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10 July 2020

Publish date: 10/07/2020

Congratulations to all the winners of the virtual LLG Awards 2020 held last Thursday, and for all those who participated in what was a brilliant showcase of legal talent. This week's blog is given over to the winners of the LLG Legal Team of the Year, whom you can hear more about whilst catching up with all the winners within our webinars on demand section on the website.

The Financial and Commercial Litigation Team at the London Borough of Brent is privileged to be named the Legal Team of the Year by Lawyers in Local Government.

The ASC debt recovery as it was known back in 2014 was primarily set up to recover historical ASC debt with just one lawyer, following an impressive recovery it went on to grow into a sizeable team. The focus has shifted to a debt prevention strategy ensuring the debt does not arise in the first place with improved decision making by those funding care.The recovery of ASC fees is extremely challenging, as it involves unraveling of complex transactions and transfers of assets against those who cannot explain what has happened to their finances. The team, whilst recovering much needed fees, has also prevented on-going financial abuse by removing those holding lasting power of attorneys and deputyships for the most vulnerable people in the community through the Court of Protection.

The team feels emboldened by the recognition it has received and will further boost the team to continue delivering the best service to all clients.

The current pandemic has put the traditional way that we have been going to work in offices under review and has shown how outdated and unfit for purpose many of our long-established working practices are, particularly in legal departments. The usual, slow pace of change has been interrupted by an accelerated fast track of change and adaptability. Local authorities that would never have considered adopting alternative approaches to work have been forced to do so. There is a real opportunity now to take these changes forward and to create a different and better way of working.

Finally, the future funding of ASC remains a significant challenge for all local authorities across the country. With an ageing population, the challenges will simply intensify. There has been considerable cross-party debate around the issues of funding for ASC and the Government's manifesto commitments to resolve the care crisis remain outstanding.

We hope our achievements and recognition in this area of work will have a positive influence on other local authorities.

With very best wishes

Shaidah Ramzan

Principal Lawyer – Financial & Commercial Litigation

London Borough of Brent