Buckinghamshire County Council and the Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority have launched a new company to provide cost-effective legal services for public and not-for-profit organisations.
The authorities say the launch of Buckinghamshire Law Plus follows the relaxation of rules about ownership of law firms, which was previously restricted to solicitors.
The council says it is the first to establish an independent legal practice and the new service is the first public sector enterprise to be granted a licence by the Solicitors Regulation Authority as an Alternative Business Structure.
Anne Davies, head of legal services at Buckinghamshire County Council, said: 'At a time when public sector organisations are still looking to reduce costs in all areas, the launch of Buckinghamshire Law Plus offers some distinct advantages over traditional law firms'.
She said these included access to public law expertise and significant cost savings which would remain within the county to benefit the community.
She added: 'The new service is expected to be of immediate benefit to cash-strapped small councils, charities, schools and other voluntary groups.'