The 10-member strong London Boroughs Legal Alliance (LBLA) is to invite all councils in the capital to join the group.
In a week where the LBLA unveiled the chosen chambers for its revised, £25m barristers panel, the alliance announced a new tiered, service level option for current and new members.
Full membership will provide access to all three of the alliance’s frameworks (the LBLA also has in place agreements covering solicitors and legal libraries) as well as training programmes and support from consultancy Kennedy Cater.
Associate membership will give members the benefit of the Kennedy Cater support service but without access to any of the frameworks or training programmes.
The LBLA has agreed an additional three-year retainer with Kennedy Cater, whose support includes spot checking of fees, monthly reporting of panel spend, benefits tracking of working ‘on panel’ per month and management of value added benefits.
The ten members of the LBLA, which was set up in 2009, are: Brent; Camden; City of London; Ealing; Hackney; HB Public Law (Harrow, Barnet, Hounslow, and Aylesbury Vale); Hillingdon; Islington; Tri-Borough (Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham and Westminster); and Waltham Forest.
Hugh Peart, Head of Legal for both Buckinghamshire and Harrow Borough Councils and a key player in the establishment of the LBLA, said: “When we launched the LBLA our aim was to make it the most successful collaborative partnership of local authority legal teams in the UK. We wanted it to be at the forefront of innovative procurement practice and efficiency strategy that delivered a demonstrable best value service to clients and local residents.
“Our recommitment to this process underlines our view that this vision is being delivered and we hope that by inviting new London local authorities to join the LBLA we can extend to those colleagues the considerable savings and additional benefits that we currently realise.”