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Blake Morgan LLP’s ‘competent team’ provides ‘clear advice on all questions raised’. The practice handles both public and private sector work, with an emphasis on commercial and procurement projects, urban regeneration, construction issues and issues related to adult social services. The group is growing its workload for London boroughs – as well as unitary and district councils – on large-scale projects; notable clients in this space include Exeter City Council, Cherwell Council and Stratford upon Avon Council. The firm recently advised The Peabody Trust on its £335m project for new housing supply and regeneration in Thamesmead, a matter involving GLA Housing Zone Bids for sites in several London boroughs. The group is also providing legal support to Test Valley Borough Council in relation to a major leisure project covering five sites, and is acting for Exeter City Council on its £20m construction of a leisure centre in Exeter, which will be the UK’s first ultra-low energy efficiency leisure centre. Practice head Penny Rinta-Suksi has notable expertise in the leisure sector, and advises the Oxfordshire authorities on a range of matters including pilot PFI schemes, PPP projects and leisure management contracts.

Cripps LLP’s ‘high-quality’ practice attracts praise for its ‘practical, timely advice’ and ‘excellent level of client care’. Its areas of expertise cover real estate acquisitions and disposals, development work, property disputes, employment issues and public sector procurement, among other matters. In a recent highlight, the team acted for Slough Borough Council on a large-scale regeneration project procured in partnership with Morgan Sindall, which involves the development of housing, public buildings, schools and leisure facilities. Other key longstanding clients include the UK Border Agency, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Home Office, and the practice also has a strong client base of local councils. Miles Paffard leads the department, which includes Jason Towell, who is noted for his work for housebuilders and public sector clients on residential development and regeneration projects, and James Lee, who is recommended for complex construction matters.

DMH Stallard LLP’s multi-disciplinary team advises London local authorities and county councils on the full breadth of issues including commercial contracts, housing, employment, planning and procurement. Notable work included assisting the London Borough of Enfield with a number of s106 agreements, highway agreements and unilateral undertakings, and advising the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea on pre-action protocols, sub-letting and new anti-social behaviour provisions. Real estate expert Tina George heads the local government practice; he is noted for his advice to local authority clients on contentious and non-contentious property matters. Other notable clients include the London boroughs of Southwark, Croydon and Enfield, The Local Government Ombudsman, and Epsom & Ewell Borough Council.

Clarkslegal LLP is noted for its specialist expertise in waste management and major project procurement. The team provides environmental advice in relation to R&D schemes, regional projects and landfill diversion to a range of public sector bodies, and its key clients include a mix of housing associations, fire authorities and educational institutions. The practice is also well versed in advising local authorities on the use of their powers and their authority to act, as well as other governance issues. Highlights included advising Tomorrow’s Valley on the substantial procurement of a food waste treatment contract, which is expected to result in the generation of renewable energy. Kirstin Parker heads the team and handles a broad spectrum of commercial work, with a particular emphasis on contracts, outsourcing and PPP projects. Other key individuals include employment lawyer Michael Sippitt and commercial property head Rachel Krol.

EMW Law LLP is best known for handling development sales for public sector organisations. The team recently advised Milton Keynes Development Partnership on the disposal of substantial land at Campbell Park to Crest Developments, and also assisted with the £12m disposal of a five-storey office block. In another highlight, the firm acted for Greys Education Centre and St Johns Special School and College on their merger, resulting in the formation of the Bedford Inclusive Learning and Training Trust. Practice head David Danskin focuses on development work for local authorities, and Joe Soul and Marco Mauro are the other key figures.

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Legal Developments in South East for Local government

  • TRANSFER OF UNDERTAKINGS (PROTECTION OF EMPLOYMENT) AND AGE DISCRIMINATION

    I have been asked to cover the topic of Employment law within my half an hour speaking slot today. I have narrowed my subject down to Transfer of Undertakings and Discrimination, with the focus on providing an update on the recent spate of cases on service provision change and on the important developments in the law of age discrimination. Needless to say, in my presentation I shall not be able to cover the level of detail which is contained in my written paper, which I will leave you to read.
    - 11KBW

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