Legal teams to share expertise and strengthen service

Philip Baker and Ann Charlton

Philip Baker and Ann Charlton

LEGAL teams from two south east counties with a combined population of more than 1.5million will be joining forces and sharing expertise to create centres of excellence.

East Sussex County Council and Surrey County Council have given the go ahead to the creation of a single legal service.

The 130-strong legal team will be based at the two existing sites at Lewes and Kingston on Thames.

“This is a great opportunity which will enable us to meet the challenges ahead,” said Philip Baker, Assistant Chief Executive at East Sussex County Council. “The new single service will allow us to tap into the wider pool of staff members with specialist expertise that comes from an expanded team.

“This is about more than two teams joining together; it is about building a stronger service that enables both authorities to help reduce cost across the public sector, helping councils to protect front line services.”

While both county councils will benefit from the enhanced service, the new team will also work closely with both existing and new public sector partners to provide a first class, one-stop legal service.

Ann Charlton, Director of Legal and Democratic Services at Surrey County Council, said: “This is a great opportunity to build a stronger legal team to support the work of our two county councils and the residents and businesses they serve.

“As well as our primary work with the two authorities, the move will put us in an even better position to work with a wider range of public service partners.”