HB Public Law was formed in 2012 on the joining of Barnet and Harrow’s legal departments. Within two months of going live the new practice had secured Lexcel, IIP Gold and the IIP staff health & wellbeing award. The practice is based in and hosted by Harrow Council, where it enjoys high level cross party support.
On 1st June 2015, the London Borough of Hounslow joined the practice and on 1st September 2015 Aylesbury Vale District Council joined us. In July 2016, Buckinghamshire County Council came on-board and we also opened an office in Aylesbury to support the expansion.
In December 2016, we were delighted that Harrow and Barnet councils each voted to renew the service contract for a further five years.
The practice now comprises over 150 lawyers, supported by a practice management team, a business support team and a finance team, with access to a dedicated legal library and comprehensive online legal research materials.
All staff work on a fully integrated Iken case management system, into which all documents are scanned, so that any fee earner can work on any matter, anywhere.
HBPL was the first local authority legal practice to apply to the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority for an ‘Alternative Business Structure’ (‘ABS’) licence. This enables us to act for outsourced service providers which the employed solicitors’ rules would otherwise prevent us from doing. We are therefore uniquely placed to develop the practice as local government is rationalised and services outsourced in response to the Government’s austerity programme.
HBPL has a unique partnership with Bevan Brittan LLP, the public sector specialist law firm. The partnership brings a new offering to the market, comprising HBPL’s depth of local government experience and Bevan Brittan’s broader sector specialisms. The partnership is working on a number of high profile projects and gives our staff access to private sector experience not available in other local authority practices.