What our public sector solicitors do
We are a public sector law firm that includes individual lawyers with deep expertise as well as multi-disciplinary teams with commercial and public sector knowledge and experience dealing with high profile projects. From interpreting the latest changes to environmental regulations, to initiating or defending an action for judicial review, assisting in the preparation of tenders and advising on public sector contractual matters such as procurement and state aid, planning matters and planning appeals, and advising on projects in which public sector partners are key players such as shared services, construction projects, PFI, PPP and PF2 projects, we’re ideally placed as your organisation’s expert legal counsel.
Harper James’ public law solicitors have experience in the following areas:
- Public and administrative law
- Public finance, best value, prudential borrowing, shared services, value for money/added-value/efficiency in contracting and projects, budgetary constraints, funding shortfalls
- Regulatory frameworks and restrictions, liaising with regulators such as environmental, housing, licensing and planning officers, and waste management issues
- Commercial transactions, public procurement processes, state aid, and public/private partnerships
- Regeneration and redevelopment, both in the construction and general economic development field
- Negotiating the contractual and regulatory relationships of public and private sectors
- Contractual issues, commercial litigation, service delivery of public sector schemes and contracts
Central and local government
Society is becoming increasingly complex, and working with the public sector is a challenging field in which it’s vitally important to stay abreast of the constant level of change. Policy, financial reputational and transparency concerns mean that working with the public sector is fast-paced, and our lawyers are aware that political as well as commercial concerns must be balanced in order to deliver effective solutions. Our central and local government lawyers ensure that you are supported at every step of the way, whether your concern is a corporate governance concern, an infrastructure project or property disposal, a reputational matter, a planning or environmental law query, a shared services arrangement or public sector collaboration, a social care matter, or a freedom of information concern.
Whatever the consequences of Brexit, the EU procurement regulations and state aid rules will continue to be in the forefront of our clients’ minds. Our public sector solicitors include experts who have worked in-house and have first-hand knowledge of the best approaches including contracting with a framework arrangement. They are able to draw upon their deep understanding of the processes involved in tendering within the sector. We can offer support in drafting and negotiating tender documents, interpreting tendering requirements and evaluation criteria, advising on evaluation and scoring as well as assisting you throughout the award procedure.
If you are already contracting with the public sector, or a challenge or issue has arisen in relation to service delivery or tendering, our public sector lawyers can support you to resolve problems, mount or defend a challenge, assist in contract management and contract interpretation, and advise on issues such a freedom of information and data protection.
PFI, PPP and PF2
Our public sector lawyers have been involved at the heart of projects in the PFI/PPP/PF2 sector, and are experts in structuring, drafting, negotiation and delivering major, complex transactions, from initial procurement stage through to contract management concerns, developments and disputes such as refinancing and contract variations and changes to specifications.
Whether you are a decision maker within government, or have been affected by a decision made by a public body, our expert public sector law firm regularly acts for those involved with the decision making process as well as individuals, charities and businesses. Our public sector solicitors are knowledgeable and responsive, and have dealt with challenges in the procurement, social care, housing, licensing, planning, data protection fields as well as statutory appeals processes.
Our team of public sector solicitors include specialists in dealing with the most common matters affecting further education and higher education institutions, such as employment law advice, including discipline and grievance procedures, redundancy and reorganisation and TUPE, business immigration concerns, commercial issues, IP rights and R&D, property and procurement.
Legal advice for the public sector and businesses dealing with the public sector
Whatever your role within a public sector body or university, or the nature of your dealings with the sector, we have individual lawyers and multi-disciplinary teams to assist you. As well as providing specialist legal advice in the public sector field, our public sector lawyers have experience in the most pressing issues that arise in connection with public sector matters such as:
- protection of your IP, IP disputes, developing an IP strategy for your business and protecting your interests when contracting with the public sector, or protection of any public sector-developed IPR. We also have experience advising on freedom of information, GDPR and data protection issues such as subject access requests.
- managing the practical and financial aspects of construction and economic development projects, such as energy projects, infrastructure projects, commercial property development, housebuilding, care homes and sheltered housing. Our Banking and finance team along with our Construction finance experts co-operate to support contracting with the public sector in PFI, PPP and PF2 matters.
- structuring collaborations and shared services arrangements such as joint ventures, joint committee arrangements, collaborations and legal arrangements between public sector partners such as regional bodies and local economic partnerships.
- service transfer and TUPE, and can support during commercial transactions where employment rights and transfers are a concern, as well as in shared service arrangements and public/private collaborations.
We can provide expert legal advice to commercial partners of public sector bodies, including:
- central and local government bodies, cross-departmental bodies, non-departmental public bodies, executive agencies, regional authorities and the civil service
- construction companies and landowners
- educational bodies such as universities and colleges
- utility firms
- environmental and waste technology companies
- IT, telecom and technology companies
- contractors and suppliers to the public sector
- economic development bodies such as local economic partnerships
- private/public sector collaborations and municipal collaborations.
Public sector solicitors with sector expertise
Our public sector solicitors have extensive experience advising in this complex and fast-changing area of the law. Our solicitors are all recruited from top 100 UK law firms and each has more than 10 years post-qualifying experience.
Our solicitors are vastly experienced in the public sector. Some of their previous experience includes:
- Advising the NHS in respect of contractual and contract management issues (including dispute avoidance and resolution) arising out of the UK’s National IT Programme (one of the world’s largest IT procurements).
- Judicial review in relation to a challenge to HMRC relating to the assessment of VAT input and output tax.
- Successful defence of a number of multiple discrimination, unfair dismissal, breach of contract, breach of human rights, whistleblowing and unlawful deduction of wages claims for a large national public sector employer.
- Procurement issues relating to contract awards for waste management and supply of wheeled bins.
- Claims against a hospital authority for a company challenging a procurement decision to award a contract for the provision of wheelchairs.
- Acting for a local council on various property matters including assets of community value.
- Acting for large university purchasing consortiums in successful restructuring exercise involving TUPE, redundancy and changes to terms and conditions.
- Dealing with all types of property transactions where local government is the landlord or seller.
- Dealing with escheat land or reclaiming property vested in central government.
Dispute Resolution Solicitor
Mark previously worked at Freeths LLP and Nabarro (which became CMS) prior to joining Harper James. His areas of expertise include complex contractual disputes, public procurement challenges, IT/Outsourcing & reputational managementView profile
Employment Law Partner
Simon acts for employers of all sizes, particularly tech and manufacturing, and specialises in managing people matters, including TUPE, sales and acquisitions of companies, and restructures/redundancies.View profile
Intellectual Property Partner
Having previously worked at top 50 firm, Walker Morris, Lindsay specialises in IP strategy, dispute resolution and IP exploitation.View profile
As a previous partner at DLA Piper, Sarah comes with a rich pedigree in providing expert commercial services for her clients.View profile
Commercial and Operations Director
Ashley is a litigator, arbitrator and mediator who joined Harper James from DLA Piper where he spent 28 years, 22 as a partner. He is now the Commercial and Operations Director at Harper James.View profile
Commercial Property Solicitor
Christen is a commercial property solicitor with over 15 years’ experience across the full spectrum of commercial property transaction types.View profile
Dispute Resolution Solicitor
Simon is a very experienced dispute resolution solicitor and has worked in private litigation practice for over 25 years.View profile
Business Immigration Solicitor
Rashid assists all types of employers with business immigration issues, including compliance issues and applications via the points-based system and sponsorship licences.View profile
Employment Law Solicitor
Sean previously worked for a leading national law firm in the employment team, ranked tier 1 in the Legal 500. He advises employers on all aspects of employment law from TUPE to tribunals.View profile
Commercial Property Solicitor
Before joining us, Theresa worked for Shoosmiths LLP and property specialists, Davitt Jones Bould, as a consultant and later as partner. Theresa has particular expertise in landlord and tenant matters, management of property portfolios and investment acquisitions and disposals.View profile
Employee Incentives Solicitor
Ian has over 25 years’ experience advising on employee incentive arrangements (including EMI, CSOP, SIP and SAYE plans and growth/hurdle share and phantom equity arrangements).View profile
Data protection and privacy solicitor
With a wealth of expertise in privacy, data protection, GDPR and cyber-security law, Clive’s distinguished legal career spans three decades in private practice and the public sector.View profile
IT & Commercial Solicitor
With over 15 years of in-house experience in the IT sector, Rob specialises in drafting and negotiating all manner of commercial agreements.View profile
Commercial and Corporate Solicitor
Kate is a commercial and corporate lawyer, advising businesses from start-ups up to global companies on everything from investment and franchising to sale and purchase transactions, exits and much more.View profile
Commercial Technology & Data Protection Solicitor
David is a commercial solicitor, specialising in technology and data protection. He joins us having worked as in-house counsel for the BBC and OUP.View profile
Data Protection & Privacy Solicitor
Becky is a highly knowledgeable commercial lawyer, specialising in Data Protection and Privacy Law. She can add value to a business by drawing on nearly 20 years of in-house experience.View profile
Howard has over 20 years’ experience specialising in construction and engineering law. Prior to becoming a solicitor, he spent 23 years as a Chartered Building Surveyor and Chartered Builder, giving him extensive knowledge of the construction industry.View profile
Karen Mason has over 30 years’ experience practising business law. She has been a senior lawyer and partner in private practice as well as in-house counsel to some of the UK’s most highly regarded broadcast, media and internet companies.View profile
Our three transparent pricing packages are designed to give you the widest possible access to high-quality legal advice, whatever the size and nature of your business:
Straightforward access to senior solicitors at a competitive rate.
An affordable solution for businesses needing one-off legal support. Receive ‘City’ partner-level expertise at a fraction of ‘City’ prices.
Have legal peace of mind for £189 per month with additional support from £125 per hour.
A monthly subscription legal support package specifically designed for start-ups and smaller businesses.
Providing you with priority access to a dedicated panel of highly experienced solicitors.
Fully account managed quarterly subscription service for businesses with more complex legal needs.