Kent County Council’s plans to launch a quasi-commercial legal arm will proceed in mid-December, the Gazette understands.

More than a year has passed since the council began the procurement process for a commercial partner to form a joint-venture alternative business structure, into which Kent Legal Services staff would transfer.

Meanwhile Staffordshire County Council’s legal services department is also looking at an ABS. Steven Broughton of Staffordshire Legal Services said: ‘We’re keeping a watching brief with a view to creating an ABS in the medium- to long-term.’