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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.
Called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn, in 1984, Mirza commenced his local government career in 1985 and became Chairman of the Bar Association for Local Government & the Public Service, in April 1998 (www.balgps.org.uk). He has also been a Member of the General Council of the Bar for England & Wales since 1995 (save for 1998). Mirza’s Presidential Year for ACSeS commenced in Nov 2009 and his theme was ‘Leadership Excellence’. From 2004 – 2009, Mirza was ACSeS’ Lead Officer on Ethical Governance and, in 2006, he was elected a Vice-President of ACSeS and is also a Director.
Within 15 years of joining local government, Mirza got to the top of local government legal services by joining Birmingham City Council, as Chief Legal Officer of a 150 staff Department, which is the largest local authority legal department in the UK and, possibly, Europe. Following further internal promotions – including becoming the statutory Monitoring Officer in 2001 – he ultimately had responsibility for about £40 Million annual budgets and provided strategic and corporate leadership over 2 Directors, about 25 Heads of Service and over 800 staff.
His Department provided a wide range of multi-disciplinary, professional and administrative work relating to, for example, Legal, Democratic, Elections, Public Health, Environmental Protection, Licensing & Hackney Carriages, Trading Standards, Illegal Money Lending, Mortuary, HM Coroners, Registrar of Births, Deaths & Marriages, Data Protection & Information Management.
As Monitoring Officer, he also had indirect responsibility over the City Council’s annual budget of £3.4 Billion. From 2008 to 2011, he also had strategic and corporate leadership over Birmingham’s highly ambitious Business Transformation Programme on Excellence in Information Management, which invested £26 Million in service improvements to deliver £56 Million of benefits over 10 years.
Mirza is the General Editor of ‘Knights Guide to Best Value and Public Procurement - Law & Practice’ and ‘Employment Law & Practice for Local Government’. Under his leadership, his Department:-
Ø in 2000, achieved the first ‘3 star, excellent rating’ under the Best Value regime; and
Ø in 2006, became the first (and still the only) legal practice to be an Investor in Excellence.
Other major national achievements since 2005 include:
þ 2009 - Became “The Lawyer Hot 100” and won “Public Service Lawyer of the Year Award”.
þ 2008 - Awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) in recognition of “his exceptional service to the legal profession, his work on ethical governance, human rights and freedom of information that has made him such an appropriate role model for those following in his footsteps”, plus Municipal Journal’s Legal Achievement of the Year Award.
þ 2007 - Won “Public Sector Excellence Award”
þ 2006 – Became “Lawyer of the Month” (April 2006)
þ 2005 - Became “Local Government Chronicle’s Top 5 Lawyers in Local Government”, won “LGC’s Legal Team of the Year Award” and awarded ACSeS’ “Award for Excellence”.
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