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Testimonial from Geoff Wild: “Dr Mirza Ahmad is one of the UK's most highly respected and experienced senior public sector lawyers. He has been a leader in his field for many years... a proven leader, an experienced lawyer and an eloquent public speaker.”

 

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BIRMINGHAM MAYOR

 

 

 

Dr Mirza Ahmad LLD (Hon), LLM, MBA, Barrister

Unique Selling Point : Nationally recognised expert on Local Authority Law & Employment Law,

with a strong track record of strategic & transformational leadership in Local Government.

 

 

 

CURRENT  & PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT:

 

¨      Barrister in private practice                                    St Philips Chambers, from 1/11/2011

¨      Managing Director                                                    MA (Law & Governance) Ltd, from 08/2011

¨      Associate Consultant                                                SOLACE Enterprises, from 09/2011

 

¨      Corporate Director of Governance                           Birmingham City Council (06/2000 to

¨      Chief Legal Officer                                                                        07/2011, Statutory Monitoring Officer from 2001)                                                                          

¨      Assistant Director of Central Services  (Legal)       Bolton MBC

¨      Principal Solicitor                                                    (03/1989 – 03/2000)

       

¨      Senior Solicitor:                                                        Ipswich Borough Council      

¨      Assistant Solicitor                                                                 (05/1985 –03/1989)

  ¨      Voluntary worker                                                    North Manchester Law Centre

                                                                                      (01/1985 to 05/1985)

 

 

 

NATIONAL PROFILE & ACHIEVEMENTS:

 

¨         President, Association of Council Secretaries & Solicitors, 2009/2010

¨         Chairman, Bar Association for Local Government & the Public Service, since 1998

¨         Member of the General Council of the Bar for England & Wales, since 1995 (save for 1998)

¨         Member of the Council for Birmingham Law Society, 2000 - 2011

¨          Member, Audit Commission’s National Fraud Initiative Data Matching Strategy Board, 2009 -11

¨         “The Lawyer Hot 100” for 2009 – from The Lawyer Magazine

¨         Public Sector Lawyer of the Year 2009 -  from the Society of Asian Lawyers

¨         Public Sector Excellence Award 2007  - from Muslim Power 100

¨         “Lawyer of the Month” April 2006 – from Black Lawyers Directory

¨         “Top 5 Lawyers in Local Government” 2005 -  from Local Government Chronicle

¨         ISO 9001 Quality Assurance & LEXCEL Practice Management Accreditations  (since 1997), plus MJ’s Legal Achievement Award 2008, Midlands Excellence Awards (‘Highly Commended’ in 2009 and, in 2006, Investor in Excellence, Corporate Social Responsibility and Most Improved Organisation Awards) and LGC’s Legal Team of the Year 2005.

 

 

EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENTS:

 

¨      LLD  -  Doctor of Laws (Honorary), 2008                 Manchester Metropolitan University

¨      LLMMasters Degree in Employment                  University of Leicester

                      & Industrial Relations Law, 1998                   1996-98 [pt-time]

¨      MBA - Masters Degree in                                   Manchester Metropolitan  University                         Business Administration, 1992                   1990-92 [pt-time]

¨      Barrister - Bar Vocational Course, 1984                      Inns of Court School of Law, 1983-84
¨      Combined Bachelor of Social Sciences (Hons)        University of Keele
                     Degree in Law and Politics, 1983                    1980-83

¨      8 x 'O' Levels & 3 x 'A' Levels                            Balderstone High School, Rochdale,                                                                                         1975-80

¨      European Foundation for Quality Management’s Excellence Model - Trained Assessor, since 1998

 

 

 

PERSONAL & REFEREE DETAILS:

 

Address: ‘La Noor’, 216 Thornhill Road,                         Mobile:  07429 335 090       DoB: 15/05/1962

      Sutton Coldfield B74 2EP                                 e-mail barrister@lawandgovernance.co.uk

 

Bernard Shepherd,                                                          Stephen Hughes, Former Chief Executive,

Former President of Birmingham Law Society               Birmingham City Council

 

Extra curricular activities: With the support of the then Secretary of State for International Development (Andrew Mitchell MP for Sutton Coldfield) at two fund raising charity dinners in 2010 and 2011, Mirza raised funds for the victims of the Pakistan Floods Disaster and successfully completed the re-building of a whole village, by re-housing 85 families in their new homes.

                              (1/3)

 

KEY LEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT SKILLS & ABILITIES

 

ü      Mirza is nationally recognised as a strategic leader, with highly persuasive communication and influencing skills and abilities. As an accomplished presenter, he has inspired many individuals at national and international conferences on issues relating to, for example, Good Governance (which includes ethical & corporate governance), Human Rights, Procurement, Compulsory Competitive Tendering, Best Value, Freedom of Information and Business Excellence. 

 

ü      As a creative leader, he adopts a strategic approach to delivering continuous improvements to public services through the application of innovative and best practice business approaches, IT enhancements and externally accredited quality awards/systems - such as, ISO 9001 Quality Assurance, Investor in People and Investor in Excellence - to drive up performance. His top 5 strengths have been judged to be: strategic, achiever, flexible, assertive and imaginative.

 

ü      He has strong strategic management experiences and political awareness skills that command the respect, trust and confidence of leading members. He is also a highly motivated, hard working, competent, confident and enthusiastic person, with a passion for leadership excellence.

 

ü      As a senior Director, he operated at the highest strategic level as a member of Birmingham City Council’s Corporate Management Team and deputised, as necessary, for the Chief Executive on governance issues relating to the Council and its strategic partnerships – such as Be Birmingham, the West Midlands Leaders Board, the Regional Chief Executives Group, City Region and Core Cities.   He worked closely, therefore, with the Leader and other leading members on the strategic management of the City Council and gave high level strategic, policy, ethical & corporate governance advice to the City Council and its strategic partnerships.

 

ü      As Monitoring Officer of the largest local authority in the UK, he also provided legal and constitutional advice to the whole of the Council and had indirect control over the Council’s     £3.4 Billion annual budget. On the back of his national work on Good Governance, he also provided strategic leadership to two National Pilots for Birmingham, with the Audit Commission, on Good Governance (in 2006) and on Diversity, Human Rights and Equalities (in 2009).

 

ü      As respects Departmental responsibilities, he provided strategic leadership to a Department consisting of 2 Directors, about 25 Heads of Service, over 800 staff and over £40 Million annual budgets. The responsibilities extend to leading on Legal, Democratic, Elections, Lord Mayor’s Office, Public Health, Health & Safety, Environmental Protection, Licensing, Hackney Carriages, Trading Standards, Commercial investigations, Illegal Money Lending, Mortuary,  HM Coroners, Registrar of Births, Deaths & Marriages, Data Protection and Information Management services.

 

ü      In December 2009, his Department of Governance was recognised, following an extensive external assessment by Midlands Excellence, as an Investor in Excellence. This was in addition to his Legal & Democratic Services Department’s success, in 2006, when it became the first - and so far the only – legal practice in the UK to be an Investor in Excellence. Other examples of excellence include the creation of the City Council’s very first Constitution; improving corporate & ethical governance systems; developing the Leader’s vision on ‘Achieving Excellence’; Devolving executive powers and services to Constituency Committees; developing a Chief Officers Leadership Development Programme and developing the governance arrangements for the West Midlands Leaders Board and the City Region.

 

ü      At the national level, he has assisted national Local Government bodies to prepare for the Human Rights Act and lobby for a general power of competence.  In addition, he has worked with Government and associated national bodies to implement relevant local government legislation on, for example, ethical and corporate governance, elections and the Freedom of Information. In addition to organising ACSeS’ Annual Conference at The Belfry, in November 2010, he organised ACSeS’ highly successful ‘First Leadership Summit’, in July 2010 on board HMS President moored on The Thames, for those who aspire to positions of Chief Executive.

 

ü      According to Clifton StrengthsFinder ® & Team Management Profile ®, Mirza’s top 5 strengths are: Strategic, Achiever, Learner, Relater and Responsibility.  His major role is: Assessor Developer and related roles are: Explorer Promoter & Concluder Producer. The DTI Inspirational Leadership analysis also confirms his 7 top attributes as being: Opportunity Awareness, Knowing What Works!, Enthusiastic Learner, Enabler, Single-mindedness, People Champion and Visionary. The Saville Consulting Wave profile has also highlighted that his top 7 attributes are:  Flexible, Assertive, Impactful, Driven, Investigative, Resilient and Imaginative.               (2/3)

 

 

KEY LEGAL SKILLS & ABILITIES

 

ü      Mirza has corporate legal experiences of procuring, joint ventures and negotiating, the largest TUPE transfer in the UK, of about 1500 staff, to the private sector. He also has corporate legal experience of progressing Birmingham’s Housing Stock Transfer and leading on all high level legal work of the Council associated with ethical and corporate governance issues. In fact, in 2003, he wrote and then maintained the Council’s Constitution, which is a model of best practice.

 

ü      He has extensive experience of leading on major projects, developing partnerships and negotiating joint ventures with regard to, for example, complex regeneration, land & property developments and public private finance initiatives with regard to highways and schools. He also has extensive experience of not just advising on ethical and corporate governance, but establishing national best practice with regard to good governance systems and processes.

 

ü      As a Monitoring Officer with over 10 years experience, he worked closely with Leaders, Lord Mayors, other leading members and chief officers of the Council. For example, he used to sit next to the Lord Mayor (at Full Council Meetings) and with the Leader (at Cabinet). He has also given evidence to a Parliamentary Committee and was highly complimented by an Elections Judge.

 

ü      He is an accomplished speaker at major national conferences on such issues or is proactive, nationally, in seeking changes to primary and secondary legislation to secure success for local governance.  Other examples of national excellence include assisting the Audit Commission, Standards for England, Government Departments, LGIU, SOLACE and CIPFA on Good Governance, elections, Information Management, Human Rights, CCT, Quality and Best Value.

 

ü      Mirza was also extensively involved in securing success for the Council with regard to major litigation on, for example, Single Status, Equal Pay and other major Judicial Reviews. This included advising on and dealing with the termination and re-engagement of all the Council employees on new contracts of employment to secure necessary changes to terms and conditions of employment.  All of these high level and complex legal experiences were gained in the public domain, with appropriate advice and assistance being given to leading members/officers in a confidential and highly sensitive manner to secure the best interests of his employers.

 

ü      In addition to providing top level legal advice and support service, Mirza transformed a “poor performing” Legal Department of 150 staff - in 2000, with a budget surplus of only £15,000 - to a highly commercial and business oriented Investor in Excellence Legal Department, of over 230 staff, delivering budget surpluses in excess of £1.2 Million per annum. In the process, his Department attained a number of national and regional quality awards. As evidenced by the Honorary Doctorate awarded to him in 2008 for exceptional skills and as a role model to others.  

 

ü      In the leadership challenge to deliver excellence by his Department, he was also one of the very first local authority lawyers to successfully establish, in open competition, a number of Call-off arrangements with law firms. His Department now successfully bids for and carries out legal work for external public bodies.  All of this was easy for him as, during the 1990’s, he submitted a successful tender, in competition with other national law firms, for Bolton’s legal services and, subsequently, managed the same from a client perspective. This was in addition to giving top level advice and concluding the procurement of Bolton’s Blue & White Collar CCT contracts.

 

ü      In addition to designing, developing and securing ISO 9001 Quality Assurance, Investors in People and Law Society’s LEXCEL Practice Management Standards, since 1990’s, Mirza’s Department achieved the first ‘3 star excellent’ (maximum rating), in 2000, from the Audit Commission’s Best Value Inspection.  His Department also won many awards from Midlands Excellence and, in 2006, attained the “Not for Profit Employer of the Year Diversity Award”.

 

ü      None of these successes would have been possible without effective leadership and communication skills. In addition, Mirza has highly proficient computer and internet skills. For example, he introduced light pen time recording and e-mails within his Department and has mastery of Microsoft packages, such as Word, PowerPoint, Spreadsheets, Access and Project.

 

ü      As the General Editor of two major legal encyclopaedias (‘Knight’s Guide to Best Value & Public Procurement’ and ‘Local Authority Employment – Law & Practice’), he continues to make a national contribution to local government law & practice and has published booklets on ‘The implications of the Human Rights Act 1988 for UK local Government’ (1988) and, from 2009 to 2011, launched 6 publications on ‘Firing up the Passion for Excellence in Local Government’

(3/3)

 

 

Contact Information:

For further details on the services available, along with indicative fees, please contact Dr Ahmad, as follows:

 

 

 

Send mail to barrister@lawandgovernance.co.uk with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: 01/15/14