Carmarthenshire County Council has engaged the services of Mr Timothy Kerr QC to help it with those uppity people at the Wales Audit Office in the matter of the allegedly unlawful payment of employer pension contributions to the council's chief executive.
As Caebrwyn has discovered, Carmarthenshire engaged the services of Mr Kerr before going on to introduce him to Pembrokeshire, and the two councils are now sharing the bills. When Pembrokeshire councillors asked how much this was costing, they were told that this was an ongoing engagement, and the legal taxi meter seems set to go on running for some considerable time.
Mr Kerr specialises in the law as it applies to local government, education, health and social care, as well as sports. His clients are made up of "public bodies, particularly local authorities, employers, schools,
colleges, universities, national and multi-national corporations, sports
governing bodies, players and athletes", and according to his profile on his chamber's website (here), they love him.
Strong stuff for the middle-aged executives in suits who must make up the bulk of his clientele, and his profile continues with a quote that, "although he is a genius, he is very human with it".
It is probably safe to assume that Mr Kerr's services do not come cheap, and that the clients who shower him with their love and affection have very deep pockets, or rather access to the public purse in many cases.
Mr Kerr's profile goes on to note that one of his specialities is advising and representing local authority pension funds. He has also helped councils deal with judicial reviews brought against them by people worried about care home closures and breaches of equalities legislation.
No wonder they love him.
Meanwhile, a second legal taxi meter is clocking up the ££££s in the matter of the chief executive's libel indemnity.