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Shared Legal Services – Is this arrangement proving to be cost efficient?

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If you work in the Public Sector you may be familiar with the term "Shared Services" whether you are in Legal, IT, Professional and even Back-Office. Shared Services is a management structure which has been implemented throughout the Public Sector to combine services as part of a cost saving measures. So has it worked?

The Local Government Association reported that by combining services, Local Government have achieved an eye watering £462 million saving since the introduction of collaborative departments within the Public Sector since the Shared Services map was first composed in 2012.

The Chair of the LGA's Improvement and Innovation Board, Peter Fleming advised: "In a climate where councils have less money, it is pleasing to see how much taxpayers' money has been saved by councils sharing services, and how many councils have adopted this approach. Since 2014, the amount saved through shared services has increased by £105 million, to £462 million, which shows how much the benefits of sharing services have been embraced by councils.

Within the Legal Services, more and more councils are combining their services to provide cost saving measures by pooling together their resources, knowledge and expertise which is highly beneficial to both the client and shared service. Combining services has shown profit can be generated through collaboration which has been demonstrated by LGSS Law. LGSS Law (Cambridgeshire County Council and Northamptonshire County Council) became an independent law firm in April 2015 and is now owned by both councils and is recognised as a Company owned by non-practising Solicitors.

Shared Legal Services (SLS) can present opportunities for councils such as; authorities gaining specialist expertise e.g. highlights which local authorities have expertise in a particular area i.e. one authority has strong expertise in Commercial Property but not so much in Litigation. SLS’s also have the potential to generate profit which promotes further cost saving and in some cases presents the opportunity for the SLS to become its own entity (LGSS Law).

If you are a Solicitor or Locum who works for a Shared Legal Service and would like to discuss your thoughts on the combining of services or you are looking for alternative opportunities within other councils or Shared Legal Services then please contact Kirsty O’Hara on 01772 208969 and I would be happy to have a chat.
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