Skip to main content

Departmental Legal Advisers

Volume 566: debated on Tuesday 9 July 2013

4. What benefits he expects will be achieved by the continued merger of departmental legal advisers into the Treasury Solicitor’s Department. (163821)

Sharing legal services brings considerable benefits, including greater flexibility and resilience, more efficient deployment of legal resources, more opportunities for savings and improved knowledge-sharing, which in turn supports consistency.

I am grateful to my hon. and learned Friend for his answer, but what steps is he taking to ensure that TSOL actually does provide value for money, and how will the Government’s legal bill be reduced as a consequence of this merger?

This is part of the civil service reform plan, and bringing services together at TSOL has, for example, meant it has become a centre of excellence in employment law. TSOL also has a good record of reducing cost, with 40% efficiencies from its shared litigation service.

Will the Solicitor-General assure the House that public money will not be wasted in transaction costs between Departments and that we will not end up with more finance officers chasing invoices than lawyers doing the work?

It is true that clients in the Departments are billed by TSOL, but this is a lean process and fees are being kept down at a reasonable level.