Winners and Placements Announced at the LLG Awards 2018

Publish date: 13/11/2018

The LLG Awards 2018 took place on 9th November at the Waldorf Hotel, London. The evening was a joyous celebration of local government law and practice. Click for Winners and placements and watch this space for photos!

LLG Awards 2018

Winners

Governance Lawyer/Team of the Year

Emma Duncan, eastlaw, North Norfolk District Council

The Judges felt that this nomination "encapsulated the multi-faceted role of a Local Government Lawyer. Successfully dealing with complex political and governance challenges at a crucial time in the municipal year demonstrates strong leadership, legal and governance expertise as well as excellent political awareness".

Litigation Lawyer/Team of the Year

Kate Hiller, Warwickshire

The Judges stated that "Kate is a true credit to local government and to the legal profession. Kate has clearly demonstrated outstanding skill as a litigator in the face of considerable challenge. Kate's work demonstrates how important the role of the local government litigator is, and how much value can be derived from that role being fulfilled with such vim, vigour and determination. Kate's experience in the last twelve months shows both the steep learning curve that often challenges the local government litigator due to the frequently unique scenarios we are faced with; and, the ability to rise to that challenge. Kate is an extremely worthy winner of the 2018 Award, and should be hugely proud"

People Related Lawyer/Team of the Year

The Education Team, City and County of Swansea

The judges were hugely impressed by the value placed on the team's bespoke service by headteachers across Swansea, who describe it as "a vital extension of the school community" and praise the "sheer professionalism" and courteous approach of the specialist lawyers involved. The service is considered "invaluable on a professional and personal level", with headteachers hailing the swift response times and the way the team "make our jobs so much easier and less fraught".

Public/Private Partnership Lawyer/Team of the Year

The Procurement & Governance Team, Milton Keynes Council

The judges of this award commented that Milton Keynes was "really impressive, bold, and courageous in their projects which have been achieved through strong partnership working and will deliver great benefit to local communities and beyond. This team had demonstrated real value in an area of substantial future growth in terms of infrastructure, housing and the economy and they are truly investing in that journey to ensure prosperity and opportunities for local communities and the wider region through collaborative partnership working.

Significant Contribution to Local Government Law & Practice

Jayne Francis Ward - Retired Nottingham County Council

The judges were impressed by the winner's distinguished career in local government. Their record in delivering excellent legal services and transformational projects was exceptional. Their key role in developing one of the first local authority legal consortiums overseeing its growth from a regional panel of 13 members to a national panel of nearly 150 members, saving over £20 million stands out. The judges also felt that the winner's contribution and dedication to promoting equalities and working with charities to promote equality stood out. Overall the judges believe that the winner's contribution to local government and public service has been outstanding.

Junior Lawyer of the Year

Paige Ferris-Bedward, Milton Keynes Council

The judges of this award agreed "that the winner has worked on cutting edge projects which went above and beyond her role as a trainee solicitor. The winner has worked with a range of stakeholders on complex projects which would help the community locally. She has shown initiative and has been recognised for going the extra mile. She has taken on additional responsibility within her role and the wider local authority and is a role model for all junior lawyers".

Local Government Legal Professional of the Year

Gary Dalton, Warwickshire County Council

Judges of this award stated that Gary "Demonstrated a direct and significant community impact together with evidenced commitment to the public sector through a variety of compelling testimonials. Displaying fluidity across disciplines together with investment in junior members and a commitment to local government law and practice, the judges found the winner to be more than worth of this title".

Local Government Legal Team of the Year

Southampton and Fareham Legal Services Partnership

The judges stated that "the Legal Service Partnership takes a whole service approach to supporting clients, this approach was very evident from the additional evidence provided; particularly noted was the letter received from the Leader of Fareham Borough Council; also, the testimonials provided from colleagues in Trading Standards and the Southampton Port Health Authority.

The projects that particularly interested us and that we thought were very innovative were the Wellborne New Garden Village, the work that has taken place on the clean air zone and the secondary schools, SEND and school transport reviews. This is particularly interesting as it involved the delivery of new learning environments and the expansion of city centre schools to meet new community demand.

The testimonial provided by Rosie Zambra Transactions and Universal Services, relating to the seizure of a consignment of kratom mitragyna spciosa and its eventual destruction following two years of court process finally ending in the Court of Appeal was also particularly noteworthy as these proceedings were supported throughout by the internal legal service with some support from Counsel.

Conclusion

"The team takes a whole service approach to supporting clients amply evidenced by a range of testimonials. The team has worked on several very innovative and hugely beneficial community impact projects, together with significant case law proceedings. This team is hugely deserving of the LLG Local Government Legal Team of the Year 2018"

HIGHLY COMMENDED & COMMENDED

Governance Lawyer/Team of the Year

The Governance Team, City of Wolverhampton Council, Highly Commended

This small team impressed the Judges with "their contribution to a large project, their ability to successfully negotiate with a wide range of local authorities and stakeholders and the scope of legal and governance expertise involved".

Litigation Lawyer/Team of the Year

Southampton and Fareham Legal Services Partnership, Commended

The Judges stated "this litigation team has played a crucial role in helping tackle substantial organised crime and their efforts are to be commended. The breadth and scale of the challenges they have faced are considerable, and to achieve so much with a relatively small team is impressive. Their work is to be commended".

Milton Keynes Council, Commended

The Judges stated "the team has coped admirably with a wide range of instructions whilst also adapting its structure to meet changing demands. The team's work is of national significance, not least in helping to protect vulnerable people who rely on the Council for protection. This is a team that works hand in hand with its instructing services to deliver results. This is hugely beneficial, and clearly valued by colleagues across the organisation. Their work is to be commended".

People Related Lawyer/Team of the Year

Warwickshire County Council Young People's Legal Service- Highly Commended

The Judges stated "this team stood out for its commitment to providing an excellent service, whilst at the same time helping reduce legal spend substantially and providing a wide range of high-quality training. The judges were particularly impressed by the testimonials not just from internal clients but also those from other local authorities, with one saying, "the service has been amazing….and a very hard act to follow" and another praising the handling of an "exceptionally complicated" case".

West Midlands Combined Authority Legal Team- Highly Commended

The Judges noted the commitment and dedication demonstrated within the WMCA's service delivery and client provision.

Public/Private Partnership Lawyer/Team of the Year

Gedling Borough Council - Highly Commended

The Judges awarded Highly Commended to Gedling Borough Council for their small but mighty approach. The judges noted it was quite rare for a district to be undertaking projects on such a scale to deliver the best deal for their local communities through partnership working and they should be commended for their work in this area as a result.

Significant Contribution to Local Government Law & Practice

Dr Paul Field – Highly Commended

The judges felt that the contribution of this nominee towards local authority governance over many years has been exceptional. He has worked across a range of issues, including probity, safeguarding and equalities to make a real difference to the local authorities worked for and the communities they serve.

Junior Lawyer of the Year

Nicola Morgan – Blackpool Borough Council, Highly Commended

The judges were impressed at the tenacity displayed in this applicant's day to day work. She displayed a maturity and remained calm under pressure, even under intimidating circumstances. We highly commend this junior lawyer for her work and commitment to the local authority and her community.

Local Government Legal Professional of the Year

The Judges in this category wanted to particularly note the very high standard, skill and expertise demonstrated by all the nominees within this category. Each had elements which would make them very deserving winners.

Meurig Tiley of Milton Keynes Council, Highly Commended

The Judges awarded Meurig Highly Commended for his outward facing and direct community impact work with parish councils, housing and rough-sleepers . A dedicated lawyer, Meurig's nomination really demonstrated innovation and dedication in his approach to law and practice.

Local Government Legal Team of the Year

London Borough of Barking and Dagenham – Highly Commended

The Judges commented that "during their review of the background papers provided, the thing that we particularly noted was that the legal practice has responded to a great deal of change within the Borough. The legal practice has built into a multi-disciplinary commercial legal team which, from the examples, provides a service that has supported some far-reaching projects. The projects that we particularly noted were BMD Energy, delivering home and improving life changes and launching Be First which has been responsible for the regeneration of housing and infrastructure within the area. We were also very impressed by the commitment to developing our own talent and found the testimonial from Farzana Begum of great interest. We note that she is a solicitor apprentice at the Council".

Milton Keynes Council Legal Services – Commended

In relation to Milton Keynes Legal Services the testimonial received from the Leader of Milton Keynes Council highlighted the work with the new technology at the University based in Milton Keynes as of high credit. We also noted that in 2016 it was decided to retain an in-house legal team at the Council which seems to have gone from strength to strength, particularly on reviewing the comments from Jeannine Batchelor, Solicitor, Legal Services Manager and Deputy Monitoring Officer at Horsham District Council, where we have noted that Milton Keynes Legal Services have assisted with a high volume of litigation work.