Kent County Council has agreed to a ground-breaking business venture with its legal services arm.
Kent Legal Services (KLS) has, over the years, provided a range of legal assistance to more than 600 public sector bodies across the country and employs more than 125 specialist lawyers.
A key priority of the change, agreed at the council’s Cabinet meeting today (Monday), is to create a legal services company owned by KCC that can return a significantly increased and sustainable income stream for the taxpayer.
The award-winning department, which has one of the largest teams of local authority lawyers in the country, is led by Geoff Wild, KCC’s Director of Governance and Law.
He said: “This proposal will allow the council to remain at the forefront of innovative service delivery and fill in the current gaps in service provision within Kent and across the country.
“The company will be able to operate in the wider market without the regulatory restrictions imposed on in-house lawyers and an increase in use of technology and new business systems will lead to more efficient and better working.
“This new contract and investment will significantly increase the contribution KLS can make to the funding of frontline services for the benefit of both our clients and the wider Kent community.
“We look forward to telling everybody more about our exciting plans in the coming months.”
It is expected all legal services staff will transfer into the company except those who will be part of the KCC client side commissioning team, who will remain employed by the council.