Buckinghamshire County Council and the Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Fire Authority intend to form an alternative business structure (ABS).  

The teams plan to operate under the name ‘Buckinghamshire Law +' by summer this year.

Anne Davies, head of legal at Buckinghamshire, said an ABS model would enable the council to take on a broader range of work, as a increasing number of public sector services are being provided by third parties rather than local government. She said it would also allow the council to do more work outside the county.

‘There’s a [growing] market in quasi public sector work,’ she said, with some of the authority's clients now operating as separate entities.

Buckinghamshire County Council has a team of 45 lawyers. Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Fire Authority has a legal team of one. 

Davies said partnering would enhance the provision of legal services to the fire authority and provide contact with other 'blue light' services.

The ABS could lead to an expansion of the legal team, she said. 

In November 2013, the shared legal services team at the London boroughs of Harrow and Barnet, HB Public Law, applied for an ABS in partnership with law firm Bevan Brittan. The London Borough of Lambeth is also considering forming an ABS with neighbouring borough Southwark.