Why Hugh James?
Hugh James has a rich history of advising the public sector. Our advice and support extends to local authorities, further and higher education bodies, housing associations, Government sponsored bodies and the Welsh Government. Many of our lawyers have previously worked in-house including in central and local government, so have an understanding of the culture and values that drive organisations in the public and third sector.
What you can expect from working with us
Our clients tell us that it’s the following features of our offering that make the greatest difference for them:
We always provide a partner-led team, with the Lead Partner being involved across all aspects of our service delivery. Their senior-level input throughout will ensure that you receive a quality service. The team will also include junior lawyers who can advise on less complex, more day-to-day matters, and trainees and paralegals who can support with research and administrative tasks. Where work is done by a more junior member of the team, their work will be peer reviewed and quality checked by the Lead Partner to ensure it is accurate and of the agreed level of quality. We recognise the financial pressures facing organisations in the public, third and social housing sectors, and this approach to staff allocation helps to ensure we strike the right balance between quality, efficiency and value for money.
We put a great deal of effort into scoping each piece of work to ensure our quote is accurate. We do not low ball. This means overruns are a rare occurrence and our clients have greater predictability and control over their legal spend.
For many years the public sector has been a strategic focus for Hugh James. We have a long-established and large Public Sector practice which advises more than 50 public sector clients, including the Welsh Government, local authorities in England and Wales, government-sponsored organisations, and education and healthcare providers. Several of our lawyers have previously worked in-house in central and local government, and many members of the team work solely with the public sector. This depth of expertise and understanding of the sector – the unique challenges, opportunities, political context and culture – enables us to add additional insight and value for our clients.
We appreciate that many public sector in-house lawyers need to be an expert in all things! We are committed to working in partnership with our clients and to upskilling their teams to enable them to become more self-sufficient. We add value for our clients by offering secondments, as well as regular training and thought leadership. Since 2004 we have run a well-attended Local Authority Training Consortium, which provides a platform for in-house legal teams and other local authority officers to receive the latest training on legal topics of interest, as well as connect with their peers. In addition to this, we deliver regular webinars throughout the year, as well as provide bespoke training to client teams.
We have a dedicated Client Relations Manager for the public sector, whose role is to ensure we deliver a quality service and keep our promises to our clients. Our Client Relations Manager ensures we have formal review meetings to seek feedback on our performance to support continuous improvement. They ensure that any issues are caught early before they become major hurdles. They also monitor any agreed KPIs, help to arrange any requested training and value-added activity, and provide clients with regular Management Information.