Local government legal services pioneer Kent County Council has approved plans to create its own legal services company rather than set up a joint venture with a law firm.

The new alternative business structure will generate 'a significantly increased and sustainable income stream for the taxpayer’, the council announced today after a cabinet meeting gave the green light to the move. 

The council’s legal department, operating as Kent Legal Services (KLS) employs more than 125 lawyers and has provided services to some 600 public sector clients.  

Geoff Wild (pictured), director of governance and law, said: 'The company will be able to operate in the wider market without the regulatory restrictions imposed on in-house lawyers and an increase in use of technology and new business systems will lead to more efficient and better working.

'This new contract and investment will significantly increase the contribution KLS can make to the funding of frontline services for the benefit of both our clients and the wider Kent community.

'We look forward to telling everybody more about our exciting plans in the coming months.’