Leadership team

Our Leadership Team is responsible for managing the team’s lawyers and other resources to ensure that we provide the highest level of service for our clients.

David Kelly

David Kelly

Head of Legal Services and Deputy Monitoring Officer

  • Email: hls@hants.gov.uk
Profile

David is Head of Legal Services for Hampshire County Council and as such leads the team at Hampshire Legal Services that advises both the Council and a wide range of external clients. David also has overall responsibility for Hampshire Legal Services’ Governance and Information, Commercial Property and Environment and Commercial Contracts and Procurement Groups.

David has significant experience of management and strategic decision making within the public sector. As the Deputy Monitoring Officer for Hampshire County Council, David has particular responsibility for corporate governance and extensive involvement in the implementation of new commercial arrangements. David has been heavily involved in the governance arrangements for innovative Council projects, including its Health and Wellbeing Board, its combined Pension Fund Panel and Board and the proposed Hampshire and Isle of Wight Combined Authority.

David, who is qualified as a solicitor, joined Hampshire County Council in 2006 from an established Hampshire law firm.

Paul Hodgson

Paul Hodgson

Deputy Head of Legal Services

  • Email: hls@hants.gov.uk
Profile

Paul is Deputy Head of Legal Services for Hampshire County Council. Apart from his role supporting the Head of Legal Services, Paul also has overall responsibility for Hampshire Legal Services’ Safeguarding and Education and Litigation and Employment Groups, as well as the business support and business development functions.

Paul’s background is employment law and he continues to provide strategic employment law advice tailored to the requirements of the public sector. Paul also advises on public sector contracts and procurement, as well as other areas of law that affect the public sector. In particular, Paul has experience of advising elected members of public bodies on the issues that they need to address when discharging their duties.

Paul, who is qualified as a solicitor, joined Hampshire County Council in 2005 from a leading Southampton law firm. Paul is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and The Employment Lawyers Association (ELA), where he is a member of the ELA In House Committee. Paul is also the Lawyers in Local Government Southern Branch lead for Employment.

Kim Hurst

Kim Hurst

Head of Commercial Contracts and Procurement
(Commercial Contracts and Procurement Group)

  • Email: hls@hants.gov.uk
Profile

Kim, the Head of Commercial Contracts and Procurement, also leads the Hampshire Legal Services’ Commercial Contracts and Procurement Group. This comprises two Contracts and Partnerships Teams, with specialist lawyers providing advice on procurement and a wide range of commercial and contractual issues.

Kim has advised on innovative models for the delivery of shared services, including the establishment of large scale framework agreements. She has also has acted as lead advisor for public consortia on the joint procurement of large infrastructure projects where she has been able to draw on her experience of working with major participants in the construction sector. Kim and her team provide general advice in respect of both contentious and non contentious commercial issues; including advice on UK and international arbitrations.

Kim, who is qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales and also in South Africa, joined Hampshire County Council in January 2008 from a commercial law firm in London, where she specialised in major project work in the construction and energy sectors. Kim is also the Lawyers in Local Government Southern Branch lead for Partnerships and Procurement.

Tim Spender

Tim Spender

Assistant Head of Legal Services
(Litigation and Employment Group)

  • Email: hls@hants.gov.uk
Profile

Tim leads Hampshire Legal Services’ Litigation and Employment Group, comprising the Highways Litigation and Insurance Team, the General Litigation Team and the Employment Law Team, whose specialist lawyers provide advice on a wide range of issues relating to employment disputes, highways claims, employer’s liability claims, judicial review, prosecutions and general commercial litigation.

Whilst Tim advises on the resolution of a wide range of actual and potential disputes, he has a personal focus on employment law, where he has substantial experience of the particular issues that need to be addressed in the public sector. This has included dealing with cases involving transfers of undertakings (TUPE) as well as equal pay and other equality issues.

Tim, who is qualified as a solicitor, joined Hampshire County Council in 2008 from a private sector law firm in Wiltshire. Tim is a member of The Employment Lawyers Association (ELA).

Jennifer Watts

Jennifer Watts

Assistant Head of Legal Services
(Safeguarding and Education Group)

  • Email: hls@hants.gov.uk
Profile

Jennifer, together with Nicola Thomas, leads Hampshire Legal Service’s Safeguarding and Education Group, comprising the Adult Safeguarding and Education Team and the Children’s Safeguarding Teams, whose specialist lawyers advise Hampshire County Council’s Adults' Health and Care Department in respect of the safeguarding of adults and its Children’s Services in respect of the education and safeguarding of children.

Specialising in the delivery of adult social care, Jennifer has been instrumental in the implementation of the new regime introduced by the Care Act 2014 and in the continual development of innovative ways for Hampshire Legal Services to meet the growing requirement for advice and support. Jennifer advises elected members of Hampshire County Council in relation to the transformation projects that are being undertaken by both the Adults' Health and Care and Children’s Services Departments.

Jennifer, who is a qualified solicitor, joined Hampshire County Council in 2003. Her previous experience includes working in private practice, as well as non-legal roles in the commercial and voluntary sectors. Jennifer is also the Lawyers in Local Government Southern Branch lead for Adult Social Care and Health.

Nicola Thomas

Assistant Head of Legal Services
(Safeguarding and Education Group)

  • Email: hls@hants.gov.uk
Profile

Nicola is currently on maternity leave and Jacqui McCutcheon is acting as the Assistant Head of legal Services for the Safeguarding and Education Group in her absence.

Nicola, together with Jennifer Watts, leads Hampshire Legal Service’s Safeguarding and Education Group, comprising the Adults Safeguarding and Education Team and two Children’s Safeguarding Teams.  The Group’s specialist lawyers advise Hampshire County Council’s Adults' Health and Care Department in respect of the safeguarding of adults and its Children’s Services Department in respect of the education and safeguarding of children.

Specialising in the delivery of children’s social care, Nicola and her teams are also responsible for advising senior members of Hampshire County Council’s Children’s Services Department to ensure that they continue to meet their overriding statutory responsibilities for safeguarding, whilst at the same time improving efficiencies in order to address budgetary challenges.

Nicola joined Hampshire County Council in 2006, having trained at Gloucestershire County Council and subsequently specialised in child protection and adoption at Birmingham City Council. Nicola is a member of the Law Society’s Children’s Panel.

Karen Everett

Assistant Head of Legal Services
(Commercial Property and Environment Group)

  • Email: hls@hants.gov.uk
Profile

Karen leads Hampshire Legal Service’s Commercial Property and Environment Group, whose specialist lawyers provide advice on a wide range of environmental issues relating to transport infrastructure, planning and highways agreements, rights of way and complex property acquisitions and disposals for public sector organisations.

Karen advises the Executive Member and senior officers of Hampshire County Council’s Economy, Transport and Environment Department on a wide range of environmental issues, including major transport infrastructure projects.  Karen also has extensive experience of governance, including the provision of advice to the emergency services and also national park authorities where she has personal experience of acting as a deputy monitoring officer.

Karen, who is qualified as a solicitor, joined Hampshire County Council in 2002, having previously worked for two unitary local authorities as well as in private practice.  Karen is a founder member of the Police and Crime Commissioner Legal Advice Network.

Louise Read

Assistant Head of Legal Services
(Governance and Information Group)

  • Email: hls@hants.gov.uk
Profile

Louise is a lead lawyer for the provision of governance advice to Hampshire County Council and a number of external clients. Louise leads Hampshire Legal Services’ Governance and Information Group, comprising the Governance and Information Law Team, whose specialist lawyers advise on governance, data protection and freedom of information.

Louise advises elected members and senior officers of public bodies on the issues that they need to address when discharging their duties. She has particular experience of governance and the broader legal issues facing national park authorities where she has acted as a monitoring officer. Louise also advises fire and rescue authority and police and crime commissioner clients. Apart from governance advice, Louise has particular experience of academy school conversions and education law more generally. She has dealt with a wide range of judicial review challenges.

Louise, who is qualified as a solicitor, joined Hampshire County Council in 2002, having previously worked for Surrey County Council. Prior to that, Louise worked in the Local Government Performance Directorate, within what is now the Department for Communities and Local Government, as a policy adviser responsible for the early development of aspects of “Best Value”, which replaced the compulsory competitive tendering process. Louise is a founder member of the Police and Crime Commissioner Legal Advice Network.

Jacqui McCutcheon

Assistant Head of Legal
(Prevent and Transformation)

  • Email: hls@hants.gov.uk
Profile

Jacqui returned to Hampshire Legal Services in 2017 to Lead the Safeguarding Childcare Teams whilst Nicola Thomas was on maternity leave having previously been with the County Council for over 20 years. Following Nicola’s return, Jacqui continues to serve on the Leadership Team and is providing advice at a senior level in complex high risk cases arising from the County Council’s responsibility under the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2016. In addition Jacqui is working alongside the Safeguarding Teams and Children’s Services’ Transformation Team to meet the T19 targets.