Council lawyers from the South London Legal Partnership (SLLP) who proposed paperless courtrooms in a revolutionary scheme are among those shortlisted for three industry awards.
Digital courtrooms could lead to savings of more than £1million for the justice system in London alone if huge bundles of legal documents often delivered to court on the back of a courier’s motorbike are made available online instead.
The idea was put forward by the South London Legal Partnership (SLLP), made up of Merton, Sutton, Richmond and Kingston councils.
It is already in operation in three of London’s Family Courts with the boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and Wandsworth subscribing to the service, and the team is in talks with other boroughs to roll it out across London and also regionally.
The team with its private sector partners Projectfusion and Zylpha has been shortlisted for a UK IT Industry Award in the UK Innovation and Entrepreneurship category.
The SLLP has also been shortlisted in the Family Law Awards as Local Authority Team of the Year and in the Innovative Lawyer/Innovation Team of the Year category of the Local Government Legal Awards.
Merton Council leader Councillor Stephen Alambritis said: “Being shortlisted for three top industry awards shows we are leading the way with our combined legal expertise in south London and beyond. This partnership and the way it delivers services to the residents of south London is really innovative and I’m delighted that it has been shortlisted for three awards.”
Councillor Simon Wales, deputy leader of Sutton Council and lead member for resources, said: “Sutton is at the forefront of sharing services with other boroughs in order to pool resources to provide high-quality resilient services and save money in the process. We are immensely proud of the hard work and expertise of the South London Legal Partnership team and hope they will be successful in winning these legal awards.”
Councillor Julie Pickering, cabinet member for partnerships at Kingston upon Thames Council, said: “The South London Legal Partnership is taking great strides in digital innovation – identifying smarter ways of working whilst delivering savings to the four boroughs. To achieve three award nominations is rare, and something to be proud of. However, we are not complacent and we will strive to further improve our processes.”
Lord True, leader of Richmond Council, said: “The success of the South London Legal Partnership has already proved that joining forces with other boroughs can make a positive difference in providing a quality in-house legal service while making significant financial savings. Bringing together the legal expertise of the boroughs’ legal teams has meant we can provide an even better and cost efficient service. Great news for the council tax payers of south London. These award nominations just highlight some of the innovative work they are now able to deliver.”
UK IT Industry Awards take place on Wednesday 16 November
Local Government Legal Awards 2016 will take place on Friday 18 November
Family Law Awards will be held on Wednesday 23 November