Charities and social enterprises are playing an ever greater role in the delivery of our public services, from leisure and culture, to health and social care. Increasingly, local authorities and other public sector bodies are exploring spin-outs to third sector bodies as an alternative to more traditional service delivery methods.
When considering any proposed spin-out, both the local authority and the new spin-out organisation need expert legal advice to guide them through the complex interplay of legal issues. Both parties need experienced lawyers who understand the framework in which they operate and can offer innovative and practical solutions.
Our team can help local authorities to carry out a detailed appraisal of the various options available for service delivery and the potential benefits and pitfalls of each. We can steer you through the procurement issues associated with the award of contracts to the new spin-out organisation, potential state aid issues in connection with the provision of start-up funding and the transfer of assets and your duties in relation to best value and public consultation. In our experience, these kinds of considerations will be crucial to the overall success of the project, and we therefore recommend the involvement of our experienced legal team at an early stage.
Identifying the most suitable legal form for the new organisation and how the governance arrangements and relationship with the council will work will be key. We understand how legal requirements such as the need for charities to be independent from the state and the rules regulating local authority companies impact on the governance of the spin-out and we can help you to work through these to establish the new organisation in a form which best meets your objectives.
We can provide as much support during the spin-out process as you need, from assisting with the TUPE transfer of staff and pension arrangements to drafting service level agreements, to putting in place leases and other property arrangements and advising on tax and VAT issues.
We think ahead for all of public sector clients and keep them up to date with the latest law and best practice through our Public Sector Law Brief and by running focussed training sessions under our Local Government Training Partnership.
The quality of service is strong, but always balanced with a practical viewpoint. Advice is therefore not excessively legalistic and can be implemented more easily than would be possible with a more technical approach.