Eversheds and Squire Sanders take lion's share as GLA legal spend surges

The Greater London Authority’s (GLA) legal spend has increased more than 60-fold during the current financial year, following the transfer of responsibility for housing and regeneration work from the Homes and Community Agency (HCA).

A freedom of information request submitted by Legal Week has revealed the administrative body headed by Mayor of London Boris Johnson spent £490,785 on legal services during the nine-month period from 1 April to 31 December 2012 – up on just £7,805 for the full 12 months of 2011-12. 

At the start of the 2012-13 financial year, the HCA’s London functions were devolved to the GLA, with the GLA also taking on the economic development and regeneration activities of the London Development Agency.

Eversheds and Squire Sanders were the main recipients of the GLA’s expanded legal spend, billing £203,043 and £199,470 respectively during the last nine months of 2012. Other firms to bill smaller five-figure sums include Burges Salmon and Pinsent Masons for housing work, and Clifford Chance for resources work. 

The news comes after a restructuring last year saw the formation of a combined legal team covering both the GLA and Transport for London, with a 65-lawyer team put together to handle commercial, dispute resolution, property & planning, employment, and public and regulatory law.