Part of the reason I’d guess that Wirral Council is recruiting the Senior Solicitor (Litigation/Governance) is because the current Head of Legal and Member Services, Shirley Hudspeth isn’t a practising solicitor or barrister. When Wirral Council concentrates on internal promotions to fill posts, this is why you end up with anomalies like the Head of Legal and Member Services not being a practising solicitor or barrister.
Certainly there seems to be a cultural drive away from the past (subcontracting for external legal advice) to dealing with legal matters in-house. Bill Norman, Head of Law, HR & Asset Management did make the point in public meetings that he wanted more solicitors in house at Wirral Council (well just before he had to leave the room as the Tory councillors tried unsuccessfully to remove him as Monitoring Officer). It certainly would’ve led to a saving to the taxpayer as Wirral Council was at the time spending £millions/year in external legal advice. Yet for whatever reason the politicians at the time wouldn’t authorise the creation of the new posts required as corporate governance issues at Wirral Council weren’t once seen as the priority they are now.
Certainly some councillors prefer to rely on in house advisers employed by Wirral Council rather than have to spend months putting out a contract to tender before external adviser/s are agreed and appointed (and the delays can cause increased costs).