Local authority governance and standards, Vires

As the public sector seeks to deliver services in ever innovative ways, it is crucial that local authority members, officers and managers can proceed in full knowledge of the rights, vires, obligations and powers that are relevant. It is also crucial that they can proceed with probity.

Our lawyers have an unparalleled knowledge of public sector governance law, powers, vires, standards and structures.  Several of Sharpe Pritchard’s partners have previously held senior level posts in the public sector, including two former Solicitors to the Council with monitoring officer responsibilities at major local authorities. 

Sharpe Pritchard offers the following services:

  • provision of a monitoring officer;
  • advice on member issues including code of conduct investigations;
  • management of complaints;
  • constitutional law advice;
  • assistance with local authority trading;
  • advice on shared services structures and collaborations; and
  • assistance with local government powers.

Recent work

  • advising the tri-boroughs on structures for its intelligent client model;
  • assisting a large county council with an investigation into a member’s conduct; and
  • advising Essex County Council on its powers to trade and trading structures.

John Sharland is the author of the book A Practical Approach to Local Government.


What others say

John Sharland

“Sally Stock and John Sharland are recommended” Legal 500, 2015.

John provides "clarity and certainty" Legal 500, 2013.

Timothy Farr

“a notable practitioner” Chamber UK, 2014.

“leading lawyer” Legal 500, 2014.

“The programme would not have worked as well or delivered results so quickly without your valuable contributions” Hertfordshire County Council

“Tim and Justin are more than lawyers, they have contributed and added value to the wider procurement project and have really become part of the team” East Thames.

“Tim and Justin very much became part of team and brought a high level of professionalism and enthusiasm, as well as their legal expertise. They delivered everything on time & most importantly the project closed on time & contracts are now signed. This resulted in annual savings in excess of £5m in this contract area, with no compromise in customer service, in fact quite the opposite. The contract signed was structured to incentivise improved customer satisfaction, whilst maximising efficiency” Finance Direction, housing provider.

Paul O’Sullivan

We have found you to be a great support, expert and knowledgeable and we feel we are in safe hands! We have particularly appreciated the way in which you have consistently made yourself available and your never ending patience and adaptability in the face of short deadlines”Senior legal representative of central government department.

You have been a fantastic support.  We couldn’t have done it without you” Local authority project manager leading major infrastructure procurement.


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