Mark is a lawyer with over 25 years of experience of advising people and organisations on how to work together across the public, private and civil society sectors. He provides strategic advice on models for transforming public services and resources, using the law to create flexible routes for achieving change. He has a particular track record in enabling social value to be a core feature in the delivery of public services. He works hard to deliver solutions that involve people in local communities and he believes in the ability of those on the ground to make the difference in the neighbourhoods where they live and work.
Mark’s experience covers a wide range of operations, including fire, waste, streetscene, corporate services, regeneration, economic development, leisure, health and education. His particular specialisms are EU procurement, local government law and commercial law. Mark has been listed in the Chambers UK Client’s Guide every year since 1998, initially in local government and more recently in public procurement. Mark has played a leading role in developing the firm’s projects capacity so that public procurement is now a core discipline of the firm practiced by 16 lawyers (a significant number for a firm with 260 staff).
With Richard Macfarlane he co-authored the seminal JRF publication “Achieving community benefits with contracts” (2001). Mark has advised government departments, devolved administrations (the Scottish Government in particular), local authorities, NHS bodies, housing associations and Local Enterprise Partnerships on optimising social value through procurement and commissioning activity, and developed toolkits and training to reflect the clear legal framework that we espouse. He supported Chris White throughout the passage of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012.
Mark frequently speaks at conferences, including events organised by social enterprise and supported businesses membership organisations, Lawyers in Local Government and Government departments, He writes articles for Cooperative News, Municipal Journal, Local Government News, Local Government Lawyer, the SOPO newsletter and the Guardian. He contributed to the Butterworths Best Value Manual and Hann Barton’s Local Authority Companies and Partnerships.
He is also company secretary of Collaborate, the increasingly prominent independent CIC focusing on the thinking, culture and practice of cross-sector collaboration in services to the public. Its work actively promotes services to the public that engage government, business and civil society, blurring traditional boundaries and prioritising outcomes over sector preconceptions. “Our way of working is different – we believe that the best approaches are co-created; we work hard to convene networks, broker relationships and be ‘comfortable with uncomfortable’.”
He is also Director, Nehemiah Foundation. Its role within the DCLG funded Near Neighbours Programme is to help identify the practical needs and resources needed to enhance the contributions made by people with a faith, toward the common good; strengthen their ability to obtain and access practical resources; and evidence the value and positive impact made by faith communities working together in a neighbourhood.
Areas covered by Mark include: funding and grant agreements; social housing; alternative delivery models; contracts and disputes; major and complex projects; partnering and alliance arrangements; project finance; public procurement; state aid; administrative; environmental; judicial reviews; local government law (including statutory and fiduciary functions); public infrastructure; and governance (especially local government and combined authority, NHS/local government), joint venture vehicles and not-for-profit structures).