham County Council is considering selling legal services to external clients, joining the growing number of local authorities moving into ;competition ;with private practice law firms.
The council is merging with seven district councils in the region to create the Durham Unitary Authority in April next year.
The council’s legal chief, Linda Walker, has put forward a plan to use the model pioneered by Kent County Council legal head Geoff Wild: to use in-house lawyers to generate income for the authority.
Walker currently oversees a 16-strong legal team, which is set to double in size when it is joined by lawyers from Chester-le-Street, Derwentside, Easington, Sedgefield, Teesdale, Wear Valley and Durham City.
The county council is currently in the process of appointing a lawyer to run the unified legal team and any changes will have to wait until the post is filled.