London’s Harrow and Barnet councils enter partnership with Bevan Brittan

The London Boroughs of Barnet and Harrow have entered a partnership agreement with Bevan Brittan as the two councils become the first local authority to apply for an ABS licence.

The two boroughs, which merged their legal teams last July to form HB Public Law (HBPL) (5 April 2012), will now offer legal advice to clients in partnership with Bevan Brittan.

The firm advised Harrow council on the merger with Barnet last year, led by senior partner Bethan Evans who is now advising HBPL on its application to the SRA for an ABS licence.

A tendering exercise saw Bevan Brittan beat a number of other firms for the mandate, which will see the firm explore a number of “mutual opportunities” with HBPL. A spokesperson for the firm said Bevan Brittan would retain its own business and will not change its name as a result of the move.

Evans said in a statement that the firm shared “a vision about future changes in the legal market” with HBPL.

”We’re excited about creating a really different way of working and providing legal services to mutual clients,” she added.

HBPL’s director of law Hugh Peart said: “We selected Bevan Brittan to work with us as they demonstrated a profound understanding of the fast changing legal market and the mutual opportunities this offered our legal teams. We feel we have similar values as organisations working in the public services arena. We wanted to test the market to ensure we selected the best possible partner and we are now looking forward to moving forward with Bevan Brittan.”