Profits at Kent Legal Services rose 20% to £2.4m for 2012/13, the local authority-owned venture reported today. Turnover rose £1m to £12m.
The performance capped the previous year’s growth of 18% to £2m, on a turnover up by 10%.
Kent County Council was one of the first legal service teams to become a business in its own right and generate external income from outside the authority. It now sells services to more than 300 other public sector bodies.
Geoff Wild (pictured), director of governance and law at Kent County Council, said that the venture was benefiting from other authorities’ economy measures. ‘Local government is turning away from the private sector because of cost and looking for cost-effective alternatives,’ he said.
Wild said that the profits, coupled with £1.3m in efficiency savings, meant that Kent Legal Services had contributed a record £3.7m to the county council over the year.
The council has a team of 125 lawyers and will take on a batch of trainees in September, he said. ‘In the last 10 years we’ve only had two trainees on our books. We now hope to take on a new batch of around four trainees each year.’
Large projects for the year included negotiations to bring Paralympic cycling to Kent and a new mortgage scheme for first-time buyers that is now being replicated elsewhere.
The team is also advising on Kent’s grammar school expansion scheme and high-speed broadband project.