North Norfolk District Council’s legal eagles nominated for prestigious law award

Library picture of Cromer Pier, the town where the NNDC offices are based. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Library picture of Cromer Pier, the town where the NNDC offices are based. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

A district council's team of legal eagles has been shortlisted for a prestigious law award.

Eastlaw, North Norfolk District Council's (NNDC) legal team, has made it to the finals of the national MJ Achievement Awards.

Hundreds of councils entered and six exceptional legal teams have been whittled down as the finalists in the Legal Services category.

The award recognises and rewards a council legal department which demonstrates exceptional value for money for the council through their contribution and innovation.

Rhodri Oliver, NNDC's deputy leader and cabinet member for legal services, said: 'Eastlaw has succeeded in taking public sector legal work to another level in its approach. Year on year eastlaw has delivered a healthy income for the council – over £85,000 last year. This contribution displays exceptional value for money for rate payers and makes a real difference.

'It is no surprise that the hard work, professionalism and innovation have resulted in the team being shortlisted for this prestigious award. I wish eastlaw all the best for the finals.'

The concept of eastlaw was developed by NNDC's legal team itself, to deliver services both in-house and on behalf of external clients. Eastlaw has been particularly successful in acting as the legal arm of the district council's drive to bring empty homes back into use, in setting up the coastshare group to help charities and other not-for-profit organisations.

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Eastlaw is up against teams from five larger local authorities for the ultimate prize, but Emma Duncan, head of legal services, is confident. She said: 'We are a small team but we punch well above our weight.'

The winners of the award will be announced on June 19 and will be presented at a ceremony at the London Hilton Hotel.