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Norfolk and Cambridge County Councils ditch law firm Baker Small in wake of ill-judged social media posts

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“Great win” turns into significant financial loss

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Things go from bad to worse for public sector specialists Baker Small, as two lucrative clients have severed ties with the law firm just 48 hours after a series of ill-judged social media posts triggered outrage online.

Despite the case involving a disabled child, the Milton-Keynes based firm trumpeted its victory via its official Twitter account. Describing the result against the parents as a “great win”, the outfit — headed up by managing director Mark Small — has since suffered a major media backlash.

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Keen to distance themselves from Baker Small, it would now appear two lucrative clients, in the shape of Norfolk County Council and Cambridge County Council, are ditching the firm.

A spokesperson for Norfolk County Council, who have spent £120,000 with the firm, speaking to the Eastern Daily Press, said:

We have informed Baker Small today that we will be making arrangements to cease working with them as soon as possible. While we have noted Baker Small’s apology on this matter, our view is that tweets posted over the weekend were wholly inappropriate and do not in any way reflect how this council wishes to work with families.

Meanwhile Cambridge County Council, who paid fees in excess of £144,000 between May 2015 and January 2016 to the firm, also confirmed they would no longer be sending instructions their way.

Adrian Loades, executive director for children, families and adults at Cambridge County Council said:

We can confirm that we will no longer be using Baker Small for new cases. We recognise the damage that these tweets have done to parental confidence and by extension to the potential relationship between the county council and parents.

According to tweets posted by Guardian journalist Amelia Gentleman earlier today, Gloucestershire County Council is also considering its position in relation to the firm and Buckinghamshire County Council has suspended all work with Baker Small.

Initially standing by the tweets, the account began either blocking those who disagreed or responding in a childish manner.

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The following day, having deleted the offending tweets, Small issued an apology online. The Baker Small Twitter account has since disappeared.

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