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Social purpose law firm expands local government expertise with the appointment of new partner

Anthony Collins Solicitors (ACS) has appointed a new partner to its local government team, bringing over 19 years of legal experience to the social purpose law firm.

Claire Ward, a leading lawyer in local government, joins the firm bringing extensive expertise, most recently as monitoring officer and director of governance and legal services at Herefordshire Council, where she also served as acting deputy chief executive. Prior to her role in Herefordshire, Claire worked for Cumbria County Council, after qualifying as a solicitor.

In her new position at ACS, Claire will play a key advisory role in supporting local authorities nationwide and in offering important advice for council monitoring officers, chief executives and other senior officers on governance issues. Claire will work alongside Olwen Brown – consultant at ACS and nationally leading local government lawyer – in the governance team.    

Claire’s appointment follows the firm’s reappointment for the third time to the East Midlands Lawshare (EMLS) Legal Framework, the largest public-sector legal services consortium in the UK, with a value of £70m, and the firm’s current membership of the London Boroughs Legal Alliance panel.

Claire Ward, partner at Anthony Collins Solicitors, said:

“It is a great time to be joining the growing team at ACS, working with Olwen Brown and other colleagues as the firm’s local government work and national reputation for its governance work goes from strength to strength.”

“ACS’s mission and core values resonate with my own purpose as a legal professional with a passion for local government, and I look forward to the results that we’ll achieve as a team.”

Matthew Gregson, partner and local government sector lead at Anthony Collins Solicitors, said:

“Claire’s skills and significant experience of working within local government will be key in providing practical advice to local authorities as they tackle challenging governance issues and further ACS’s position as a leading local government practice.

“Claire’s appointment reinforces the firm’s commitment to supporting our clients with the very best talent we have to offer, while also delivering our purpose to improve lives, communities and society.”

The appointment demonstrates ACS’s continued investment into growing the firm’s extended legal team, including the recent appointments of new external hire partners, Steven Brunning (a procurement specialist) and Paul Slinger (a construction disputes specialist), who joined at the start of 2022.