Our 92 public sector lawyers advise local and national government organisations and other public sector bodies on all relevant legal issues.
We understand that public sector organisations operate in a high pressure environment, facing the challenge of facilitating service delivery improvements against the backdrop of ever-diminishing resources.
Ashfords is at the forefront of meeting these challenges head-on, and has an excellent track record of developing solutions for its clients in these demanding times. We are well aware of the political dimension of satisfying functions and the delivery of services and are experienced in operating in a public sector context.
Our experts know how to assist our clients in achieving their aspirations within the context of the rules.
We advise on the full range of planning, highways and compulsory purchase issues, including Section 106 agreements, planning applications and appeals, compulsory purchase orders and compensation issues, enforcement, environmental impact assessments, and highways and drainage agreements. We also advise local planning authorities on matters of practice, procedure and governance.
We understand the increasing importance to the public sector of keeping personal and commercially sensitive information secure and the measures required to ensure the availability, integrity and confidentiality of information. Our team can assist you on all areas of data security, data protection law and requests under the FOIA and EIR.
We advise on road traffic accidents, accidents at work, occupiers liability claims, fatal accidents, tripping and slipping accidents and occupational disease. Our lawyers understand the pressure faced by public bodies to reduce legal spend and we work closely with in-house teams to provide efficient ways of handling claims to ensure our clients receive value for money.
Social housing and estate management
We advise local authorities, housing associations and social landlords on all aspects of tenant management and wider property related disputes as well as social housing property and development issues relating to planning, construction, acquisition and disposal of social housing developments.
We act for a wide range of bodies funded directly or indirectly from public funds on real estate issues either on their own account or where they are promoting initiatives through investment in real estate. We advise on regeneration schemes, site acquisitions and disposals, lettings and asset management, social housing property and development and real estate investment.
Infrastructure and construction
We work on some of the most significant infrastructure projects in the UK from regeneration schemes to leisure projects and major mixed use developments. Our key skills include contract drafting, negotiation and interpretation of a wide range of engineering and construction contracts, including strategic, operational and framework agreements.
Business risk and regulation
Public sector organisations have a wide range of risks to manage and an increasing burden of regulatory legislation to comply with – something that presents a real challenge when regulators frequently change the way they interpret and enforce the law. We help organisations to manage their risks effectively and comply with constantly changing regulation.
Procurement, outsourcing and shared services projects
We advise a wide range of public sector clients on all elements of procurement law, from early pre-market market engagement activities through to contract award. We can provide strategic advice on choice of procedure, evaluation methodologies, tender documentation and structuring Teckal and Hamburgstyle in-house/shared services arrangements.
TUPE, employment and pensions
We provide practical advice to our clients on their employment matters. As well as dealing with day-to-day good employment practice in the workplace, we can advise on redundancies, re-organisation and restructuring and the impact of TUPE and Fair Deal on major outsourcing projects.
Grant funding and State aid
We advise on the application of the State aid regime, State aid structuring and the full range of associated contractual documents and governance. We can assist on all aspects of State aid affecting ad hoc grants and loans, complex multi-funding stream projects and applications to European and national funding programmes.
Public Sector Prosecution and Regulatory Enforcement Services
We regularly represent public sector clients in all areas of the enforcement of criminal and regulatory offences including: environmental offices, trading standards (including fraud), Education Act offences, Road Traffic Act offences (including blue badge prosecutions) and Statutory notice, enforcement and prosecution.
We advise on all areas of licensing law and regularly advises and represents local authorities in relation to premises licences, complicated appeals and licensing subcommittee decisions. Our licensing experts deal with a full spectrum of cases from the straight forward, low value to complex multi-million pound cases (and everything in between).
Frequently Asked Questions
What Public Sector panels are Ashfords on?
Ashfords act for more than 130 public authorities. If you would like to instruct us under a framework or you have any framework related questions, please email our Bids team or call 01392 333968.
Who should I contact if I have a public sector query?
Elizabeth Gibson is head of public sector and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01392 333802.
I am an individual/business and need help with a public sector query, can you help?
Whilst Ashfords acts for a wide range of public sector organisations, there may be situations where we will be able to help individuals or businesses with their public sector queries where there will be no conflict of interest. Please still get in touch with us using the contact form.
Do you offer training to public sector organisations?
Yes, we provide training on a wide range of legal topics which may interest public sector organisations as well as soft skills workshops. Please fill out the contact form with your training requirements.
Who should I contact about running an event at your offices?
Please contact our Events Team via email or on 01392 333868.
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