South London Legal Partnership shortlisted for top award

South London Legal Partnership has been shortlisted for an MJ award, one of the top local government industry accolades.

After Merton was named Best Achieving Council at last year’s MJ Awards, the legal partnership the council leads between Merton, Richmond, Kingston and Sutton has gone on to be shortlisted in the Legal Services category this year.

Shortlisted legal services in this category must demonstrate exceptional value for money for the council by delivering on a great contribution which makes a long lasting and real difference to people, the local economy, the law and the legal profession.

The South London Legal Partnership is the first four-borough shared legal service in London and was built on the partnership that was already in place between Merton and Richmond Councils, expanding last year to provide a legal service for all four boroughs.The shared service is set to save £600,000 between the four councils in its first four years as a partnership, while providing each borough with a substantially increased pool of legal expertise and so reducing the need to instruct outside lawyers.

Chief Executive of Merton Council, Ged Curran said: “Bringing together the legal expertise of the four boroughs’ legal teams to create the South London Legal Partnership means that we are able to make a positive difference in providing a quality in-house legal service while making significant financial savings. This partnership and the way it delivers services to the residents of south London is really innovative and I’m delighted that it’s been shortlisted for the MJ Legal Services award.”

Chief Executive of Kingston Council, Bruce McDonald said: “Congratulations to the South London Legal Partnership for being shortlisted for this top industry award. This groundbreaking new arrangement gives us access to a strong pool of lawyers, almost four times bigger than we had before. We are stronger together and by sharing our professional expertise we have a very efficient and cost-effective service.”

Chief Executive of Richmond Council, Gillian Norton said: “The South London Legal Partnership does two things at once – it saves money and improves our service. It is great to see that the work the partnership does to add value and make savings across four boroughs is being recognised through this MJ award shortlisting.”

Chief Executive of Sutton Council, Niall Bolger said: “The partnership deserves to be shortlisted for this national accolade as the establishment of this shared legal service makes sense and is innovative, not least in providing value for money for Sutton’s council tax payers. The new arrangements mean duplication is reduced, costs are cut and we benefit from greater legal expertise”.