LGSS Law, the local authority-owned alternative business structure, has rebranded as Pathfinder Legal Services, with a view to “becoming a national leader for local government law”.
The business will continue to provide expert legal advice tailored to the public and not-for-profit sectors.
LGSS Law was set up as a ‘social enterprise law firm’ by Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire in 2015, with Central Bedfordshire joining in April 2016.
When Northamptonshire was split into two new unitary authorities, the two successor authorities - North Northamptonshire Council and West Northamptonshire Council – also became shareholders.
The councils said the rebrand to Pathfinder Legal Services “better reflects its success, growth and development. Thanks to previous robust financial management, combined with an increased demand for its services, Pathfinder Legal Services Ltd’s future is looking rosy.”
In August LGSS Law reported that increased instructions from shareholders and external clients during the pandemic had led to surge in profits.
The ABS's latest accounts saw revenue increase from £8,475,001 to £9,683,913 and profit after tax of £868,092 compared to the previous year’s profit of £349,612.
Cllr David Shelvey, Executive Member for Corporate Resources for Central Bedfordshire, said: “Having quality legal advice and support is essential for us in delivering services for the residents and businesses in Central Bedfordshire – everything from social work to highways and developer agreements.
“Some cases are extremely complex and challenging, and their expertise and level of service has been of critical importance.”
Cllr Mike Hallam, West Northamptonshire Council Cabinet Member for HR and Corporate Services, said: “The first two years of trading were spent laying the foundations of the new venture and as both shareholders and as clients we look forward to building on this and to creating ongoing success from a mutually beneficial partnership with Pathfinder Legal Services Ltd.”
Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of North Northamptonshire Council, said: “Over the last few years, LGSS Law Ltd has gone from strength to strength and it is great that with the rebrand to Pathfinder Legal Services Ltd we will be able to continue to work with our neighbours, growing on these strengths and being leaders in this field. The work that the firm do is extremely important.”
Cllr Lucy Nethsingha, Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "At a time when we have to ensure that we get the most value for every penny we spend, this partnership has allowed us to receive cost-effective legal advice for the services we provide including childcare, education, property, planning and procurement.
"Pathfinder Legal Services is owned by local taxpayers and the innovative structure enables the scale and expertise we require to advise local government and partners on a wide range of legal matters.
"I am pleased the partnership will continue, albeit under a different name. It is well regarded in the industry, evidenced by the fact it has been recognised locally as law firm of the year following some of the extraordinary challenges facing public services as a result of the pandemic."
Debbie Carter-Hughes, Executive Director of Pathfinder Legal Services, said: “Rebranding to Pathfinder Legal Services Ltd is an exciting move for the firm and reflects its forward-thinking, steadfast approach.
“We have gone from strength to strength, expanding our client-base to include more than 100 public sector and not-for-profit organisations. As we expand, we look forward to offering more specialist legal services, a highly tailored client experience and, as always, excellent value for money.”