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Welcome to Sharpe Edge, Sharpe Pritchard’s local government legal hub on Local Government Lawyer.

Sharpe Edge features news, views and analysis from our team of specialist local government lawyers working at the heart of the latest legal developments. Sharpe Edge platform is also the only place where local government lawyers can get e-access to two law books by our Head of Local Government Rob Hann: The Guide to Local Authority Charging and Trading Powers (‘LACAT’) and The Guide to Local Authority Companies and Partnerships (‘LACAP’).

 

                                                                                                  

About Sharpe Pritchard

Sharpe Pritchard is a firm of public law specialists, which serves a client base across the nation, comprising of local authorities, other public sector organisations and registered social landlords, as well as commercial clients and third sector organisations.

The firm advises on a wide range of public law matters, spanning electoral law, procurement, construction, infrastructure, data protection and information law, planning and dispute resolution, to name a few key specialisms.

All public sector organisations have a route to instruct Sharpe Pritchard through the various frameworks the firm is appointed to. For further information on our services, please click here.

 

Our Latest Insight

Spotlight on the Law 2021

SharpeFocus
Edition 29

The specialist teams from across Sharpe Pritchard look at the some of the critical legal issues facing public sector organisations in 2021 as the Covid crisis wears on.

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  Our Recent Articles

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Bucking the Trend on Specific Performance Buckinghamshire Council v FCC Buckinghamshire Limited

Clare Mendelle and James Hughes highlight the wide definition of Third-Party Income and the measures the courts are prepared to take to enforce the terms of longstanding contracts, by analysing the Buckinghamshire Council v FCC Buckinghamshire Limited case.
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The Government’s response to the Transforming Public Procurement consultation: what will change and what will not?

Juli Lau, Colin Ricciardiello, Beth Edwards and Natasha Barlow analyse the Government’s response to the Transforming Public Procurement consultation.
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Momentum for Heat Network Roll Out Gathers Pace

Steve Gummer discusses the increased momentum for a Heat Network Rollout.
     

Our Head of Local Government

Rob Hann PhotoshopRob Hann is Head of the Local Government team at Sharpe Pritchard. He has over 30 years in local government, having worked for several local authorities and as the ex-head of legal at 4ps/Local Partnerships for many years.

He is also the author/editor of two major guides on local authority charging and trading and local authority companies and partnerships both of which are now exclusively available through the Sharpe Edge platform in e-format.

Find out more

 

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answers your

local government

law questions

We want to hear from you with any general questions about local government law that you want to know the answers to.

Simply follow the link below to submit your question:

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Testimonials

"We were very impressed with both the speed and quality of the Sharpe Edge response to a difficult question and would definitely recommend the new platform."

“Following a question raised in relation to the ability to recover costs from third parties, the Sharpe Edge service provided a most prompt and valuable response to a very specific point whereupon such advice is now being incorporated into the Council’s fees and charges policy. Would most certainly recommend Sharpe Edge.”

LACAT BookFREE download!

A Guide to Local Authority Charging and Trading Powers

Written and edited by Sharpe Pritchard’s Head of Local Government, Rob Hann,

A Guide to Local Authority Charging and Trading Powers covers:

• Updated charging powers compendium          • Commercial trading options

• Teckal ‘public to public’                                    • Localism Act

FREE DOWNLOAD

LACAT BookAvailable to buy:

A Guide to Local Authority Companies and Partnerships

An invaluable, comprehensive toolkit for lawyers, law firms and others advising
on or participating in Local Authority Companies and Partnerships”

- Local Authority Chief Executive

BUY NOW

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  More Articles

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Unconscious Bias, Discrimination and a Warning to Public Sector Employers

Christian Grierson and Julie Bann discuss two employment tribunal judgements, which provide a stark warning to public sector employers about unconscious bias and discrimination.
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Levelling up – A new opportunity for further devolution in England?

Rob Hann explores the Government's 'levelling up' policy and looks at whether it is an opportunity for further devolution in England.
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Time limits for commencing proceedings in procurement challenges

Colin Ricciardiello discusses a landmark procurement challenge judgment on the time limit for commencing proceedings.
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The Revised National Planning Policy Framework: Better design, greener outcomes?

Alastair Lewis and Sarah Wertheim outline the latest National Planning Policy Framework changes and explain how future developments will be impacted by the new rules.
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Loose talk costs money: Oral agreement to forego liquidated damages was valid

Michael Comba outlines and analyses a contract dispute resolution: Mansion Place Ltd v Fox Industrial Services Ltd [2021] EWHC 2972 (TCC)
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Procurement reform – an update

Radhika Devesher and Natasha Barlow provide a summary of the proposed and enacted changes to the UK procurement regime post-Brexit.
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The Public Procurement Review Service Report: Procurement Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Juli Lau and Beth Edwards examine some of the most common procurement pitfalls and provide a checklist of points for local authorities to bear in mind in order to avoid costly errors.
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JCT Dispute Adjudication Board Rules: a case of “three’s a crowd”?

Peter Jansen who specialises in construction law and dispute resolution, examines the roles and functions of the JCT’s Dispute Adjudication Board and highlights some key considerations for parties planning to adopt the Rules in their JCT contracts.
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The Electric Vehicle Revolution or…

Emily Knowles discusses new legislation on the requirement of electric vehicle charging points, and its potential impact on the Electric Vehicle Revolution.
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Consultation on the Electronic Communications Code – What’s Changing?

Lillee Reid-Hunt outlines the legislative changes to the Electronic Communications Code.
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You Must Adjudicate First NEC3 imposes obligation to adjudicate first before commencing court proceedings.

Michael Comba discusses NEC3 imposing an obligation to adjudicate first before commencing court proceedings.
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Rocking aground the Christmas tree

Clare Mendelle and George Dale discuss and solve a common construction scenario, looking at the position under the Contract, and how the Employer should deal with the Contractor's request.
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Adequacy Decision Granted to the UK

Charlotte Smith considers two recent adequacy decisions and explains how this affects existing data practices.
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Managing employees with long COVID and employees who have anxiety about returning to the office

Julie Bann and Victoria Smith consider how Long Covid may be treated under existing employment laws and provide compliance guidance for employers.
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Environment Act 2021: What Does it Mean for Waste Authorities?

Sally Stock, Juli Lau, Ellen Painter and Beth Edwards discuss notable changes made to the Environment Bill 2021-2022, which received Royal Assent on the 9th November.
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ESG and its relevance to the public sector

Peter Collins and Sydney Chandler discuss the growing importance of Environmental, Social, and Governance criteria in public procurement.
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JCT 101: Time and Punishment

Rachel Murray-Smith, Clare Mendelle and Laura Campbell discuss a common Construction scenario regarding the Practical Completion of a project, and the position under the unamended JCT DB 2016.
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The importance of due process, communication and fairness in employee conduct investigations – what you need to know.

Julie Bann and James Hughes discuss the importance of fairness in employee conduct investigations, taking a look at the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham -v- Mr S Keable case.
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Becoming More Inclusive: VAT and Public Procurement

Juli Lau, Natasha Barlow and Beth Edwards examine the recently published Public Procurement Regulations 2021, focussing upon amendments to the thresholds within various procurement regimes.
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The LADs are Alright

Laura Campbell discusses liquidated damages in construction contracts, focussing upon the long-running Triple Point saga which ended in the Supreme Court this year.
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Procurement Policy Note 08/21

Juli Lau and Beth Edwards outline Procurement Policy Note 08/21, recently published by the Cabinet office.
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Hard Times: Improving Air Quality with Clean Air Zones

Rob Hann and James Goldthorpe examine the introduction of Clean Air Zones to improve air quality across the UK.
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Autumn Budget Spending Review 2021 – What Public Bodies Need To Know

Rob Hann and James Hughes examine the Autumn Budget Spending Review 2021, looking at what Public Bodies need to know.
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Net Zero – What’s new for local authorities?

Steve Gummer and Sophie Drysdale look at two major climate publications: the Heat and Buildings Strategy and the Net Zero Strategy.
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Jumping to conclusions: Final Statements, liquidated damages and material breaches of natural justice

Michael Comba looks at a recent Technology and Construction Court case that provides useful guidance on the JCT’s procedural requirements on disputing Final Statements.
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Three times one equals one: Several disputed payment applications amount to a single dispute

Michael Comba considers a case in which the High Court dismissed an employer’s argument that an adjudicator lacked jurisdiction because the referral concerned three separate payment applications and, therefore, comprised three separate disputes.
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Warm feelings or hot air: the Heat and Buildings Strategy and Heat Networks

This week the government published its Heat and Buildings Strategy (Strategy). This contained vital innovations and essential step changes in terms of how heating is provided, writes Steve Gummer.
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Procurement reforms: update from Cabinet Office

Rob Hann, Nicola Sumner and Juli Lau assess the Cabinet Office's update on the progress of the government's public procurement reforms.
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Bond, Performance Bond. Delivering value for the Public Sector?

Justin Mendelle examines whether public sector clients achieve value for money from the provision of performance bonds.
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Not so personal messages: R. (on the application of Good Law Project Ltd) v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and Abingdon Health Plc [2021] EWHC 2595 (TCC)

Nicola Sumner, Juli Lau and Beth Edwards look at The Good Law Project's challenge of the direct award by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care of three contracts for the production and supply of rapid Covid-19 antibody tests (the “Contracts”).
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Insolvency – Termination and Beyond

Rachel Murray-Smith and Clare Mendelle consider the potential warning signs of, and the compliant manner for dealing with, contractor insolvency.
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Settlement agreements – waiving Personal Injury claims

In the case of Farnham-Oliver v RM Educational Resources LTD, the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court allowed a Personal Injury claim (“PI claim”) to be pursued by an employee against his former employer despite the parties signing a Settlement Agreement in respect of an Employment Tribunal claim on the same issue. Julie Bann and James Hughes report.
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Mandatory Vaccination for Care Home Workers in England – Update

Rachel Murray-Smith and Francesca Gallagher look at the detail of the government's guidance on compulsory vaccination for care staff.
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Make your mind up! Liquidated Damages clause upheld despite Employer’s challenge

In the recent case of Eco World Ballymore (EWB) v Dobler[1] , an Employer took the unusual position of challenging their own entitlement to liquidated damages (LDs) on the ground that the LDs provision constituted an unenforceable penalty clause. Clare Mendelle and James Goldthorpe investigate.
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Are Collateral Warranties Construction Contracts? Timing is Key.

Clare Mendelle and Anna Sidebottom examine the recently decided case of Toppan v Simply[1], which has provided guidance on when collateral warranties may be considered “construction contracts” under the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 and so give the warranty holder the right to adjudicate.
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