Sharing legal functions with a neighbouring authority – something 17 local councils have done so far – was a decent enough start. But it’s not enough. As budgets shrink further and privatisation of public sector services increase, local authority legal teams – including Lambeth, Buckinghamshire, Harrow and Cambridgeshire – are close to launching an ABS spin-off.
But they’re not the only ones. Disruption of the market has made the sector particularly attractive for those outside the industry – in comes outsourcing mega-beast Capita, which successfully applied for an ABS licence last year.
Given that these FTSE 100 businesses have been running much of Britain since the Thatcherite privatisations of the 1980s, the concern is that outsourcers will beat the authorities to it. The SRA has already been asked to attend a meeting with local authority legal heads over the processing of their ABS applications.
Local authority legal teams, prepare for battle.
Also on The Lawyer:
- BP has kicked off its first UK legal panel review since March 2011, as the current roster’s three-year mandate draws to a close.
- Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) has cut Herbert Smith Freehills from its defence roster in favour of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer as part of its first ever panel review.
- Need a .law web address? Then NetNames group GC Andy Southam is the go-to man for legal know-how