Increasingly those wishing to deliver service change must consult first. Good public consultation can make the relationship with a local community and will help to ensure good decision-making. Bad consultation risks breaking those crucial relationships and often leads to expensive, time-consuming and potentially project or programme threatening legal challenge.
By bringing together legal and public affairs advice, we are uniquely well-placed to help develop and deliver successful public consultations; and equally to represent the interests of those adversely affected by bad consultation, or a failure to consult at all.
Consultation frequently attracts legal challenge so our advice takes full account of recent legal developments at a national and EU level, as well as the latest best practice, to avoid pitfalls.
We can advise on:
- Compliance with statutory requirements including the timing of consultation and the scope of parties consulted
- The design of a consultation strategy including methods of engagement, target audience and key stakeholders
- ‘Trouble spotting’ areas of weakness in a consultation strategy
- Discrimination issues whether in relation to the public sector equality duty or more generally
- Best practice and standards set by expectations
- Implementation of a consultation strategy including running public meetings and engagement events
- Potential challenges to consultation and engagement exercises