Oxfordshire Director of Legal

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes - a practical checklist for varying public sector agreements

How should you go about varying agreements? Kieran McGaughey provides a practical checklist. Read more
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background


Jun 18, 2020

Judge declares council was entitled to exit 25-year waste processing contract, awards £10m+ in damages

Essex County Council was entitled as at 13 June 2019 to terminate a 25-year contract for the processing of household waste, a High Court judge has ruled.
Jun 15, 2020

Blackpool Borough Council awarded £1.1m in tram depot construction claim

A High Court judge has awarded Blackpool Borough Council £1.1m in damages in a claim for alleged breaches of contract in relation to the design and construction of a new tram depot.
Jun 11, 2020

Government issues procurement policy note on recovery and transition from COVID-19

The Cabinet Office has issued a procurement policy note on recovery and transition from COVID-19 that applies to all contracting authorities.
Jun 09, 2020

Government issues advice to local authorities on how to fight procurement fraud

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has published a Review into risks of fraud and corruption in local government procurement, which provides advice on how councils can strengthen their processes and implement prevention measures.
Jun 05, 2020

Spending watchdog warns public bodies on challenge of managing end of PFI contracts as disputes loom

More than a third of public bodies expect to have formal disputes as PFI contracts come to an end, the National Audit Office has found.
Jun 04, 2020

Campaigners get green light for legal challenge over felling of wood near planned nuclear power station

A group that campaigns against the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station has won permission to take East Suffolk Council to judicial review in a dispute over felling a wood.
May 29, 2020

Planning Inspectorate to scale up virtual hearings in June

The Planning Inspectorate has unveiled plans to hold at least another 20 hearings and inquiries and an additional 15 hearings for national infrastructure projects in June.
May 21, 2020

Government facing legal challenge over failure to review Energy National Policy Statements

Environmental activists have launched a legal challenge over the government’s failure to review the Energy National Policy Statements.
May 14, 2020

Back office shared service LGSS set to be broken up but LGSS Law unaffected by move

The LGSS shared services enterprise is expected to be broken up although this will not affect the separate LGSS Law operation.
May 04, 2020

Two councils sign up to first pooled bond issues from UK Municipal Bonds Agency

Westminster City Council and Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council have confirmed they will participate in one of the first pooled bond issues announced by the UK Municipal Bonds Agency (“UKMBA”).


June 12, 2020

The End of PFI or… a new dawn for local authority infrastructure investment?

Rob Hann assesses new guidance from the National Audit Office for public bodies as PFI contracts start coming to an end, and looks at what the future holds for local authority investment.
June 04, 2020

Changes to insolvency legislation

The Government has announced changes to the insolvency framework, including provisions relating to PPP and PFI contracts. Melanie Pears and Tim Care look at the key points.
June 01, 2020

Compulsory purchase in the time of coronavirus

Simon Randle, Vivienne Sedgley and Katharine Elliott analyse recent government guidance on compulsory purchase orders during the pandemic.
May 29, 2020

Coronavirus and the Development Agreement

It is important to review existing Development Agreements and associated contract documentation, writes V. Charles Ward, given that all significant development delays have contractual consequences, particularly for housing regeneration.
May 29, 2020

The no-nonsense guide to biodiversity net gain

Jonathan Easton and Constanze Bell break down the need-to-know aspects of biodiversity net gain (BNG) in their "no-nonsense" guide on the issue.
May 01, 2020

Construction and commercial contracts during COVID-19

The pandemic has already had a profound effect on business operations. With that in mind, Justin Mendelle and Helen Batter turn their attention to how contracting parties in the commercial and construction industries can protect themselves in existing and future contracts.
April 24, 2020

Public sector property after the virus

Chris Plumley examines some of the early trends we are seeing in relation to public sector property during the coronavirus outbreak.
April 09, 2020

PFI and PF2 projects during the coronavirus

The government has issued IPA guidance on PFI/PF2 projects during COVID-19. Olivia Blessington looks at what it says.


May 04, 2020

Council gives green light to UK's first Community Municipal Investment

Councillors at West Berkshire Council voted last week to approve the UK's first Community Municipal Investment, a bond or loan mechanism issued by a council directly to the public.
Apr 17, 2020

Law firm advises on trio of waste and recycling deals worth £400m

The Waste and Resource Management team at law firm Bevan Brittan have advised on the completion of a hat trick of waste, recycling, and environmental services projects.
Apr 14, 2020

Winckworth Sherwood promotes education and infrastructure specialists to partner

Law firm Winckworth Sherwood has promoted Theresa Kerr in Education and Jane Wakeham in Parliamentary to partner, effective from 6 April.
Apr 08, 2020

Bevan Brittan advises London borough on £80m debut private placement

Law firm Bevan Brittan has advised the London Borough of Brent on a debut private placement that has raised £80m for the council.
Mar 12, 2020

Law firm advises district council in new leisure deal

Blake Morgan has supported Chiltern District Council in the completion of a leisure management procurement deal for three leisure centres worth nearly £36m.
Mar 05, 2020

Inconsistent take-up of Cabinet Office guidelines on outsourcing means government risks “another Carillion”: report

The government risks "another Carillion" if it does not get behind the reforms put forward after the firm’s liquidation, a report from the Institute for Government has warned.
Mar 03, 2020

Broadcaster Chris Packham launches judicial review challenge over decision to proceed with HS2

Broadcaster and naturalist Chris Packham is to challenge the decision of the Prime Minister to give the go-ahead to HS2, claiming that the review central to the mandate to proceed was “seriously flawed in its methods”.
Mar 02, 2020

Judge rejects bid by defendant to have expert evidence ruled inadmissible in £6m breach of contract claim brought by council

A High Court judge has dismissed an application by a defendant company that a council bringing a £6m claim for alleged breaches of contract, in relation to the design and construction of a new tram depot, should not be permitted to rely upon the evidence of two experts.
Feb 27, 2020

Bevan Brittan to advise city council on roll-out of 5G across region

Law firm Bevan Brittan has won a competitive tender to advise Sunderland City Council on the make-up and procurement of a strategic consortium to deliver cutting-edge 5G connectivity across the whole city region.
Feb 12, 2020

Trowers & Hamlins advises London borough on first phase of 10,000 home regeneration scheme

Law firm Trowers & Hamlins has advised the London Borough of Enfield on Meridian One, the first phase of the Meridian Water project.
Feb 06, 2020

Borough declines to comment amid report it will not take legal action over £12m project overspend

Corby Borough Council has refused to confirm or deny local reports that it has dropped legal action over construction of the town’s Cube building.
Feb 05, 2020

Law firm advises borough council on largest solar and battery-storage project in UK

National law firm Geldards has advised Warrington Borough Council on the acquisition of a solar farm in York that is said to be the UK’s largest and most technically advanced solar and battery storage project.
Feb 03, 2020

Chancery Lane calls for “more comprehensive review” of different development corporations

The Law Society has called for a more comprehensive review of the roles and functions of the different development corporations, “so that there is clarity as to what they are expected to deliver on and what relationship they have with the local planning authority”.
Jan 23, 2020

Not-for-profit company to procure legal counsel for Anglesey tidal energy public inquiry

Menter Môn, a not for profit company set up to provide solutions to the challenges facing rural Wales, is to procure legal counsel for a public inquiry in relation to a tidal energy project.
Jan 21, 2020

County council set to become first local authority to obtain bond from UK Municipal Bonds Agency

The UK Municipal Bonds Agency (UKMBA) has unveiled plans to issue its first ever bond, a £250-300m 5-year SONIA linked Floating Rate Note (FRN) for Lancashire County Council.
Jan 20, 2020

NAO releases report on investigation into rescue of Carillion’s PFI hospital contracts

The government declined to bail out two PFI schemes being built by failed construction firm Carillion for risk of setting a precedent that the taxpayer would bear the risk of future PFI projects that ran into trouble, a report published last week by the National Audit Office has found.
Dec 30, 2019

London borough defeats legal challenge over grant of planning permission for major redevelopment

The High Court has this month rejected a legal challenge to Southwark Council’s grant of planning permission for a major redevelopment of a large site that includes the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre.
Dec 20, 2019

Queen's Speech lays out proposals for “long term reform of social care”, further devolution

Government plans to seek cross-party consensus “urgently” in order to bring forward the necessary proposals and legislation for long-term social care reform in England were among proposals unveiled in the Queen’s Speech yesterday, but concerns have been expressed that "we've heard it all before".
Dec 13, 2019

Overlapping planning permissions: which one is valid?

The High Court has recently revisited the principles for determining the validity of overlapping consents. Gary Soloman and Alex Minhinick highlight the key points for landowners, developers and local authorities.
Dec 05, 2019

Council forced to apply for retrospective planning permission for ground source heat pumps after thinking it was unnecessary

Northumberland County Council has had to grant itself retrospective planning permission for three ground source heat pump arrays after realising that it had gone ahead in the mistaken belief that permission was not needed.
Dec 02, 2019

Campaigners secure funds for potential judicial review of new Bedford to Cambridge rail route

A campaign group has said it has successfully raised sufficient funds to pursue a judicial review against East West Rail (EWR) should a route announcement for the new Bedford to Cambridge rail line be by way of Bassingbourn or neighbouring villages.
Nov 20, 2019

Council loses Supreme Court appeal over whether community fund donation was material consideration for grant of planning permission

The Supreme Court has upheld a ruling that a district council acted unlawfully when, in granting planning permission for a wind turbine, it took into account a proposed donation to a local community fund.
Nov 07, 2019

Court of Appeal rules planning inspector went beyond her powers in section 73 TCPA case

A planning inspector exceeded her powers in a case concerning permission for wind turbines, the Court of Appeal has ruled.
Nov 05, 2019

Bevan Brittan makes new partner, four associates in mid-year promotions round

Law firm Bevan Brittan has appointed Colin McConaghy, a commercial projects specialist in its Bristol office, as a partner in its mid-year promotions round.
Oct 21, 2019

Sharpe Pritchard advises borough council on 30-year, £1bn joint venture

Sharpe Pritchard has advised Brentwood Borough Council and its property company, Seven Arches Investments, on a joint venture expected to be worth as much as £1bn over the next 30 years.


March 23, 2020

COVID-19 and new State aid exemptions

The European Commission has adopted new State aid exemptions to allow Governments to alleviate the economic impact of COVID-19. Jonathan Branton and Alexander Rose analyse the provisions.
March 06, 2020

The role of judicial review applications in the CIL regime

A recent decision of Mr Justice Swift in the Planning Court will have a significant impact on the manner in which a Community Infrastructure Levy (“CIL”) is challenged and the stance taken by authorities in rebutting such challenges, writes Christopher Cant.
March 06, 2020

Contracting authorities co-operating together

An Advocate General’s opinion has provided guidance on the circumstances in which contracting authorities can co-operate with other contracting authorities without needing to procure the arrangement. Richard Moore, Rebecca Powell and David Stedman analyse the findings.
February 21, 2020

Infrastructure planning and conventional planning: the borderlines between the two regimes

The High Court recently upheld the Secretary of State for Transport’s decision that expansion proposals for London Stansted Airport should not be treated as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project. Charles Banner QC explains why.
January 31, 2020

Allocation of risk in construction contracts

Rachel Murray-Smith and Oliver Slater look at the importance when entering construction contracts of the parties reflecting the allocation of risk.
January 17, 2020

Climate emergency #5: have you thought about Funding and Investment?

With local authorities seeking to deliver on some of their declared priorities to address the climate emergency, attention is turning to how to fund some of the ideas and initiatives, writes David Hutton.
January 10, 2020

Elephant, Dove, Old Oak, RICS

It is time to return to fundamentals when it comes to the delivery of social housing, writes Simon Ricketts, as he reviews recent developments in relation to two major projects.
December 17, 2019

Investing public money in district heating

Steve Gummer and Catherine Maddox analyse an important recent decision from the European Commission that will be helpful to authorities considering district heating schemes.
December 06, 2019

Climate emergency #4: have you thought about Retrofitting?

Maxim Laithwaite, David Hutton and Nathan Bradberry analyse how local authorities and registered providers can use retrofitting to help deliver on climate emergencies.
December 06, 2019

Climate emergency #3: have you thought about New Housing?

In the latest of a series of articles on how local authorities can respond to a climate emergency, Maxim Laithwaite and David Hutton consider the opportunities provided by new housing?
November 29, 2019

Heads up on 'material considerations'

You really can’t buy a planning permission, the Supreme Court has said. Mark Lowe QC and Estelle Dehon report on a significant ruling in a case involving proposed community donations and the grant of planning permission for a wind turbine.
November 01, 2019

Public procurement with SMEs - and the mafia

A recent judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union should act as a reminder of the importance of adapting procurement to the needs of SMEs, writes Anja Beriro.
November 01, 2019

The public/private joint venture – why do they succeed?

Anthony Vittadini highlights some of the keys to success when implementing public/private joint ventures and those involving property in particular.
October 29, 2019

Retrofitting social housing

Retrofit social housing is crucial to meet zero net emission targets. Nathan Bradberry explains what this opportunity involves for local authorities and registered providers.
October 25, 2019

Appeals after the Rosewell Review

Nagla Stevens considers the new accelerated procedure for appeals against the refusal or non-determination of planning applications.
October 11, 2019

What is a ‘reasonable endeavours’ obligation, and is it a sensible solution?

Gwendoline Davies explains what a party needs to do to comply with a ‘reasonable endeavours’ obligation, and considers whether endeavours clauses are always a sensible solution.
October 11, 2019

Procuring bike share schemes

Colin Murray and Bradley Martin set out how public bodies can procure bike share schemes - without reinventing the wheel.
September 20, 2019

CIL Pools and the latest changes (in England)

Rachel Sykes analyses the impact on local authorities of the latest changes to the Community Infrastructure Levy regime that came into force at the beginning of September.
September 06, 2019

Cleaning up the air we breathe

Rob Hann looks at the pressures on local authorities to push forwards at pace with their clean air initiatives.
September 06, 2019

Bidders and legal entities

Is it obligatory for bidders to remain as the same legal entity between pre-selection and submission of tenders? Tim Care and Melanie Pears comment on a CJEU judgment.