Kent County Council (KCC) legal chief Geoff Wild has seen the authority’s legal department increase external revenue generated by its pioneering in-house practice by 24 per cent this year.

The legal team, which sells services to other public bodies, earned £1.42m in the 2008-09 financial year, up from £1.14m the previous year.

Kent was one of the first councils to use the private practice model to increase efficiency and generate revenue for the authority.

Wild said: “This demonstrates, in tangible terms, the value to KCC and taxpayers of this professional and entrepreneurial service.”

The Cornwall Unitary Authority and Lincolnshire County Council have also launched similar schemes.

External revenue at KCC Legal Services has risen by 273 per cent in four years.