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LGASA innovating with councils to benefit communities

Councils are set to save more than $2 million in legal costs each year, which will be invested back into communities, following the decision by the LGASA to enter into a partnership with leading national law firm, HWL Ebsworth Lawyers.

HWL Ebsworth has won a competitive and independent tender process to provide legal services to councils, through a preferred supplier arrangement with the LGASA.

This is the first contract to be awarded under ‘LGASA Commercial Solutions’ – a new business initiative that works in partnership with Councils to find innovations that will deliver efficiencies and cost savings to benefit communities.

Currently councils spend more than $10 million each year in legal fees across areas such as planning, environment, development, governance, industrial relations and work health and safety.

LGASA CEO Matt Pinnegar said the LGASA is committed to finding ways for the sector to innovate and create value for councils to pass onto their communities.

 “LGASA Legal Connect (a sub-brand of LGASA Commercial Solutions) is a great example of the LGASA’s desire to reform the sector, working in partnership with Councils, the State Government and the Parliament,” Mr Pinnegar said. 

 “We see significant opportunity for the LGASA to remove duplications across councils, drive down costs and improve the way we operate as a sector. It’s about being targeted, progressive and innovative,” he said.

LGASA Executive Director of Commercial Steve Nolis said the legal contract is the first of several commercial agreements that the LGASA will enter in consultation with councils.

 “Using economies of scale, LGASA Legal Connect will achieve efficiencies, offer a unique value proposition and reduce costs, with these savings able to be invested back into communities,” said Mr Nolis.

 “As part of this agreement we will be launching a free legal hotline for short telephone advice, providing councils with access to a network of experienced legal practitioners across Australia. This means that advice can quickly be sought for brief, preliminary queries, at no cost to councils.”

Both metropolitan and regional councils will benefit by having a dedicated legal partner assigned to their regions.

HWL Ebsworth currently works with councils in South Australia and over 60 councils nationally. They have a high level of expertise in the local government sector.

Partner at HWL Ebsworth Michael Durrant said "HWL Ebsworth is delighted to have the opportunity to partner with the LGASA on its legal offering. This is an exciting initiative that offers genuine benefits to local government organisations, and we look forward to partnering with LGASA to deliver maximum value to its members.

LGASA members will have access to the industry specific knowledge offered by our market leading Local Government practice, while benefiting financially from our highly competitive rates. We are committed to working with LGASA's members to ensure that they achieve their operational and commercial objectives."

To receive alerts about future LGASA tenders register at: www.tenderssa.gov.au

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