Durham County Council has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award in recognition of its use of technology.
The authority’s legal services department has been named as a finalist in the Excellence in Technology category of the 2017 Law Society Excellence Awards.
Durham is the only council or public sector body to make the shortlist of ten, from a record number of entries.
The Excellence in Technology category “celebrates the innovative marriage of technology and law in the provision of services for clients.”
Judges were looking for entries “that have changed how they work and/or how they provide services to clients.”
The council’s entry tells how the authority’s legal services department has used technology to help it prepare for court sessions, by creating a workflow into which information is automatically populated.
This has enabled legal services to bring a large number of cases to single sessions in bulk listings, saving resources by reducing numbers of days and time spent in court.
Winners of the 11th annual awards, in which the council is up against private sector law firms from across the country, will be announced in October.
Helen Lynch, the council’s head of legal and democratic services, said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for such a prestigious award, and especially to be the only local authority to make the final in this category.
“In this day and age, our residents would expect us to use technology to help us work smarter and ensure we make the best possible use of our resources. This shortlisting is testament to our success in doing that.”
• Pictured (above) is staff from the council’s legal services (left to right) head of legal and democratic services Helen Lynch, administration manager Sam Thompson, litigation manager Bryan Smith legal assistant litigation Daniel Bambury.