Southampton City Council has launched a recruitment drive after taking the strategic decision to bring the vast majority of its childcare legal work back in-house.
The local authority is looking to hire a senior solicitor or barrister to act as team leader as well as three solicitors or barristers (one on a permanent contract and two on fixed-term contracts until April 2015).
Explaining the move, Richard Ivory, Head of Legal, HR and Democratic Services at the Southampton and Fareham Legal Services Partnership, said: “For the last five years or so the Safeguarding caseload, as with other authorities, has increased substantially, so has the reliance on legal advice and advocacy.
“As a result we have had to rely more and more on both counsel and private practice. Whilst we receive good service from both there are economies to be made both in terms of real cost and management time in having the vast majority of the service in-house. We have reached a point where there is merit in doing this and we will review the situation in April 2015.”
Ivory added: “The second reason is that I believe we can have improve further our relationship with our Safeguarding social worker colleagues by doing so. That team has had a lot of churn in the past few years and is seeking more stability.
“If we have internal lawyers and social workers approaching matters in a common way that will lead to better team work, consistency, less cost and improved outcomes. We believe that Southampton offers a really good career base with a caseload that for the lawyers we seek that will be challenging and rewarding.”
More information on the roles at Southampton can be found here: