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Author Topic: Kent County Council - going commercial!  (Read 1214 times)
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pomme homme
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« on: March 21, 2016, 19:31:42 PM »

KCC has issued a press release announcing that its in-house legal department is being turned into a 'for profit' alternative business structure, Kent Legal Services, in order to provide legal services not only to the county council but also to external users. Presumably it will therefore be competing with private sector law firms in the county. But don't worry, you Kent council tax payers, because the press release reports Geoff Wild, the KLS director of governance and law, as saying that:

'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'.

But what if its 'exciting plans' do not result in it 'significantly increas[ing] the contribution that [it] can make to the funding of frontline services for the benefit of ..... the wider Kent community'? What if, in the brave new world of the private sector where it wants 'to be able to operate ..... without the regulatory restrictions imposed on in-house lawyers', it finds that it doesn't lead the field but trails it? Will it, quietly and discreetly, be reabsorbed into the county council without job losses or recriminations? If it makes losses, who will underwrite those? Presumably not, as would be the case in the private sector, the business owners or its shareholders. No, presumably it will be Kent council tax payers - or alternatively, by way of cuts, the 'frontline services' that Mr Wild so boldly proclaims will receive a significantly increased contribution from these 'exciting plans'.
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pomme homme
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2018, 15:16:19 PM »

On 17 April Geoff Wild resigned as CEO of Invicta Law Ltd., the Alternative Business Structure that formerly was the Legal Department of Kent County Council, less than a year after it started operating. Invicta Law announced that he was leaving:

'for personal reasons .....'

and elaborated on this with a statement that he:

'..... has decided that, having seen Invicta Law established as a company, now is the right time to move his own career into new areas'.

A Kent County Council cabinet document, published in March, reported that there had been a :

'£1 million lack of dividend from Invicta Law Ltd. primarily due to a lack of new business being generated, compared to the business plan'.

Over a year ago Kent County Council sought, but failed to find, a commercial partner to form a joint venture Alternative Business Structure. Despite this it decided to go it alone with this 'privatisation' of its legal department. Clearly Invicta Law has not found life in the commercial legal sector as easy and as successful as evidently it expected it to be. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Invicta Law. However one cannot help but wonder if (and, in this event, when) the prediction, made in the final paragraph of the preceding post, will come to pass. Watch this space!
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