Fears that the Government didn't understand the practical difficulties that local authorities face were put to rest last night (23 March) following an amendment to the Coronavirus Bill.
Local authorities have engaged in many company and partnership structures over the years, sometimes at the behest of government legislation (e.g. waste disposal). At other times it has been with a number of motives including service delivery, economic development, regeneration and income generation in mind.
Whether it’s pursuing a joint venture, or establishing a wholly owned vehicle, or promoting a new organisation (e.g. a “mutual” or registered provider of social housing), we have vast experience of navigating the wide range of relevant legal factors that contribute to the success of a project, including:
- Local authority powers and duties;
- The powers and duties of other public bodies;
- Internal governance considerations for councils;
- The different forms of vehicles available, including companies, limited liability partnerships and community benefit societies;
- Whether charitable or Community Interest Companies (CIC) status is appropriate;
- Company secretary support;
- The application of EU procurement rules;
- The implications of EU state-aid rules;
- How the project will be documented, including business cases, constitutions and related agreements (e.g. shareholders’ agreement), business plans, service agreements, funding agreements, asset transfer, leases and options for sale of land;
- How conflicts of interest should be addressed;
- Tax considerations;
- Data protection;
- Freedom of information;
- Employment issues, including TUPE and pensions; and
- Dispute resolution.
Our companies, partnerships and corporate structures service
We offer a company law helpline for our council clients, many of whom value our expertise as they take responsibility for the range of companies and other entities in which they have an interest. A number of councils have established a “shareholders’ panel” in which designated councillors and officers can receive reports from these organisations and to which can be delegated the role of exercising decisions as “shareholder” or “member” of such organisations. We are well versed in helping councils to consolidate their activities in relation to their “family of companies and partnerships”.
As leading specialists in the housing and local government sectors, one area where we are particularly experienced is in establishing local housing companies.
Our knowledge and expertise in this area has led to us being regular contributors to Local Authority Companies and Partnerships published by Hann Books.
For further information, please contact us.
A commercial lawyer specialising in local government.
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