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Bristol Legal

  • Phone: 0117 922 2232

Bristol Legal is a highly regarded innovative team of in-house lawyers providing cost effective legal advice to a range of public sector and not-for-profit sector clients.

Legal 500 Awards with wordingWe provide legal support in procurement and contracting, conveyancing and commercial property work, employment, child protection and health and social care.

Our lawyers deliver cost effective, robust and high quality legal support and advocacy to our clients.  We are a large team with a wide range of specialisms and experience built to respond to the needs of our clients in challenging financial times.


What we do

(please click on heading for further information)

 

We are a well established  and experienced team undertaking care, adoption and allied public law proceedings for the council.

We are able to offer both breadth and depth of experience in all areas of child protection law.

We have a good working relationship with our client social workers at all levels, and satisfaction with our service is consistently high.

We have also established a good reputation with the Local Judiciary, Bar and Solicitors Practices.

The team, along with neighbouring authorities are piloting a pre-proceedings protocol, and are represented on the Family Justice Board.

We can offer the following services:

Care proceedings, legal framework Children Act 1989, Children and Young Persons Act 2008, plus Regs, Guidance and case law

  •     Attendance at legal planning meetings.
  •     Advice on threshold criteria and other legal issues.
  •     Advice throughout the pre-proceedings process.
  •     Advice and representation (or arranging for representation) at court hearings throughout care proceedings once proceedings are issued.
  •     Assistance with social work documents: obtaining statements from witnesses, correspondence with legal representatives of parents and children and other parties to the care proceedings.
  •     Strategic safeguarding advice including LADO responsibilities and serious case reviews.

Placement and adoption proceedings, legal framework, Adoption and Children Act 2002, plus Regs, Guidance and case law

  •     Conduct of placement proceedings and advice and representation on contested adoption proceedings.
  •     Legal advice to the adoption panel at panel meetings and to the agency decision maker.
  •     Additional general advice provided to the advisor to the panel and panel members of placement and adoption issues.

Emergency advice

Provision of a rota to provide urgent legal advice during office hours in emergency circumstances, primarily under Part 5 Children Act 1989 but also under Forced Marriage Protection Act, Inherent Jurisdiction of the High Court.

Policies and procedures

Advice on legal aspects of policies and procedures.

Complex private law proceedings

Advice and assistance to social workers preparing reports in complex private law proceedings when the local authority is not a party to the proceedings.

Training

We offer regular training sessions on court skills and briefing on changes in legislation and practice, and regular monthly legal updates on all relevant case law, legislation and regulations.

The team is supported by a case management system and e-bundling function and is developing cloud storage capacity for efficient delivery of court bundles.

 

The team

Claudia Lank – Team Leader
Heidi Gould – Team Leader
Oliver Moore – Childcare Solicitor
The lawyers
The legal assistants

 

The team specialises in providing advice and support in:

Contracting rules (standing orders on contracts)

Engineering and works contracts}

Advising on full range of construction and engineering works contracts for areas of work including:

  •     new build homes
  •     school and general housing repairs and maintenance
  •     infrastructure works and improvements
  •     CCTV
  •     renewable energy installations.

Advice and drafting contract amendments for the new Construction Act (Local Democracy Economic Development and Construction Act 2009).

Framework agreements

Advising on the availability and use of existing framework agreements, including:

  •     the assessment of terms and conditions of contract and
  •     on establishing and operation of framework agreements.

General procurement

Public Contracts Regulations 2006. Experience of the open, restricted and competitive dialogue procedures, and on works and service concessions and land and property disposals.  Application of the EU treaty principles on sub-threshold contracts and contracts for Part B Services.

Advising on the lawfulness of proposed variations and/or extensions to existing public contracts, and whether these would be classed as a “material change”, consortium bids and the incorporation of social and environmental objectives into a procurement process.

Advice on the application of the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2006 in energy generation activities.

Outsourcing and staff transfer issues

Advising on application of staff transfer issues associated with outsourced contracts including establishing a Teckal compliant body.

Conversions to staff mutual.

Partnering arrangements

Advising and drafting joint working/partnering arrangements, including:

  •     with NHS
  •     with other local authorities (West of England Partnership) including establishment of joint executive committees for waste and transportation.

Joint ventures on property development with:

  • the public (for example PCT, RSL’s) and
  • private partners.

State aid

Advising on the application of state aid to contracting arrangements, including:

  • disposals of land
  • provision of grants and on exemptions
  • including Services of General Economic Interest
  • the General Block Exemption Regulation.

The team

Eric Andrews – Team Leader
Jane Johnson - Team leader
Sinead Willis – Contracts Lawyer
Kate Fryer – Contracts and Employment Lawyer
Anita McEleney – Contracts Lawyer

 

The Employment Team has significant experience of advising on all aspects and areas of employment law including:

Employment tribunal claims

Representing the council in the employment tribunal relating to:

  •     claims of discrimination under the Equality Act
  •     equal pay
  •     TUPE transfers
  •     unfair and wrongful dismissal
  •     working time regulations
  •     breach of contract and
  •     whistleblowing.

This service includes advice and representation in employment tribunal claims including multi party claims – this is a full support and advice service from the beginning to the end of the tribunal process and includes advice on and negotiation in settlement and/or withdrawal of ET claims.

General advice on employment law issues

  • Advice on conducting disciplinary, grievance and other internal employment processes and procedures.
  • Advice and experience in advising elected members in the internal appeal process.

Policies and procedures

Advice on drafting, updating and reviewing policy and procedures to take into account changing legislation and council/service objectives.

Schools and academies

Advising local authority schools and newly formed academies in relation to employment issues specific to them.

TUPE transfers

  •     Advice and assistance on assessing the implications of a transfer of staff to or from the council.
  •     Assisting in drafting contractual provisions related to TUPE.
  •     Considering employee liability information.
  •     Negotiating issues where a TUPE transfer may be disputed.

   

The team

Husinara Jones – Employment Lawyer
Kate Fryer – Contracts and Employment Lawyer

 

The team comprises lawyers, legal officers and legal assistants. We are a dedicated team of experienced lawyers working in local government and the public sector.

We:

  •     provide advice on all aspects of civil litigation and have an excellent reputation with the courts and a high success rate
  •     provide advice to our client departments on policy and strategic issues
  •     run training courses and these can be tailored to customer requirements  
  •     are efficient and costs driven
  •     are approachable and client focussed
  •     have our own in house advocate
  •     are recognised nationally for our work both with Central Government and other public bodies.

We have excellent outcomes with our cases and recent examples include:

  • recovery of over £300,000 in an education case
  • successfully defending an injunction and procurement challenge
  • control and reduction of disrepair claims following an influx of claims
  • efficient and innovative co-working of cases with customers leading to highly successful, low cost outcomes.

 


Asylum and immigration

 

  •     Eligibility for services (single adults and families from abroad).
  •     No recourse to public funds cases.
  •     Unaccompanied asylum seeking children.
  •     Age assessments.
  •     Human rights assessments.
  •     Community care assessments.

 Anti-social behaviour claims

  •     Anti-social behaviour orders.
  •     Anti-social behaviour injunctions/housing injunctions.
  •     Nuisance housing possessions.
  •     Gang injunctions.
  •     Protection from Harassment Act injunctions (to protect employees from harassment).
  •     Section 222 injunctions.
  •     Beggars injunctions.

Children and young people's services

  •     Judicial reviews.
  •     Disclosure and information sharing, data protection and public interest immunity claims.
  •     Children in need:
  1.         Disabled children.
  2.         Homeless 16/17 year olds.
  3.         Advice on services and accommodation for children in need (S17/20 Children Act 1989).
  •         Duties to care leavers.

Property (commercial)

  •     Termination and renewal of commercial leases.
  •     Operation of break clauses.
  •     Forfeiture including Section 146 Notices and possession proceedings.
  •     Advice on leases including:
  •         breach of covenants, for example rent
  •         repairing obligations and
  •         access.
  •     Tenants insolvency/bankruptcy.
  •     Advice on dilapidations claims.

Education and early years

  •     Inclusion (exclusions/alternative provision/attendance/behaviour/EPS/HES.
  •     Early years.
  •     School improvement.
  •     Education admissions/exclusions/transport appeals and education (SENDIST) tribunals.
  •     School leadership and governance.
  •     Safeguarding in education.
  •     Finance.
  •     School organisation/academy conversion.
  •     Attendance.
  •     Home to school travel.
  •     CYPS capital programme.
  •     Youth services.
  •     16 to 19 statutory duties.
  •     Special educational needs.

General litigation

We deal with claims by and against the Council in civil cases including:

  •     Judicial reviews
  •     Contract and procurement disputes/claims
  •     Insolvency/bankruptcy advice and litigation
  •     Housing benefit advice and tribunals
  •     Highways claims
  •     Personal injury (defendant)
  •     Debt recovery process which includes obtaining judgments
  •     Charging orders
  •     Attachments of earnings orders for periodical payment
  •     Judgments enforcement by way of warrants of execution
  •     Bankruptcy orders
  •     Designated no drinking zones
  •     Disability discrimination claims
  •     Appeals to higher courts, for example against District Judge decisions
  •     Inquests
  •     Injunctions, for example housing, education, planning

Health and social care

  •     Judicial reviews.
  •     Court of protection cases including High Court challenges to deprivation of liberty authorisations.
  •     Community care.
  •     Safeguarding.
  •     Mental Capacity Act.
  •     Mental Health Act.
  •     County court action to displace nearest relatives under the Mental Health Act.
  •     Advising members at the guardianship panel.
  •     Policy advice – including drafting procedures and legal advice for reports to Cabinet.
  •     Health scrutiny committee.
  •     Health and Well being Board.

Defending Judicial reviews and injunctions often at extremely short notice.

  •     County Court appeals against homelessness decisions.
  •     General advice on tenancies.
  •     Policy advice on homelessness under the Housing Act 1996 including
  •         eligibility
  •         immigration
  •         home choice and
  •         allocation of housing.

Housing litigation

  •     Possession of council houses.
  •     Squatters/trespassers of residential and commercial properties.
  •     Eviction of residential employees from tied accommodation (for example school caretakers).
  •     Disrepair advice/claims.
  •     Residential property tribunal matters and cases appealed to the upper tribunal.

Town and village greens (TVG)

  • Acting for councils in their statutory role as the Commons Registration Authority (CRA).
  • Acting for the council as landowner to which an application for a TVG has been submitted to advise on all issues relating to TVGs.

 

The team

Anne Nugent – Team Leader
Sarah Sharland – Team Leader

 

 

We are a team of specialist planning and regulatory lawyers and legal officers supported by an experienced legal assistant with a wealth of public sector focused experience between us. We regularly advise on major projects and policy initiatives as well as providing a criminal and regulatory litigation service in magistrates and Crown courts, including lawyers with higher rights of audience (criminal). We work mainly in Bristol but also support our client’s cross border investigation and prosecution work throughout the South West region and work in partnership with neighbouring authorities in particular in relation to our planning and transport project work

Practice areas:

Drafting and advice in relation to Notices, Regulations Orders and byelaws

-    Enforcement and Listed Buildings Notices

-    Temporary Stop Notices and Stop Notices

-    Breach of Condition Notices

-    Tree preservation Order

-    Discontinuance Orders

-    High Hedge Remedial Notices

-    Certificates of Lawful Use

-    Abatement notices

-    Improvement Notices

-    Prohibition Notices

-    Waste management notices

-    Standard conditions for sex establishment licensing

-    Byelaws

-    Decision notices

-    Enterprise Act consultation and undertakings

-    Public Space protection orders

Drafting agreements including:

-    Unilateral Undertakings in relation to s106 Town and Country Planning Act

-    S106 Agreements

-    S278 Agreements

Policy advice

-    Licensing Act2003

-    Gambling Act 2005

-    Planning Policy advice – including local and neighbourhood plans

-    Hackney carriage and private hire policy – vehicles and drivers

-    Sex establishment policy

-    Street trading policy

-    Waste management strategy

Prosecutions and Other advocacy and litigation support

-    Planning prosecutions

-    Civil applications and appeals to the Magistrates Court

-    Tenancy Fraud

-    Work for the Weights and measures Authority: Consumer Protection, rogue Traders

-    Food Safety Prosecutions and Emergency Protection Orders

-    Health & Safety at Work Act

-    Proceeds of Crime Act prosecutions and proceedings

-    Illegal Eviction cases

-    Licensing Prosecutions and Appeals

-    Environmental Prosecutions

-    Dangerous dog cases (criminal and civil)

-    Prosecutions under the Housing Act 2004 and related legislation

-    Education Welfare matters under The Education Act 1996

-    Assisting with obtaining authorisations under The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act

-    Conduct of public Inquiries for the Local Planning Authority

-    Judicial Review 

Specialist Advice

-    Public Rights of Way

-    Town and Village Green – landowner representation

-    Transport project work

-    Compulsory Purchase

-    Listed Buildings

-    Conservation Areas

-    RIPA – central register and  inspections

-    Adoption of local legislation and making of byelaws

-    All aspects of governance relating to the work covered in the team

-    Fee setting powers

-    Consultation



The team

Lawyers and Legal Officers headed by Pauline Powell, Team Leader.

 

 

Bristol City Council has a large property portfolio owning or having an interest in approaching 40% of the land within the City boundary. The portfolio comprises:

  •     housing estates (houses, flats and shops)
  •     offices
  •     shops (including the central shopping area known as Broadmead and Cabot Circus)
  •     schools
  •     licensed premises
  •     trading estates
  •     industrial estates and
  •     parks, open spaces, allotments and farmland.

The commercial estate, which the council owns, comprises approximately 5,152 separate property investments generating a significant annual rent roll.

The Team advises on all aspects of property work relating to local authority statutory functions and requirements, as well as providing advice on the application of legislation to public sector clients, where relevant to property matters.    

The service encompasses a full range of property transactional work:

Commercial development projects

Identifying sound strategies and parameters for the process in advance of negotiations is a key to successful development projects.

Initially the Team will offer strategic advice on land issues and an appropriate legal structure. We then prepare and negotiate the documents and set up the agreed development vehicle.

A development project can take years from planning to delivery and the Property Team invest personal commitment and dedication to ensure client satisfaction.

Compulsory purchase

Provides comprehensive advice leading up to, and throughout the compulsory purchase process to make the process as smooth as possible for acquiring authorities.

The Property Team have experience with advising on this complex and specialist area with current projects linked to development agreements as well as individual properties under housing powers.

General property work

The team advises on all areas of transactional property related matters including:

  •     general disposals and acquisitions
  •     compulsory purchase
  •     all other landlord and tenant matters
  •     easements
  •     covenants
  •     variations and
  •     statutory transfers.

The team prides itself on having experienced staff with extensive local government knowledge and will work with clients to provide legal advice and assistance for specific matters / projects and also in a more general supporting role.

Landlord and tenant matters

The team offers practical and sensible advice on all commercial landlord and tenant matters.  Whether it is the landlord of a shop, office or industrial unit or the prospective tenant anxious not to fall into unexpected traps we can guide you through the law and practice of landlord and tenant with extensive knowledge of drafting and negotiating commercial leases.

All tenants are encouraged to take early advice to make sure they obtain the best deal before they agree to take premises and the team will advise landlords on what concessions it is reasonable to resist. Working with both landlords and tenants provides us with the experience to advise you of the best deal.

Major disposals and acquisitions

Understanding the implications and possible outcomes, helps us serve clients in the most professional and efficient manner.

Whether the property acquisition or disposal is part of an ongoing business, or for development, our Property Lawyers will be able to ensure that it is dealt with in a competent and expedient manner whilst undertaking all due diligence to protect the Client.

Our recent projects have included:

  •     industrial premises
  •     transactions involving office or other commercial premises.

Land acquisitions and disposals may require options, conditional contracts or overage, and the Team have experience to advise on all aspects of the transaction.

Planning and highway agreements

Extensive experience with drafting, negotiating and advising on S106 Agreements to secure planning obligations and highway agreements.

The team works closely with clients to make sure the planning obligations are effective, enforceable and understandable.

The team have recently secured agreements for some significant development projects in the city often original and innovative.

 

The team

Andrew Jones – Team Leader
Wendy Batley – Property Lawyer
Janet Hartnoll – Property Lawyer
Peter Wilcox – Property Lawyer
Kevin Froud – Property Lawyer


Bristol logoContact us

 

General enquiries

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Telephone: 0117 922 2232

 

Contracts and procurement

Eric Andrews

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Telephone: 0117 922 2347

Jane Johnson

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Telephone: 0117 357 4758

Andrew Jones

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Telephone: 0117 922 2319

 

Litigation and community law

Sarah Sharland

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Telephone: 0117 922 2305

Anne Nugent

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Telephone: 0117 922 3424

 

Employment

Husinara Jones

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Telephone: 0117 922 4712

Kate Fryer

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Telephone: 0117 922 2257

 

Child protection

Heidi Gould

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Telephone: 0117 922 2026

Claudia Lank

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Telephone: 0117 922 3746

Oliver E Moore

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Telephone: 0117 922 4442

 

Service managers

Shahzia Daya

Interim Service Director: Legal and Democratic Services and Monitoring Officer

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Telephone: 0117 922 2413

Nancy Rollason

Service Manager and Interim Deputy Monitoring Officer

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Telephone: 0117 922 3433

 

European Green Capital

 

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