Lawyers in Local Government is likely to be the name of a new body combining Solicitors in Local Government, which represents 4,000 local government lawyers in England and Wales, and the Association of Council Secretaries and Solicitors.
The merger move coincides with the Law Society’s decision to end next March the Recognised Groups Agreement, which provides much of SLG’s funding. A consultation on the combination ended in August and members of both bodies will vote on the linkup later this month.
If the merger proceeds, Lawyers in Local Government would then decide whether to join a new Law Society group for local government and other in-house lawyers, or become a body funded by paid subscriptions.
Chancery Lane stressed that it recognises the importance of supporting its members in their daily professional lives and aims to facilitate this further with the launch of divisions serving as communities for members based on demographic group. These are a development of the previous model of Recognised Groups, which were external entities that the Society grant-funded.
A Society spokesperson said: ‘By signing on to their relevant website, members will have access to content specifically targeted at their niche sector. This is particularly true for the in-house solicitors, working in local government, the Government Legal Service, the CPS and not-for-profit sector.
‘The percentage of in-house solicitors is generally increasing and we are well placed to provide information, advice and support that they wouldn’t otherwise receive.’
Chancery Lane also stressed the move does not amount to a cut in funding for specialist groups. ‘The new divisions enable the Law Society to invest directly in supporting in-house and local government members rather than funding external bodies to do this,’ its spokesperson said.