Unison warns Hull

Town hall union Unison has warned that it will take legal action against Hull Council if it goes ahead with plans to keep chief officers in place after it merges with Humberside. Officials are considering using test cases involving staff from Humberside who would be affected by the proposals. Hull was advised by Anthony Scrivener QC that it is entitled to keep senior officers in place after becoming a unitary council next April, and said it will see if the same advice can be applied to 600 other staff.

Grant back on LGC

Professor Malcolm Grant, an expert in local authority law, has been reappointed to the Local Government Commission – becoming the only lawyer on the eight-member body. Grant, professor of land economy at Cambridge University, had been acting chair since the resignation of Sir John Banham, but now gives way to Sir David Cooksey, the new permanent head. Before taking over as head of land economy at Cambridge, he was professor of law at University College, London.

Howes' savings

Less than 12 months after the installation of a practice management system, Howes Percival is claiming 70 per cent savings in the time and cost of its billing procedure. The Northampton firm, one of the first practices to install the AIM Evolution program in July 1994 has cut the time taken on each billing matter from 17 minutes to five minutes and the cost down from £17 to £5. Partnership secretary Roger Pinnock says: “Bills are issued, dated and settled up to 10 days earlier than previously. We can also see that our billing contains fewer errors, and therefore, fewer reasons for clients to legitimately delay payment.”

Linklaters at Controls

City firm, Linklaters & Paine has installed the Firm Control suite of management software. The system is Resolution Software Services' integrated practice management system for law firms and completes Linklaters' strategy to enhance its operational capability and record-keeping. Tony Cannon, Linklaters' financial controller says: “With a solid foundation in place, we will now introduce further enhancements.”