nplaw’s current management team comprises:
nplaw’s current management team comprises:
Abdus qualified as a barrister and after a brief period at the Independent Bar moved into public authority legal work. Abdus has specialised in a number of areas relevant to local government practice including: public law, information governance, employment, education, social services and litigation. As a lawyer he is most at home defending judicial review claims and overcoming legal obstacles to new ways of working in the public sector. He has led a number of teams and helped to transform the operating models for the legal teams at Kent County Council and the General Medical Council whereby both achieved efficiency savings and raised levels of income from external sources.
George Core’s specialist areas of practice focus on commercial activities within the public sector, in particular commercial contracts, commissioning and procurement, contract disputes, employment issues, state aid, intellectual property, information law and company law.
George qualified as a solicitor in 2000 and is the team lead for nplaw’s public law and standards team.
James Crosskill has broad experience of the legal sector having worked for a number of years in-house and in private practice, and thereafter in local government. Since qualifying as a solicitor in 2001, James has specialized in commercial dispute resolution, in particular dealing with contract law and negligence. Clients have been individuals, small and large companies, schools and local authorities. James makes use of his broad legal background for the benefit of clients when analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of a case. An effective negotiator, with significant experience of mediation, James uses lateral thinking to resolve complexities. He has dealt with cases in the county courts, magistrates’ courts, and High Court. As an effective advocate his experience extends to include public inquiries, inquests and arbitration.
Other areas which James specializes in are judicial review, highways law and coroner inquests. As team lead of nplaw’s dispute resolution team, which handles both civil and enforcement work, James’ experience of the latter includes the successful defence of a Health & Safety Executive prosecution in the crown court and assisting with the enforcement of fire service authority statutory duties.
In recent years, James’ High Court work has included: the successful defence of a procurement claim, the judgment on which dealt with an important point of procurement law; defence of a claim relating to the award of a high profile contract for an incinerator plant; and defence to a challenge of a coroner’s decision which resulted in the judgment of the Chief Coroner setting out procedural guidance to coroners.
Hugh Ferguson specialises in commercial property law, advising his local authority clients on all aspects of their large and diverse property portfolios. He qualified as a solicitor in Scotland in 1993 and developed a career as an international property lawyer, working for leading law firms in Scotland, the Falkland Islands, Oman and England. After qualifying as an English solicitor in 2006, Hugh settled in Norfolk and has specialised in local government work ever since. Hugh is now team lead for nplaw’s property team.
Hugh advises on:
Jane Linley first worked in a local government legal office as a gap year student in 1974. She qualified as a solicitor in 1981 and obtained a diploma in local government law in 1985. She is a an expert in planning law, specialising in section 106 agreements, public inquiries, local plans and compulsory purchase orders. Jane is an experienced advocate at planning and other public inquiries and has also been a teacher and lecturer.
Jane is known for her flexible approach and good negotiating skills. She is the team lead for nplaw’s planning and environment team and manages the team in a collegiate manner so that all team members grow their skills and knowledge to the benefit of nplaw’s clients.
Jane has also worked with her Parish Council and voluntary organisations to manage visitors and traffic in her village (a popular holiday resort), meshing together the wishes and aspirations of the residents with the correct legal powers.
Sarah Whitworth qualified as a solicitor in 1994 and worked in private practice until 2013 when she joined nplaw as team lead for the child protection team. Throughout her career she has specialised in children’s and family law, including international law, injunctive relief and forced marriage. Sarah regularly acts for Norfolk County Council’s children’s services, and has also represented parents and Cafcass guardians. She has appeared in the Court of Appeal and has a reported case on the issue of parental responsibility and adoption.
Sarah has been a member of the Law Society’s Advanced Family and Resolution Panels and has trained and worked as a collaborative lawyer. She regularly provides training to multi-agency services, children’s services and the IRO service and is a keen advocate. She also has experience of conducting judicial reviews, and education and mental health cases.
Chris Reynolds is nplaw’s Practice Manager. After graduating from London University he went on to obtain a diploma from the Chartered Management Institute and an NVQ vocational assessor award. Chris has worked in legal practice management since 2001 and held a number of other management positions in local government before that. Prior to joining nplaw, Chris co-ordinated preparations for the first ever local authority Lexcel award in Norfolk and has developed a number of quality assurance, client care and efficiency initiatives in legal practices since. Chris is a keen advocate of continuous business improvement and liaises with counterparts in other local authority legal practices on a regular basis to share best practice and innovation.