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Caroline Eaton

Caroline Eaton

Consultant - Public Law

Professional background

Caroline began her legal career in local government as a reader to a blind barrister. Having worked her way up the career ladder, Caroline's most recent role, before joining Acuity Legal as a public law consultant in November 2018, was as Head of Governance and Monitoring Officer at the London Borough of Hounslow. 

At the London Borough of Hounslow, Caroline's primary focus was on providing advice to senior officers and councillors on a wide range of complex and/or politically sensitive matters and ensuring lawful democratic decision making. She was also responsible for managing the client side of the shared legal services contract; managing the Democratic Services and Equalities teams; reviewing and updating the constitution; training officers and councillors and ensuring councillor adherence to the Code of Conduct. Caroline acted as legal adviser to Cabinet, Borough Council and other committees and panels.

Caroline's local government experience is broad having practised at various stages of her career in property, social services, education, criminal litigation, employment, licensing, housing and governance.   

Work highlights

  • Acting as lead lawyer on project for shared legal service, directing team, organising all aspects of transfer of staff and data management, negotiating and agreeing terms of transfer
  • Drafting revisions to management agreement with council's housing ALMO, advising on related fraud investigation, advising on and implementing the legal and practical steps required to bring it back in house, drafting key documentation
  • Advising on the governance aspects of a council wholly owned trading company and the direct transfer of services into it
  • Dealing with malicious communications, advising on vexatious complainants and harassment
  • Revision of the Corporate Complaints Procedure
  • Advising on the transfer of highways functions to a PFI provider and the scope and lawfulness of council delegations to it
  • Conducting a review of councillors as members of various outside bodies and advising on liability when representing
  • Advice on lawfulness of proposed changes to sheltered housing schemes, consultation requirements and steps needed to comply with public sector equality duty.

Education

Caroline attended various colleges in London as part of her studies as a Legal Executive, becoming a Fellow in 1989.  After taking a year off work and attending the College of Law at Lancaster Gate, Caroline passed the Solicitors Finals Examination and was admitted as a solicitor in December 1992.