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Barnet and Harrow Councils renew legal shared service contract

signing contract agreement

Barnet and Harrow agree to extend the shared legal service between the councils for a further five years.

Barnet and Harrow Councils have agreed to extend their shared legal service, HB Public Law, to deliver legal services to both councils for a further five years. HB Public Law was set up in 2012 as a shared legal practice for Barnet and Harrow Councils. The innovative approach brought two legal teams together in Harrow and gave both councils access to a greater depth and range of in-house legal expertise.

The shared service has enabled both councils to focus funds on front line services through reduced spend on external lawyers, managers, case management systems, law libraries and office space.

The contract, which was not due to expire until 2017, was renewed a year early following a unanimous vote by Barnet Council’s Policy and Resources Committee, and by Harrow’s Cabinet.

Councillor Richard Cornelius, Leader of Barnet Council, said: “This innovative approach has brought real benefits to both councils, not only through the savings it has delivered but through shared expertise. The fact the business continues to grow in strength is proof that innovation in the public sector can reap rewards."

Barnet’s contract renewal comes after a period of sustained growth for HB Public Law, with the practice significantly expanding its client base.

HB Public Law now delivers legal services to Harrow, Barnet, Hounslow, Aylesbury Vale, Slough and the West London Waste Authority with 150 lawyers. The practice also has a partnership with public sector legal experts Bevan Brittan LLP, and was one of the first local authority legal practices to obtain an Alternative Business Structure (ABS) license, enabling it to work for outsourced service providers.

Sachin Shah, leader of Harrow Council, said: “I am very pleased that HB Public Law is proving the validity of the concept behind it. It has delivered excellent legal services for Harrow Council, and Barnet councillors are evidently pleased with it too. It’s an innovative arrangement that meets our needs.”

Jessica Farmer, Head of Legal Practice at HB Public Law, commented: “We are delighted that Barnet and Harrow Councils are renewing their contract with us. The renewal proves the success of the model - offering specialist public sector legal expertise at cost effective rates.”