Due to changing government legislation and landscape, local government departments and authorities face a considerable amount of pressure structurally, politically and financially. Our local government lawyers understand these pressures and provide extensive advice to a significant number of local authorities, government departments, developers and private individuals.

Our cross-departmental team includes specialist local government practitioners, many of whom are ex-local authority lawyers. We are well versed in the law, practice and procedures of local authorities and include individuals from a wide range of the firm’s practice areas, including planning, environment, real estate services, procurement, commercial and corporate law.

A number of the lawyers on our team hold the Law Society's Diploma in local government law and practice. Our local government lawyers’ practical experience and broad sector knowledge allows us to provide our clients with pragmatic, commercial advice.

We are highly rated for our work in this area by The Legal 500.

Areas of focus

We provide expertise on the following local government issues:

  • Advice on statutory powers and questions of vires.
  • Judicial review.
  • Prosecutions and enforcement.
  • Compulsory purchase orders and regeneration schemes.
  • Procedural advice, including advice on committee reports and proofing against claims of bias/procedural impropriety.
  • Drafting constitutions and schemes of delegation.
  • Procurement, best value and subsidy control advice.
  • Competition issues.
  • PFI/PPP transactions.
  • All areas of planning, highways and rights of way.

Advising Isle of Anglesey Council on the proposals for a new nuclear power station at Wylfa together with related applications including a new 400kv grid connection and proposals for significant nuclear work accommodation. Advice given on strategy, governance and planning issues as well as CPO in respect of proposed major highway improvements needed in connection with the proposals.

Advising Pembrokeshire County Council on the Maiden Wells Link Road CPO and SRO for new and improved highway works, including acting as advocates for the council at the inquiry.

Drafting and negotiating significant s106 agreements for the Vale of White Horse District Council for the redevelopment of Grove Airfield and Crab Hill, including significant community infrastructure.

Assisting Greater London Authority in-house advisers on the procurement aspects of Albert Island, a 10ha site on the Royal Docks, London Borough of Newham.

Advising Northern Ireland Local Government Officer’s Superannuation Committee (NILGOSC) on the transfer of pensions liabilities and other public sector workers alongside the reform of local government in Northern Ireland.

Advising Isle of Wight Council on the re-procurement of its 1997 pathfinder integrated waste PFI as well as major refurbishment of the Energos gasification plant, which has been operating on the island for many years.

Advising the Department for Education on the creation of alternative delivery models that deliver children's social care services on behalf of failing councils, pursuant to Statutory Directions. These are first of their kind models in the UK for provision of children's social care and education support services and we have advised the DfE since the inception of this national intervention programme. There have been three “enforced” models to date, and we have advised on each (Doncaster in 2014, Slough 2015, Sandwell 2018, Reading 2019).

Advising Sunderland City Council on its major children’s services transformation project, where Sunderland’s children’s social care services, education support services, and schools traded services were transferred into a wholly owned subsidiary of the council. Although subject to DfE intervention, this was the first “voluntary” intervention model of its kind in the UK. The new company (Together for Children) went live in 2017.

Advising Birmingham Children’s Trust on its major children’s social care services transformation project. The second “voluntary” intervention model in the UK, BCT went live on 1 April 2018.

Working with the three local authorities of North Somerset Council, Bristol City Council and South Gloucestershire Council on the high profile transport scheme, Metrobus. This has required expertise in compulsory purchase, real estate, disputes and construction. Advice included representation on high profile protestor action against this scheme against one hundred or so well-organised and well-funded protestors occupying land required for the project.

Assisting a local authority on contractual issues arising out of the operation, maintenance and improvement of roads network including adjudication on a number of issues arising.

Providing specialist support to the in-house team at Bristol City Council to project manage bringing waster services in-house from an external private contractor. The procurement advice focused on establishing and operating and newly created Teckal in-house waste collection company and advising on the conditions for exemption under the procurement rules.

Advising Eunomia and in turn its client Pembrokeshire County Council, in relation to a first of its kind framework agreement and call-off terms for the treatment of residual waste. We have also continued to advise Eunomia in relation to the establishment of a ground-breaking new commercial waste solution in London.

Meet the team
Gary Soloman

Gary Soloman Partner

  • Head of Planning and Compulsory Purchase
  • Regeneration and Highways
  • Compulsory Purchase and Compensation
Keith Beattie

Keith Beattie Partner

  • Projects
  • Aviation
  • Defence
Philip Beer

Philip Beer Partner

  • Real Estate
  • Transport
  • Energy and Utilities
Nick Churchward

Nick Churchward Partner

  • Head of Resource and Waste Management
  • Projects
  • Energy and Utilities
John Houlden

John Houlden Partner

  • Head of Public Sector
  • Head of Procurement and Subsidy Control
  • Projects

What others say...

This practice has a real and in-depth understanding of local government. It provides high quality, pragmatic and accessible legal advice. Gets to the heart of the matter promptly and connects with clients with ease and skill.
Legal 500 2022

Key contact

Gary Soloman

Gary Soloman Partner

  • Head of Planning and Compulsory Purchase
  • Regeneration and Highways
  • Compulsory Purchase and Compensation

Subscribe to Public Sector updates

Burges Salmon PATH (Procurement Act Training & Help)

Burges Salmon careers

We work hard to make sure Burges Salmon is a great place to work.
Find out more