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Shared service wins advisory role for CCGs, plans to set up ABS

LGSS Law – the shared legal service set up by Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire county councils – has been appointed to a legal services framework for clinical commissioning groups in the East of England and the East Midlands.

The procurement of the framework was led by the Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG and the West Suffolk CCG.

Quentin Baker, Director of Law, Property and Governance at LGSS Law, said: "The competition included many large national firms and we were very pleased to be within the small group of successful tenderers selected for inclusion on the framework.

"This achievement fits very well with our objective to widen our client base beyond our founding local authorities to the broader public sector."

Baker also confirmed that LGSS Law is seeking to set up an alternative business structure.

He said the ABS would be operated in parallel to LGSS Law and only in connection with clients that fell outside of its core public sector client group.

He added that much of the shared service’s work did not require an ABS because it is provided on an ‘at cost’ basis.

“There are some client groups such as housing associations for instance, which don't fall within our 'shared service' client group, to whom it may be more appropriate to provide services via an ABS,” Baker told Local Government Lawyer.

News of the LGSS Law’s plans come after the legal teams at Buckinghamshire County Council and the Bucks and Milton Keynes Fire Authority confirmed that they had submitted an application to the Solicitors Regulation Authority to establish an ABS, to be called Buckinghamshire Law +.

HB Public Law, the shared legal service at Harrow and Barnet, has also applied to the SRA for a licence.

In May 2013 LGSS Law expanded as part of a wider deal with Northampton Borough Council. This saw a legal team of 15 FTEs (full-time equivalents) transfer across under TUPE.