NNT Law

NNT Law is a new joint initiative by Newcastle City Council and North Tyneside Council to extend our offer of high quality, affordable legal services to a wider range of clients in the public and third sector.

Our qualified, experienced legal staff can provide the assistance and guidance you are looking for across a wide range of public sector law matters - delivering a local service that understands your local requirements.

For further information on our team, our competitive rates or how to contact us please visit the NNT Law website.

Legal Services

Legal Services is the Council's own dedicated, professional legal service. It is part of the Chief Executive's Directorate, within the Corporate Services Division.

Legal Services is made up of teams of lawyers and support staff. It provides legal advice and support to the Council, its officers, members and committees, as well as certain outside bodies where the Council is the lead authority or has significant interest, for example, the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority and Your Homes Newcastle.

There are two parts to the department: Corporate Law and Commercial Law. Each has its own Head of Service:

Head of Corporate Law
Stuart Ovens
Email: stuart.ovens@newcastle.gov.uk
Phone: 0191 277 7122
Address: Newcastle City Council
Civic Centre
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE99 2BN

Head of Commercial Law
John Softly
Email: john.softly@newcastle.gov.uk
Phone: 0191 277 7047
Address: Newcastle City Council
Civic Centre
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE99 2BN

Corporate Law is made up of the following teams:

Corporate Team
Provides advice on issues that have implications for the whole Council rather than one department, eg governance, the Newcastle Charter, standards of conduct by councillors, fredom of information and data protection.  It also includes our legal staff who provide corporate-wide legal advice and support on employment issues and to Children's Services on education matters.
Contact: Head of Corporate Law: Stuart Ovens. Email: stuart.ovens@newcastle.gov.uk . Phone: 0191 277 7122

Housing and Litigation Team
Deals with general housing management, homelessness, tenancy enforcement including anti-social behaviour, leasehold issues, benefit fraud prosecutions, land and property matters, council tax and rates with regard to insolvency, commercial landlord and tenant matters, car parking enforcement, debt recovery and all other civil litigation including insurance claims. The team also provides a comprehensive legal service to the Regulatory Services and Public Protection division of Environment and Regeneration including prosecutions and appeals. 
Contact: Senior Solicitor: Yvonne Donaldson. Email: yvonne.donaldson@newcastle.gov.uk . Phone: 0191 211 5104

Social Services Team
Provides advice and legal support on child protection, community care, mental health, mental capacity, safeguarding adults and general social services issues and advocacy before the Family courts and the Court of Protection.
Contact: Senior Solicitor: Rosemary Muffitt. Email: rosemary.muffitt@newcastle.gov.uk . Phone: 0191 211 5170

Commercial Law is made up of the following teams:

Conveyancing Team
Provides advice and prepares documentation on buying, selling, leasing, developing and charging land and property, compulsory purchase orders and clearance areas, regeneration schemes and other general land and property dealings. It undertakes the preparation of highway adoption agreements and contracts for works. It also administers the Local Land Charges Unit.
Contact: Senior Property Lawyer: Carol Graham. Email: carol.graham@newcastle.gov.uk . Phone: 0191 211 5140

Planning  and Licensing Team
Provides advice and other legal support work on planning, highways, compulsory purchase orders, land compensation, village greens and traffic regulation orders as well as liquor licensing, gambling, sexual entertainment venues and street trading.
Contact: Senior Solicitor: Tom Sunter: Email: tom.sunter@newcastle.gov.uk . Phone: 0191 277 7123

Procurement Team
Provides advice and assistance on the Council's procurement procedures in relation to works, supplies and services, and also in relation to commercial contracts. This includes advice on compliance with the EU procurement regime, and the drafting and negotiation of a wide range of contracts, notices and agreements.
Contact: Senior Solicitor: Craig Winter. Email: craig.winter@newcastle.gov.uk . Phone: 0191 277 7042

Council's Monitoring Officer
The Head of Corporate Law, Stuart Ovens, is also the Council's Monitoring Officer.
The Monitoring Officer is a statutory appointment under section 5 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989.
The Council's Constitution (the Newcastle Charter) sets out the role and responsibilities of the Monitoring Officer. These include ensuring lawfulness and fairness of decision making and maintaining the Newcastle Charter. See the Newcastle Charter, Part 2, Article 13.

Page last updated: 31 May, 2013