Local Government Lawyer Insight February 2018 LocalGovernmentLawyer 20 to work together on particular instructions in the future. We succeeded in being appointed to a regional framework which provides us with immediate access to work from six councils and a combined authority, as well as the potential for other public bodies to become customers on the framework. We produced our tender in recognition of the relative strengths of each of us in different areas, with each body named as the main supplier for some lots and the other in a supporting role. Since appointment we have been planning how to co-ordinate our efforts to win as much work as possible and to deliver as efficiently as possible the added value services required of us. Our first added value offering was training provided by officers from Sheffield City Council, bringing insight from their experience of school exclusions. On other occasions, we have delivered training together, so giving local authority attendees the benefit of our combined expertise and experience. We have also given presentations and published articles together. Both Geldards and Sheffield have contributed legal detail and we have given a breadth of views, drawing on our combined experience. For example, when we gave presentations on income generation by local authorities, one question of interest to local authorities has been how to interest and engage members in income generation activities. Geldards has contributed legal detail and comments on strategy and, as well as this, Sheffield has provided practical insight into the approach it has taken in its own activities. Anyone listening to our presentations will have received a comprehensive overview of the legal issues and a helpful steer on the practical issues. We have found this approach to really resonate with the public sector. As well as working together formally to complete client work and pursue business development, the relationship is such that we have regular contact with each other whenever we have something useful to share or need help from each other. This approach is suitable for any type of services but it will be particularly effective when a client is seeking assistance with several different needs. For example, the Geldards/Sheffield arrangement enabled both organisations to be appointed to a framework to deliver a wide range of specialisms and to share the responsibility for leading on these. Geldards is leading on contracts and commercial law, highways and environment and local government law and corporate governance, whilst Sheffield City Council leads on childcare, adult social services and community law, general litigation and employment and pensions. Both Geldards and Sheffield City Council feel they have gained from the relationship and are keen to continue working together. Geldards has commented that its lawyers enjoy working with the council’s officers and have learned from them. Geldards considers that the working arrangements have allowed both organisations to offer excellent services to local authorities. As a metropolitan district council and a core city, the council covers the full range of local authority legal work but has found that working with Geldards brings additional insight and experience. The skills and insight of each organisation complement each other, enabling them to provide a fully rounded and competitive offer. Tiffany Cloynes is a Partner at Geldards and Gillian Duckworth is Director of Legal and Governance at Sheffield City Council.