Government & Local Government

Forward thinking advice to national and local government and their private and third sector partners.

The most notable feature in the field of local government in recent years has been the continuing political and financial pressure faced by Local Authorities in the delivery of social/local government infrastructure and services, pressure driven by round after round of spending cuts. With the policy of austerity looking as if it’s here to stay, the approach has had to be altered radically, in a direction which calls for priorities to be strictly managed, and more to be delivered for less.

We’ve worked closely with local government for many years, and have witnessed and experienced first-hand the effects these changes have had. This means that we have a full and grounded understanding of the pressures that you face and an appreciation of the levels of support which the delivery of local services and local facilities can often require. We have a deep and ethos-driven sense of social responsibility, but are able to combine this idealism with a calm, practical grasp of the legislative, social and financial environment which impacts on local government, and can bring these two strands together to offer clear, accessible and effective advice.

Strategy & Delivery

Our highly-regarded local government practice delivers cutting edge advice to Local Authorities, government departments and many other public sector bodies on all aspects of their constitutional, commercial and operational matters. Our clients include London Boroughs and other Local Authorities across the country, statutory bodies and educational establishments. We also support special purpose vehicles, helping local government clients with their strategic projects.

Our cutting edge approach means that we can advise on a range of innovative transactions including outsourcing, trading vehicles, stock transfers, co-operatives, public private partnerships (PPPs), Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs), CPO housing, CPO planning, right to transfer and right to challenge, and we deliver all of this with the experience to ensure that everything you undertake is compliant with Section 151 of the Local Government Act.

Our unrivalled knowledge of the housing market and expertise in the leisure sector gives us an insight into both transactional and relational work. We have experience and expertise in all aspects of housing including housing management, housing leisure, housing revenue, and ALMOS (Arm’s-Length Management Organisations). We can offer accessible advice on housing revenue and have a deep knowledge of both the commercial realities of the housing market and the regulatory framework of social housing. This combination means that we can approach every situation presented by our clients in 360 degrees, looking at the situation from every possible angle and providing help which touches all the bases.

Our commercial sector experience supports our local government service, as well as our experience with charities, governance frameworks and group structures. The make-up of our firm, with all the staff being based in a central London office, means that these different sectors can be pulled together to create the perfect backdrop for dealing with each different case and, uniquely, our litigation department can offer back up for any sector. We have a Local Authority mind-set for the way that litigation runs and take problems seamlessly through from construction law, to procurement.

We undertake a significant amount of work in:

  • Regeneration and development projects.
  • PPP (schools, delivery of housing, housing management, ALMOS, waste management, street cleaning, bus shelter advertising).
  • Special purpose vehicles.
  • All joint venture group structures.
  • Grant funding.
  • Delivery structures and vehicles, including education facilities, swimming pools.
  • PRS vehicles.
  • Procurement.
  • Charitable trusts.
  • Construction.

Whilst other companies may be able to offer expertise in any one of the individual areas outlined above, the unique aspect of our offer is that we are able to combine any or all of them, taking in hand anything which a Local Authority wishes to outsource in an effort to secure the best and most efficient delivery of services and facilities.

Recent Notable Cases

  • Acting for London Borough of Lambeth on successful recovery of possession of 150 properties in the final phase of recall and sale of their remaining shortlife housing stock.
  • Acting for Westminster City Council in a number of actions to tackle gang activity in the City of Westminster. We have been successful not only in securing injunctions to restrain conduct and exclude gang members from specified areas, but also in subsequent claims for possession.

Get in touch

Jonathan Jarvis

  • London Office Office
  • Devonshires Solicitors LLP
  • 30 Finsbury Circus
  • London
  • EC2M 7DT