Law firm Stephens Scown LLP has formed a new public sector team.
Offering specialist advice to unitary, county, town and parish councils, public sector-owned companies and other public authorities and bodies, it is being headed up by Tim Walmsley, who worked in the public sector for over 20 years, including four years with Cornwall Council.
The multi-disciplinary public sector team includes a number of lawyers with significant experience of working within the public sector, having either held senior in-house roles in local government, spent time on secondment or worked extensively with public sector clients.
Walmsley said: “We recognise that the public sector has to carefully balance the demand for vitally important public services with significant ongoing budgetary pressures. Our experience means we really understand the issues, culture and the importance of maximising opportunities.
“This enables us to support our public sector clients and work with them to develop new ways to maintain services by realising commercial opportunities and promoting innovative ways of working.”
As well as leading the team, Walmsley advises on a wide range of commercial property matters, including sales, purchases, development agreements, options, landlord and tenant matters, compulsory purchase and charity transactions.
In addition, key members of the team include corporate law expert Laurie Trounce, previously acting head of legal at Cornwall Council; Richard Bagwell, a highly regarded litigator with significant experience of the public sector and handling complex property disputes; Chris Tofts, who has worked in local government and has extensive experience in planning matters; Sonya Bedford, who currently acts as a consultant for Bristol City Council and has significant public sector experience in energy contracting; and Tim Lane, who also has significant public sector experience and who advises on general corporate matters.