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Solicitors: Civil Society

Volume 738: debated on Thursday 19 October 2023

5. What recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Justice on the contribution of solicitors to civil society. (906614)

As my right hon. Friend the Lord Chancellor agrees, solicitors and, indeed, all legal professionals play a vital role in upholding the rule of law. As Solicitor General, I take this opportunity to thank Government Legal Service lawyers for their exceptional work every day, often under pressure, on some of the most high-profile cases in the country.

That is all very well, but the Justice Minister denounces lawyers for parading their politics, while the Home Secretary believes that there is a racket of “lefty lawyers” undermining the law. Does the Attorney General not agree that, instead of deflecting blame from the serial ineptitude of a broken Home Office decimated by her colleagues, she should stand up for the profession as impartial arbiters of the rule of law?

The Attorney General and I often meet legal leaders across the profession both to celebrate their achievements and to hear their concerns. It is right to say that lawyers acting in the best interests of their clients should never be criticised for so doing. But it is also right to say, as the Lord Chancellor has also said, that it is the strong tradition of lawyers in this country that they simply act for their client without fear or favour and do not necessarily associate themselves with the cause. I agree 100% with the Lord Chancellor.

Mr Speaker, you have heard about the “law tour” that the Attorney General and I recently entered into. We met some lawyers in Welshpool and heard from high street solicitors about the importance of their practice, not only in Wales but on the Welsh borders. My hon. Friend should look out for more details about the law tour.