Shared services—key legal issues
Produced in partnership with Peter Ware and Angelica Hymers of Browne Jacobson LLP
Shared services—key legal issues

The following Local Government guidance note Produced in partnership with Peter Ware and Angelica Hymers of Browne Jacobson LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Shared services—key legal issues
  • Brexit impact—public procurement
  • Public procurement and shared services
  • Exceptions
  • Contractual issues
  • VAT
  • Data protection
  • Public access to information regimes
  • Employee Issues: Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006, pensions and secondment
  • Intellectual property (IP)
  • more

This Practice Note summarises the key legal issues for consideration when contemplating use of shared services including: procurement, contractual, VAT, data protection, employment, intellectual property and state aid issues.

Brexit impact—public procurement

The UK public procurement regime derives from EU public procurement laws, and is therefore impacted by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. For general updates on the process and preparations for Brexit, see Practice Note: Brexit timeline. For further reading on the impact of Brexit on public procurement, see Practice Note: Brexit—the implications for public procurement.

Public procurement and shared services

The extent to which the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR 2015), SI 2015/102 and the principles underlying the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU) apply in the context of shared services depends on the nature of the project. Most commonly, procurement issues will arise where a public body:

  1. enters into arrangements with a private sector partner to deliver services

  2. is acting as a service provider to other public bodies for commercial gain

A purely internal shared services arrangement without third party involvement will not create procurement issues. Where external support or advice is required to set up such an arrangement, this should be procured in accordance with the PCR 2015, unless the work falls within an exception.


  1. some contract types are excluded