nplaw – the name is a contraction of Norfolk Public Law – came into being on 1st October 2010, the result of a merger by Norfolk County Council, Norwich City Council and Great Yarmouth Borough Council of their separate legal teams. The merger has been an outstanding success, giving our stakeholder clients access to a much wider range of legal services than previously, services delivered by specialist lawyers who understand the local government context. Our original three stakeholder clients were joined by South Norfolk District Council on 1st April 2012. We currently provide a full legal service to all four stakeholder clients as well as a partial legal service to the Broads Authority and three further Norfolk district councils: Breckland, Broadland and Kings Lynn and West Norfolk. Although a part of Norfolk County Council, we are run as a separate, self-funding business. The future may see our legal status change to become a subsidiary undertaking of Norfolk County Council.
Culture and core values
Between us, nplaw’s staff have many years of local government service and working for the benefit of the public is at the heart of our culture. This strong sense of serving the community extends throughout nplaw from our longest serving members of staff to our most recent appointees. We are committed to building a successful business so as to enable us to continue to serve the public both in Norfolk and elsewhere. Our roots are in Norfolk, it is true, but our desire to serve the public is not limited by geography and we currently act for local authorities across England and Wales.
nplaw has over 70 lawyers working in five teams: child protection; dispute resolution; planning and the environment; property; and public law and standards. Each team is headed by a team lead.
Stakeholder Client Links
- Norfolk County Council https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/
- Norwich City Council https://www.norwich.gov.uk/
- Great Yarmouth Borough Council http://www.great-yarmouth.gov.uk/
- South Norfolk District Council http://www.south-norfolk.gov.uk/
At any one time, our staff includes three trainee solicitors recruited on a staggered basis. We also offer a “training lite” contract to any of our legal officers who has passed the LPC, worked with us for over a year and whom we consider suitable for further training, under which we ensure that the trainee receives training in accordance with the SRA’s training requirements whilst continuing to work primarily in their post of legal officer. We are happy to offer week-long unpaid “mini” work experience to graduates or undergraduates who are considering a career in the law, the aim of which is to provide an insight into the work of a local government lawyer.