Merton and Richmond legal chief resigns after overseeing merger

The head of legal at Merton and Richmond councils is to give up the post less than a year after overseeing the merger of their legal services divisions.

Helen White worked as head of Merton’s legal services from May 2009 before overseeing the merger of the two boroughs’ legal capabilities last year in a move that was expected to cut out around 20 per cent of legal costs (28 February 2011).

For the six months leading up to the merger White had been acting head of legal at Richmond.

She will vacate her post in October, when she will return to her native New Zealand.

In a statement Richmond chief executive Gillian Norton said: “Helen’s done a wonderful job and we’re sorry to see her go.

“The joint legal service has proved to be very popular with both councils and we’re sure that it’ll go from strength to strength. We fully understand Helen’s wish to be closer to her family and wish her all the best when she returns home in the autumn.”

White added: “I’m delighted to have been involved in such an exciting project. We have a great team of lawyers who are building an excellent legal service. I’ll be sorry to leave but I’m keen to return home to Christchurch, New Zealand, after so many years away and particularly after recent events there.”