Councils set up standalone legal departments following termination of shared legal service

Wokingham Borough Council and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead’s shared legal service, Shared Legal Solutions (SLS), has come to an end after ten years, with the two local authorities establishing their own internal legal departments.

SLS was disbanded on 30 June, upon the expiration of a five-year contract that began in 2016.

Wokingham and Windsor and Maidenhead decided to merge their legal teams in 2011 in order to reduce overheads and reliance on external suppliers and improve recruitment and retention.

A spokesperson for the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, said: “The current five year contract for the shared service, which was hosted by Wokingham Borough Council, came to an end with both councils having their own separate internal legal teams from 1 July 2021.”

While the two unitary authorities have their own legal departments, Reading Borough Council is set to continue to provide adult and children’s services legal work on their behalf.

All other legal matters will be dealt with by their respective internal legal teams, Windsor & Maidenhead’s spokesperson added.

Following the move, Windsor and Maidenhead has advertised openings in its legal department for a Lawyer or Senior Lawyer with Planning and Property experience (closing: 18 July), alongside a Senior Litigation Lawyer (closing: 11 July) with expertise in conducting enforcement, criminal and civil litigation proceedings.

Adam Carey 

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