The first local authority alternative business structure to be given a licence by the Solicitors Regulation Authority has been taken over by the second. Lawyers at Buckinghamshire County Council have joined HB Public Law, making it the largest local authority legal team in the country.
Local authority legal departments are being forced to set up alternative business structures by restrictive rules on in-house lawyers, leading to the “privatisation” of public sector legal services, the director of Essex Legal Services has claimed.
HB Public Law, the merged legal teams of the London boroughs of Barnet and Harrow, is to seek an alternative business structure as a defence against outsourcing. Meanwhile, Kent Legal Services, the first council legal team to express ABS ambitions, has its plans on hold.