LLG is Delighted to Announce the Appointment of a New Junior National Lead

Publish date: 15/06/2021

Following a competitive recruitment process, LLG are delighted to introduce Cobi Bonani as our new Junior National Lead for LLG. Cobi will work closely with our current Junior Director, Zabina Bi until her retirement at the October AGM, whereupon Cobi will be nominated for appointment as Junior Director. We will also be holding a further election in October for the appointment of another Junior National Lead. Please click to read more about Cobi and her professional journey to this point as we welcome her onboard.

I am a newly qualified Planning and Highways Solicitor employed at LGSS Law Ltd, a social enterprise law firm wholly owned by Cambridgeshire County Council, Central Bedfordshire Council, West Northamptonshire Council and North Northamptonshire Council.

Following completion of the LPC at the University of Law in London Moorgate, I embarked on my legal career in local government commencing with a two-week work experience at West Sussex County Council Legal Services. This experience provided me with invaluable insight into legal practice within local government, a benefit which largely encouraged me to pursue a legal career within this sector.

Shortly after completing my work experience, I secured a fixed term contract as an Information Governance Paralegal at Surrey County Council. As part of this role, I worked within Children's Services co-ordinating access to records for large scale disclosures. I was subsequently offered a permanent position with Surrey County Council working as an Information Governance Assistant responsible for processing information requests in accordance with data protection legislation including subject access, freedom of information and police requests.

In September 2018, I then secured a training contract at Guildford Borough Council specialising in the areas of Planning Law, Contracts & Procurement, Civil Litigation and Property Law. Following my previous employment at county level, I then actively sought to expand my local government experience by taking on a legal role within a district council. Having the benefit of working as a junior legal professional within two tiers of local government, I was able to gain a comprehensive understanding of the functions and responsibilities of both district and county councils specifically with regard to the types of legal work carried out by local government lawyers within each of these tiers.

Following my qualification as a solicitor in September 2020, I then took on a newly qualified position as a Planning and Highways Solicitor at LGSS Law Ltd. LGSS Law Ltd is a unique law firm, being private and independently regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, yet owned by four separate local authorities. The firm services its shareholder clients but also provides legal services to organisations across the public and not-for-profit sectors including other local authorities, charities, clinical commissioning groups and foundation trusts.

As part of my role, I currently sit within the firm's Planning and Public Law team and deal with a wide variety of agreements under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and Highways Act 1980 as well as providing advice and assistance to client officers on specific matters in these subject areas. A unique feature of working as a junior lawyer within a public body owned law firm is that I have the opportunity to work with both district and county councils in the provision of legal services.

As Junior National Lead for Lawyers in Local Government (LLG), I am looking to draw from my local government experience to promote, represent and support the interests of members of the junior professional group of LLG. I am very keen to use this platform to collaborate with junior legal professionals from all tiers of local government and look forward to engaging with aspiring local government lawyers across the country.

If you are a Junior Lawyer (under 5 years PQE) and would like to contact Cobi, please feel free to email her at Cobi.Bonani@LGSSLaw.co.uk