BURY has joined forces with three neighbouring councils to take advantage of specialist legal services.

They have appointed Cobbetts as their preferred legal supplier in a partnership believed to be the first of its kind in the public sector.

All four local authorities -- the others are Rochdale, Oldham and Stockport -- will purchase legal services jointly. Cobbetts will assist the councils' lawyers with major project work, and provide emergency cover and spare capacity as necessary.