Mirza F. N. Ahmad,  M.B.A.,LL.M., Barrister

Chief Legal Officer,

Birmingham City Council,

Ingleby House, 11-14 Cannon Street,

Birmingham B2 5EN

MDX 13053

Tel: 0121 303 9991 Fax 0121 303 1312

E-mails : mirza­



Robert Posner B.A.(Hons), Barrister

Director of Law & Administation

Bexley Council,

Bexley Civic Offices, Broadway,

Bexleyheath, Kent  DA6 7LB


Tel: 0208 303 7777  Ext. 2128

Fax: 0208 308 4873



Your ref.:

   Our ref.:




 2 August 2004


Carol Moore

Office of the Deputy Prime Minister

Local Government Quality & Performance

Zone 5/A4, Eland House

Bressenden Place




Dear Ms Moore




Our Bar Association represents barristers employed in local government and the public services.  The Bar Association is a direct successor of the Society of Local Government Barristers, which had been in existence since about 1945, and of the Bar Association of Local Government, which had been formed in 1977.   We currently have a membership database that exceeds 110 members.


With reference to your Consultation Paper, our Bar Association is pleased to offer its comments on BV (x 10) “% of legal claims successfully defended as a proportion of local authority budget”.   A copy of this letter will be e-mailed to you.


The proposed BV (x 10)% is, to say the least, totally meaningless and inappropriate!  This may be yet another example of auditors generating things that are divorced  from reality and which do not add value to the lives of citizens.   The cost of collation will also outweigh any meaningful comparisons between local authorities and if you look at “very small % figures”, as compared to LA budgets, it will tell you little or nothing about how effective and efficient legal departments / local authorities really are!


Accordingly, our Association makes strong representations against the introduction of what will be an unacceptable and an unnecessary additional burden on local government, as local authorities (such as my own, Birmingham City Council Legal Services) already have their own more meaningful and relevant performance indicators for legal work and are developing relevant performance ‘targets’.   Your proposed BV (x 10)% would, therefore, detract from the innovative and progressive work being pioneered by Birmingham City Council Legal Services and, as such, we do not welcome the proposed approach on BV (x 10)%.


Furthermore, page 21 descriptions are hardly helpful in understanding/quantifying the what, the how and the why to BV (x10)%.   The Government will have to do a lot better than that if they want local government legal practitioners and associations to take notice of their proposed BV (x 10) indicator.


Yours sincerely


M. F. N. Ahmad



cc       All Members of the Executive Committee

            Alison Sutherland, LGA

            Norman Yates, ACSeS

            Sandra Moss, CIPFA