Trowers & Hamlins

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Home » Legal Services » Practice Areas » Public sector / Local government » Mutuals



The leading public sector practice acting for over 200 public authorities across the UK

We have worked with clients setting up mutual organisations for over 30 years and are at the forefront of developing new mutual solutions for delivering public services.

We advise on setting up and structuring new mutuals and spin outs from the public sector and the different models which can be used including companies (for profit and not-for profit); Industrial and Provident Societies and registered charities as well as more innovative approaches to mutuals such as Community Interest Companies and joint venture approaches/hybrids involving public, private or third sector investors as well as employees.

 Our team is praised for their unstuffy approach and provision of creative solutions, something that we passionately believe is vital in a sector which has demonstrated that it welcomes new approaches.

We are experienced in helping public authorities, mutuals and spin-outs as well as private sector partners and investors effectively navigate the public procurement rules to deliver their business objectives.  Our procurement work includes advising on how to structure a mutual to exploit existing and forthcoming exemptions from the public procurement rules. 

We advise on how to use rights in the community right to challenge under the Localism Act and how that fits into a procurement exercise as well as advising on both tendering exercises and bidding techniques.  We also advise authorities and mutuals on how to incorporate social value into the opportunity under the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012.

Mutual projects often raise conflict of interest issues with authority staff effectively bidding for a contract.  We provide practical commercial solutions to manage potential conflicts of interest and address probity and governance issues. 

Getting staff on board is fundamental to delivering a successful mutual.  Our specialist Employment and Pensions team is unrivalled in helping public authorities, mutuals and public service providers from the third and private sectors achieve their objectives. This includes advising on TUPE, the Pensions Direction, Fair Deal and the Cabinet Office Statement of Practice.  Mutuals, in particular, often need sensitive employment and pensions' advice to ensure their particular employment ethos is not frustrated.  We can help ensure that mutuals are able to find employment solutions which are legally compliant as well as commercially sustainable.

Once established, we provide support and advice to our mutual clients on issues such as consultation with trade unions and employee representatives, restructures, harmonisation of terms and conditions, changes in pay and benefits and the introduction of new incentive schemes as well as alternative employment models such as secondment and joint employment.

Our wide ranging mutuals and spin outs experience covers every aspect of public service delivery.  Recently we have advised on mutual solutions for care services, housing, education, leisure, health, the arts and professional and regulatory services.

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