The South London Legal Partnership (SLLP), made up of Sutton, Merton, Richmond and Kingston councils, is up for three industry awards.

The SLLP team has been shortlisted for a UK IT Industry Award in the UK Innovation and Entrepreneurship category for creating digital courtrooms – paperless courtrooms that could lead to savings of more than £1m for the justice system in London alone if huge bundles of legal documents often delivered to court in wooden carts are made available online instead.

The idea is already being used in family courts in the London Boroughs of Sutton, Merton, Kingston-Upon-Thames, Richmond, Wandsworth, Lambeth and Southwark. The team is in talks with other boroughs to roll it out.

The SLLP team has also been shortlisted in the Innovative Lawyer/Innovation Team of the Year category of the Lawyers in Local Government (LLG) Local Government Legal Awards. This award is for the legal team that can demonstrate the most creativity, innovation, knowledge, client sensitivity/responsiveness and contribution to corporate, diversity and community objectives.

The team’s third shortlisted award is Local Authority Family Team of the Year in the Family Law Awards. The Family Law Awards are a means for Family Law and its readers to acknowledge the hard work and commitment throughout the year amongst the nominees and the profession as a whole.

Cllr Simon Wales, Deputy Leader of Sutton Council and Lead Member for Resources, said:

“Sutton is at the forefront of sharing services with other boroughs in order to pool resources to provide high-quality resilient services and save money in the process. We are immensely proud of the hard work and expertise of the South London Legal Partnership team and hope they will be successful in winning these legal awards.”

Cllr Stephen Alambritis, Leader of Merton Council, said:

“Being shortlisted for three top industry awards shows we are leading the way with our combined legal expertise in south London and beyond. This partnership and the way it delivers services to the residents of south London is really innovative and I’m delighted that it has been shortlisted for three awards.”

Cllr Julie Pickering, Cabinet Member for Partnerships at Kingston Council, said: 

“The South London Legal Partnership is taking great strides in digital innovation – identifying smarter ways of working whilst delivering savings to the four boroughs. To achieve three award nominations is rare, and something to be proud of. However, we are not complacent and we will strive to further improve our processes.”

Lord True, Leader of Richmond Council, said:

“The success of the South London Legal Partnership has already proved that joining forces with other boroughs can make a positive difference in providing a quality in-house legal service while making significant financial savings. Bringing together the legal expertise of the borough’s legal teams has meant we can provide an even better and cost-efficient service.

“Great news for the council tax payers of south London. These award nominations just highlight some of the innovative work they are now able to deliver.”