Consultation has been defined as the process of dialogue that leads to a decision. Effective consultation is a key part of the policy-making process, stakeholder engagement and is now an essential stage in the implementation of projects as well.
Requirements for public consultation and stakeholder engagement are increasingly set by statute and case law, at both national and EU levels, as well as by expectations and standards of best practice. There have been a number of successful challenges to decisions on the basis of inadequate or flawed consultation.
Our unique combination of legal and public affairs expertise means that we advise clients on all issues relating to consultation – from legal requirements and obligations, through to best practice in planning and implementing a consultation programme.
Managing public consultation not only minimises your legal risk and reputation, it can also reduce costs and provide greater certainty. It enables better policy making and allows projects to be delivered quickly and efficiently, as well as helping to build support and identify opposition as early as possible.