RMP launches legal action against second council.

Risk Management Partners has launched legal action against Islington council, which this week became the seventh local authority to join the London Authorities Mutual (LAML).

The action will be suspended pending the outcome of Brent council’s appeal against a ruling in RMP’s favour in a similar case.

The mutual said this week that it was confident of winning the appeal, which follows a High Court judgment declaring that Brent council had acted unlawfully in side-stepping EU-regulated procurement procedures when signing up to the LAML This added to an earlier ruling that found Brent had acted without authority in participating in the LAML.

It followed a test case brought to the High Court by RMP, a company providing insurance services to local authorities, which alleged that the council had abandoned the EU-regulated public procurement process in which it, RMP, had participated, and joined the LAML, which had not tendered.

LAML chairman Nathan Elvery, who is also executive director of resources and customer services at Croydon council, said: “There could be no better proof that despite the recent court decision in RMP v Brent LBC, the LAML is going to continue to attract councils that want to cut the cost of insurance premiums for its members, and therefore its citizens by as much as 15%.

“We are not alone in expecting the lower court verdict to be overturned

Nathan Elvery, LAML

“We are challenging that decision in the Court of Appeal in the autumn and are not alone in expecting the lower court’s verdict to be overturned.”

No date has been set for the hearing.

Elvery added: “Parliament intended local authorities to use their new wellbeing powers to save the citizen cost and to reduce their risks. That is what the LAML does.

“The rapid growth and development of LAML shows how we are demonstrably serving the appetite of London for meeting stringent efficiency targets while enhancing risk management.”-