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LGSS Law Ltd to save £600k for Central Bedfordshire Council - LGSS

LGSS Law Ltd to save £600k for Central Bedfordshire Council

Like many councils, Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) had experienced financial constraints following the government’s restriction of public service expenditure. Restrictions were due to continue for another four years, posing a challenge to Bedfordshire’s rising population. There had already been an increase in demand for council services, particularly in social care.

The Challenge

CBC wanted to reduce their legal fees by collaborating with a shared service. In an executive report published in January 2016, BCB had three key requirements:

  • the need to make cashable savings – with a target of £240,000
  • an improved quality of legal advice and support
  • protection of employee terms and conditions

 The Solution

Three bidders made it through the selection process. Each competitor met a number of specified criteria including projected outcomes, customer satisfaction and travel time. LGSS Law Ltd were selected as the favourite of the three and invited to discuss their business case with CBC.

Cashable savings

LGSS Law Ltd proposed a partnership that would save an estimated £600,000 – more than double CBC’s target. LGSS were able to deliver many specialist services in-house, leading to a 30% reduction in fees when compared to an external supplier.

LGSS Law’s large capacity and varied team would lead to further savings. Junior advisors could fulfil certain requirements at a lower cost, while other members of the team could be contracted out to make a profit through external trading. The costs of a new monitoring officer could also be divided with Cambridgeshire County Council, as the latter required a similar service.

As a new shareholder of LGSS Law, CBC would also benefit from significant dividends.

An improved quality of service

With a combined workforce of c150 lawyers, paralegals and support staff across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire, the shared service would offer greater capacity and experience. LGSS Law had experts in many fields, which meant that specialist services could now be delivered in-house.

Resilience would also improve. Employees would gain a more varied knowledge through collaboration, enabling team members to support workflow if others were sick or absent.

LGSS Law also proposed a smarter run service in both operations and strategy. This would be delivered in part by a transparent approach to costing, encouraging a greater understanding across the team as to where costs are incurred, along with an enhanced ability to assess this when needed.

Protection of employee terms and conditions

CBC employees would TUPE transfer to LGSS Law, but would remain in their own work location. This would prevent any disruption to employees as well as their workload.

Employees would be well looked after, with further support from the wider team, with development opportunities available where appropriate.

Terms and conditions of employment would remain unaffected, as requested by CBC.

Results                                               

Central Bedfordshire Council signed a five-year partnership deal with LGSS Law Ltd on 1st April 2016.

After the first year, LGSS Law are on target to save £600,000 over the five years of partnership.

To highlight opportunities for further efficiency, LGSS Law has implemented DPS case management software enabling lawyers can track their time on different projects and avoid duplication.

LGSS Law has also initiated a Business Partner model to strengthen relationships within the growing organisation and enable lawyers to align their thinking and practices to those of their customers.

The Business Partner model will:

  • develop effective and open relationships which facilitate the free flow of information
  • support clients to feel valued
  • gain a clear understanding of the challenges faced
  • proactively add value by highlighting new developments including case law, legislation and innovations in service provision
  • to regularly review services and identify new opportunities of support

Quentin Baker, Executive Director of LGSS Law, said:

The team at LGSS Law Ltd are delighted to have been selected by Central Bedfordshire Council as their chosen partner for providing a shared legal service for their in-house teams.

The CBC legal team is a great team and highly regarded by its clients. Merging the teams in this way will create a significant provider of legal services to clients within the public and not for profit sectors and will further establish LGSS Law Ltd as the leading publicly owned social enterprise law firm.”

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