Merged Cambs/Northants law function names legal director

The newly merged legal departments of Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire’s county councils have appointed a director of legal services.

Former Cambridgeshire legal head Quentin Baker has been appointed to the top job after vying for the role against his counterpart at Northants Penny Osborne. He is one of four newly appointed directors covering finance, operations, organisational development and HR and legal.

“Going forward myself and Penny will be reviewing our circumstances and ­making sure we have the structure that best meets the needs of our teams,” commented Baker. He reiterated Osborne’s position that no job cuts are planned as a result of the merger, pointing instead to savings through economies of scale.

“There are lots of economies of scale to be gained, such as through ­purchasing single case ­management systems,” said Baker. “There’s also a ­benefit for services. We can have greater depth of specialism. The two authorities have an external spend of £2m – if we could cut that by £500,000 we’d be happy.”

The two authorities merged their legal functions last Friday (1 October), ­creating a single department with 90 staff.