Local government in South West

Bevan Brittan LLP

Bevan Brittan LLP has an established public sector practice which is active for local authorities all across England. It is at the forefront of different agendas such as property regeneration, housing, commercialisation and climate change. The team regularly handles local government reorganisations, investigations, contract management and disputes. David Hutton leads the practice and is the first point of contact for the group's various panels. Sarah Lamont has employment law know-how

Practice head(s):

David Hutton

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Lamont


‘Bevan Brittan acted for multiple local authorities and further education institutions in a completion during the pandemic which had to be done entirely remotely. The whole team did an exemplary job in incredibly difficult circumstances. ’

‘David Hutton has an unrivalled understanding of how the public sector works and how the capability and capacity of such clients can vary hugely. He flexes his advice to suit the client which is what singles him out from other providers.’


Key clients

Welsh Government

BCP Council

Local Government Association

London Borough of Haringey

Sunderland City Council

Northamptonshire County Council

London Borough of Brent

Thanet Council, Canterbury City Council, Dover District Council, Folkestone & Hythe Council, East Kent Homes

Birmingham City Council

Cardiff Council

City of London Corporation

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

Work highlights

  • Appointed by the Welsh Government and Welsh Councils to advise all potential participating authorities on the £1.5bn Welsh Education Partnership – Strategic Partnering Delivery Model.
  • Assisted the BCP Council with designing the scope of the procurement and contract structure to create an innovative procurement whereby the Council will procure a Strategic Implementation Partner (SIP) to enter into a Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) to support in the implementation of BCP Council’s Organisational Design Model.
  • Acted for 52 Fire and Rescue Authorities (FRAs) in England and Wales, defending claims brought by over 5,000 fire-fighters against 52 Fire and Rescue Authorities in England and Wales.

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP offers ‘high quality, pragmatic and accessible legal advice‘ to local government clients; those often instruct the team in regeneration, planning and environment matters. Other areas of expertise are local authority pension scheme work and the firm has a dedicated net-zero services team. Practice head Gary Soloman is a specialist in CPOs. John Houlden has experience in State Aid and procurement matters. Matthew Ramus is a ‘first class lawyer‘ and director Paula McGeady is strong in planning issues.

Practice head(s):

Gary Soloman

Other key lawyers:

Marcus Harling; John Houlden; Matthew Ramus


‘Really excellent and friendly service, modern and inclusive team working and collaboration, reflective leadership.’

‘Good knowledge base and expertise. Strong customer service ethos. Flexible, collaborative approach.’

‘Approachable, helpful and highly knowledgeable. Their understanding of the nature of social care and education services enables them to work with clients to ensure robust arrangements are in place to improve outcomes and practice.’

‘Matt Ramus has a knack with clients and is a first class lawyer. He makes complex legal issues look simple. You would want him on your side when negotiating as he is very intuitive and insightful.’

‘This practice has a real and in-depth understanding of local government. It provides high quality, pragmatic and accessible legal advice. Gets to the heart of the matter promptly and connects with clients with ease and skill.’

‘Gary Soloman – excellent partner with spot on client care skills, puts client and the case before himself and the firm; goes the extra mile; excellent communication and resourcing; patient and reflective leadership.’

‘John Houlden is very pragmatic, responsive and considers issues from all angles. Also a pleasure to work with.’

‘Approachable, helpful and highly knowledgeable. Highly experienced lawyers specializing in the establishment of safe, legal and sustainable Children’s Trusts that are focused on improvement and outcomes.’

Key clients

Birmingham City Council

Stevenage Borough Council

Northamptonshire County Council Children’s Trust

Stratford-on-Avon District Council

Kent County Council

Greater London Authority

Isle of Anglesey County Council

Bristol City Council

Cornwall Council

North Somerset Council

ESB Asset Development

All Wales LGPS Pool

Torbay Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Advising Bristol City Council on its ‘City Leap’ initiative, which has received national and international interest along with significant support from central government.
  • Advising Birmingham City Council in its role as Host City for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, with a focus on BCC’s capital projects – a series of infrastructure and development schemes to support the delivery of the Games and key commercial arrangements.
  • Advising the GLA and Transport for London on a series of regeneration projects in the Royal Docks Opportunity Area in East London.

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP takes a cross-discipline approach, so it can offer clients support in employment, construction, dispute resolution, procurement and finance matters. Instructed by local government organisations, it provides those with 'practical and commercially pertinent advice.' Practice head Lucy Woods is busy with state aid, procurement and EU law related instructions. Melissa Jones left the firm in June 2020 for a role at the Department for Education, while planning specialist Robin de Wreede joined the team from Davitt Jones Bould in February 2021.

Practice head(s):

Lucy Woods

Other key lawyers:

Charles Pallot; Ruth Yates; Robin de Wreede 


‘Ashfords have a great breadth of experience, relevant to what we need and support our solutions with practical and commercially pertinent advice.

‘Charles Pallot provides excellent Pensions and Employment advice and guidance, including ensuring there are no surprises, the extent of risk is known and that all documents are drafted without ambiguity and fully transparent.’

‘The team are very approachable & always very responsive to any queries raised. ’

‘Consummate knowledge and experience combined with a very personable approach and a willingness to find solutions to problems. In my experience this is far and away superior to any other firms in the region.’


Key clients

Torbay Council

Brick by Brick Croydon Limited

The London Borough of Lambeth

Wandsworth Borough Council and Richmond Borough Council

Somerset County Council

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Isles of Scilly Community Venture

Herefordshire Council

The London Borough of Hackney

Work highlights

  • Advised on RBKC’s procurement of a Contractors’ Framework valued at £118m and Consultants’ Framework valued at £16m in respect of its Housing Capital Investment Programme which was conducted using the open procedure.
  • Advised the Council in relation to its multi-million pound Fastershire Broadband project since its conception in 2011, and provided detailed State aid advice throughout.
  • Advised BxB on variety of areas including construction, corporate structuring contractual matters, employment, energy, intellectual property, planning and real estate.

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP is instructed either directly by local authorities or their insurers. The group covers a wide range of matters; practice co-head Peter Ware is a specialist in procurement and commercial projects but the team also handles State Aid and subsidy controls, PFIs, regeneration projects and planning matters. Joanne Pruden, who also leads the group, is well versed in employer liability and public liability claims.

Practice head(s):

Jo Pruden; Peter Ware

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Howard; Jennifer Grigg

Key clients

Cornwall Council

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue

Devon County Council

Dorset County Council

Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

East Devon District Council

Environment Agency

Exeter City Council

Isles of Scilly Council

Kernow CCG

Merthyr Tydfil Borough Council

Plymouth City Council

Public Sector Transformation Academy

Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

West Devon Borough Council

Worcestershire County Council

Sedgemoor District Council

Somerset County Council

Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

South West Audit Partnership.

Work highlights

  • Advised South West Audit Partnership on changes to change governance arrangements.
  • Advised Teignbridge District Council on prosecution of the tenant by the Council as owner of the premises for breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.
  • Acted for Cornwall Council in a claim for harassment and misfeasance in public office.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP's key contacts are Stephen HockingBen PariserBen ThornycroftStan Campbell and legal director Karen Howe. The team covers  pensions, mental health, procurement, state aid and governance matters, among others.

Other key lawyers:

Ben Pariser; Stephen Hocking; Ben Thornycroft; Stan Campbell; Karen Howe

Foot Anstey

Foot Anstey's local government practice regularly assists clients on energy, construction, retail and leisure, utilities and banking and finance matters. It also has niche expertise in the space sector. The team works seamlessly with other practice groups at the firm, and is led by infrastructure specialist Ian Stubbs, construction practitioner Tris Tucker and procurement advisor Brian Hitchcock.

Practice head(s):

 Ian Stubbs; Tris Tucker; Brian Hitchcock

Other key lawyers:

Suriya Edwards

Key clients


BSR (British Solar Renewables)

DWR Cymru Welsh Water

Goonhilly Earth Station

TClarke plc

Eden Project

Plymouth City Council

Bank of London and the Middle East

Devon County Council

Acorn Property Group

Willmott Dixon

Green Frog Connect

ABC International Bank Limited

Screwfix / Kingfisher / B&Q PLC

WElink Energy Group

NEC Energy Solutions, Inc

Corre Energy

Studio Hive Group

Apartment for London

Atlas Hive Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for WElink in relation to two major utility scale solar PV projects, both in Portugal.
  • Advised Plymouth City Council on the design and construction of the Forder Valley Link Road and early feasibility stages of the Manadon large local major scheme.
  • Advised TW Dixon in relation to successfully resisting enforcement of an adjudicator’s decision on the grounds of “manifest injustice”.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP has notable experience in advising on heat projects, regeneration and development projects. The team also assists councils with procurement documents, defending and bringing challenges and joint venture structures as well as regulatory law and governance. Practice head Jonathan Bower focuses on the delivery of infrastructure projects.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Bower

Other key lawyers:

Charles Robson

Key clients

Hampshire County Council

City of York Council

West Lancashire Borough Council

Cardiff Council

Havant Borough Council

North Somerset Council

Telford & Wrekin Borough Council

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council

The Borough of Broxbourne

South Gloucestershire Council

Bath & NE Somerset Council

West Berkshire Council

Fareham Borough Council

Portsmouth City Council

Bristol City Council

South Tees Development Corporation (STDC)

Work highlights

  • Advising Cardiff Council in relation to its Cardiff Bay Heat Network project.
  • Acting for the City Council of Bristol on the disposal of Temple Island, Bristol to Legal & General (L&G) for redevelopment including a lease back of office building to the City Council of Bristol.
  • Providing Somerset West and Taunton Council with commercial investment property conveyancing service to support the acquisition by SWT of £100m of property.

Davitt Jones Bould

The team at Davitt Jones Bould has experience in regeneration and development projects. It is active for local authorities and local government bodies, and Madeleine Davitt is the key contact. Robin de Wreede left for Ashfords LLP in March 2021.

Other key lawyers:

Madeleine Davitt; Sean Bulman

Michelmores LLP

Through its full-service offering, Michelmores LLP can advise its local government clients on real estate, employment, planning and environmental matters. The key contact is Carol Mccormack OBE.

Practice head(s):

Carol McCormack OBE


TLT's team is regularly involved in projects, procurement, IT transformations, and development and regeneration projects. It also advises local authorities on issues relating to pensions, tax, planning and State Aid law. Real estate specialist Andrew Glynn and public procurement expert Bill Hull jointly lead the public sector practice, while the firm-wide local government group is headed by Manchester-based Kuldip Dhanoya.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Glynn; Bill Hull; Kuldip Dhanoya

Key clients

London Borough of Lambeth

Cornwall Council

Oxfordshire County Council

London Borough of Waltham Forest

London Borough of Hounslow

London Borough of Ealing

Work highlights

  • Assisting the London Borough of Hounslow with real estate matters.
  • Advising Warrington Borough Council in relation to a high profile highway infrastructure scheme.
  • Advising SSDC in relation to commercial property acquisitions.


The breadth of knowledge at VWV is 'excellent'; the group is active in commercial property, procurement and employment matters, and takes a close cross-practice collaboration approach. It also regularly handles governance and code of conduct complaints. Group head Allison Cook often acts for senior members of local authorities.

Practice head(s):

Allison Cook


‘Breadth of knowledge excellent. Able to work well with Senior Members across all political parties as well as officers.’

‘Allison Cook was very helpful, supportive, patient and knowledgeable in assisting the Council throughout an extended period. She brought in colleagues from VWV to advise on matters as required which ensured the Council received a well rounded service from VWV.’

Key clients

Dorset Council

Avon Fire and Rescue Service

Herefordshire Council

Oxford City Council

Thanet District Council


Surrey Heath Borough Council

Bath and North East Somerset Council

Carmarthenshire Council

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Work highlights

  • Acting for an Emergency Service following a death whilst undertaking a training exercise.
  • Appointed as legal advisers to a local authority to provide property and regulatory support in relation to their involvement in a significant development which will eventually see up to 1500 homes built in their local area.
  • Advising the Council on the data protection implications of entering into a crime reduction partnership.