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South West law firm launches public sector team

South West law firm Stephens Scown has formed a new Public Sector team to offer specialist advice to unitary, county, town and parish councils, public sector-owned companies and other public authorities and bodies.

The team will be headed up by Tim Walmsley, a commercial property specialist who worked in the public sector for over 20 years, including four years with Cornwall Council.

The firm said the other members of the team include:

  • Corporate specialist Laurie Trounce, previously acting head of legal at Cornwall Council;
  • Richard Bagwell, a litigator with significant experience of the public sector and handling of complex property disputes;
  • Chris Tofts, who has worked in local government and has extensive experience in planning matters such as drafting s106 agreements and applying for Certificates of Lawfulness;
  • Sonya Bedford, who currently acts as a consultant for Bristol City Council and has significant public sector experience (County/City and District Authorities) in energy contracting, procurement and private/public sector partnerships; and
  • Tim Lane, a corporate lawyer with significant public sector experience.

Walmsley said: “We recognise that the public sector has to carefully balance the demand for vitally important public services with significant ongoing budgetary pressures. Our experience means we really understand the issues, culture and the importance of maximising opportunities. This enables us to support our public sector clients and work with them to develop new ways to maintain services by realising commercial opportunities and promoting innovative ways of working.”

Stephens Scown said its multi-disciplinary team was drawn from all areas of the firm, including the corporate and commercial, real estate, employment, construction, commercial disputes and Intellectual Property and IT teams. It can also call on specialist expertise within the healthcare, church law, charities, energy, rural, marine and mining and minerals sectors.

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