Lambeth Council is to consider joining the London Boroughs Legal Alliance (LBLA) as an associate member so it can access its barristers framework.
A report submitted to Cllr Maria Kay, Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance, for decision on 3 September said the move would enable the council’s Legal Services division to “instruct external legal practitioners on behalf of various business units to undertake specialist legal advisory and litigation advocacy work which it either does not have the capacity, or specialist skills to undertake itself”.
The range of litigation and advisory work includes housing and general litigation, planning litigation and child-care proceedings.
The value of services purchased under the recommended framework is estimated at approximately £4m from 1 September 2020 to 31 December 2024.
Lambeth currently operates a joint barristers’ framework with the London Borough of Southwark. However, this is due to expire on 31 August 2020 and cannot be extended.
Southwark has already decided to join the LBLA so it can access the barristers framework. It envisaged an annual value of £900,000 and an estimated total value of £3.2m over the three years and six months from 6 July 2020.
Lambeth has a current solicitors framework, which was not considered in the report.
Tim Morel of legal procurement consultancy Kennedy Cater, which manages the LBLA, said: "The London Borough of Lambeth will soon become the latest London authority to join the growing ranks of the LBLA, the leading collaborative alliance of legal teams across London that continues to provide leadership, best practice and efficiency savings on behalf of its residents and clients.
"Never was this more in evidence than during the current COVID-19 crisis when the LBLA, acting not just on behalf of its member authorities, but all London authorities, acted swiftly and efficiently to provide a consistent and co-ordinated legal response to the unprecedented, fast moving and complex environment that London authorities were faced with."
The LBLA, which was set up in 2009, now has 26 member authorities:
- City Of London Corporation
- Hammersmith & Fulham
- HB Public Law (Barnet, Harrow and Hounslow)
- Kensington & Chelsea
- London Fire
- One Source (Havering & Newham)
- Tower Hamlets
- Waltham Forest